PAT Testing what do the Health & Safety Executive Say

What is PAT Testing?

Portable appliance testing (PAT) is used to describe the examination of electrical equipment to ensure they are safe to use.

Most defects can be found by visual examination but some defects can only be found by testing. It is important to understand that visual examination is an essential part of equipment maintenance because some types of safety defect can’t be detected by PAT testing alone.

A brief user check (based upon simple training and assisted by the use of a checklist) can be a very useful part of any electrical maintenance regime.

More formal visual inspection and PAT testing by a competent person may be required at appropriate intervals, depending upon the type of equipment and the environment in which it is used.

How often do I need to PAT Test?

The frequency of inspection and testing depends on the type of kit and the environment it is used in. For example, a power tool used on a construction site should be examined more frequently than a lamp in a hotel bedroom.

Some example Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggested PAT Testing frequencies are:

Construction 110V Equipment 3 Monthly
Construction 240V Equipment 1 Monthly
Construction Site Office 12 Monthly
Workshop Equipment 6 Monthly
Warehouse Equipment 6 Monthly


Do I need to Keep records of Testing and should I label any appliances tested?

There is no legal requirement to label kit that has been inspected or tested. There is also no requirement to keep records of these activities.

A record and labelling can be a useful management tool for monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the PAT Testing scheme, and to demonstrate that a PAT Test regime exists.

Do I need to PAT Test new equipment?

New kit should be supplied in a safe condition and not require a formal PAT inspection or test. A simple visual check is recommended to verify the item is not damaged.

ACA’s Top Tip: Ensure that you purchase your equipment from a reputable supplier as we have seen ‘Low Cost and Bargain’ equipment in the past that is not of a sufficient quality to pass the PAT Test.

Is PAT Testing Required by Law?

No. The law simply requires an employer to ensure that their electrical kit is maintained in order to prevent danger. The Law does not say how this should be done or how often.

Employers should take a risk-based approach, considering the type of kit and what it is being used for.

If the equipment used regularly and moved frequently (e.g. a floor cleaner or a kettle), PAT (along with visual checks) can be an important part of an effective maintenance regime, giving employers confidence that they are doing what is necessary to help them meet their legal duties.

For more information on why to PAT test click here.

ACA’s Top Tip: by having your kit PAT tested, you as a company are proving that you are taking steps to ensure that your equipment is maintained and tested to be safe to use by Employees and members of the public. If a PAT Testing regime is not in place then you may need to prove how your equipment is maintained and tested to be in a safe condition, which you may find difficult.

If you are thinking where is there a PAT testing company near me?  Look no further, ACA Health & Safety Services are here to help. Please get in contact to book in your PAT Test.

We carry out works throughout Ipswich, Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, London, and the rest of the United Kingdom.

If you require any assistance with your PAT Testing then please get in contact.

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