Introduction

PORTABLE APPLIANCE TESTING (PAT)

INTRODUCTION

PAT Testing is the testing of portable electrical appliances. These are taken to be an item of equipment which is not part of a fixed installation but is, or is intended to be, connected to fixed installation, or a generator, by means of a flexible cable and a plug and socket. It is very important to maintain all portable appliances from a Health and Safety point of view.

1

It has been made legislation since November 2007 by the Safety, Health and Welfare at work Act 2007 that all portable appliances must be tested and maintained on a regular basis. There are five main reasons behind PAT Testing which are as follows:

To comply with the law

To comply with some insurance company requirements

To protect the integrity and professionalism of your company

To protect your company from possible court action

To protect your employees and visiting clients on your premises

We offer a complete service of Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), which covers all voltages from 110v to 415v. We will call to your premises to carry out a full survey of all the equipment requiring testing, following which we will issue a quote for the work to be undertaken. On instruction to proceed and prior to commencing we will meet with you again to ascertain that our plan for testing is in line with your company’s requirements, ensuring as little inconvenience as possible to your ongoing business. Once this is approved, we will commence with the actual work. On completion of the full PAT, we will compile a list of all test results on both hard and soft copy, which will be issued to you along with your certification on receipt of payment. All records must be kept for at least five years for HAS/NSAI random checks.

The testing should be carried out to protect both your employees and customers from accidents such as electric shock or burns whilst also protecting against a potential fire hazard. Many work related accidents are caused by wear and tear of portable appliances such as damaged leads, incorrect fuse rating or damaged casings, to name but a few. Many customer related accidents are due to neglect in maintaining these appliances or lack of testing to begin with. The HSA have recently issued figures reporting that 25% of all electrically related accidents are caused by faulty portable appliances, which can inevitably result in serious injury and expensive law suits undertaken by either employees or customers.

There are seven types of equipment which are categorized as follows:

  1. Portable – Equipment that can be moved whilst connected to a supply.
  2. Moveable – Not more than 18kg in mass and not fixed or equipment with wheel, castors or other means to facilitate movement in order for it to perform its intended use.
  3. Hand Held – Equipment that is held in the hand during operation.
  4. Stationary – Equipment having a mass more than 18kg and not provided with a carrying handle.
  5. Fixed – Equipment that is fixed to a support or otherwise secured.
  6. Built-in – Equipment installed in a recess providing partial enclosure but having one or more surfaces exposed.
  7. I.T. – Equipment containing electronic components for functional operation.

All the above appliances fall under a rating known as Class. The full list of Classes and a brief description can be seen in the table below.

Class of Equipment

Class 1 This is any equipment that has an earth connection from the mains supply. In most cases this equipment will have exposed earthed metal work and live parts will have basic insulation, e.g., fan heater, computer etc.
Class 2a This equipment has no exposed metalwork and has two layers of insulation, e.g., desk calculator, dictation machine, etc.
Class 2b This equipment may have exposed unearthed metalwork, which will be separated from live parts by two layers of insulation, e.g., power drill, etc.
Class 3 This equipment operates from a power supply less than 50v AC and has basic insulation with no earthed metalwork, e.g., lap top computer, mobile phone, etc.