3 May 2019

PAT testing - does this have to be done annually?

PAT Testing

Does your business need to PAT (or Portable Appliance Test) your movable electrical equipment such as printers, kettles or drills?

‘It’s a myth that all portable electrical appliances in a low-risk environment, such as an office, need to have a portable appliance test (PAT) every year. The law simply requires employers to ensure electrical equipment is maintained to prevent danger – it doesn’t state what needs to be done or how often’ – Source – Health and Safety Executive. (“HSE”)

If you are in a low risk environment, you need to ensure that you are using the right equipment for the job. Not every item needs to be tested, and a simple visible inspection, to check for bare wires or wear, will satisfy legal requirements. Encourage staff to report damaged items, and remove these to repair or replace immediately.

When PAT testing is required, this does not have to be done by an electrician - it can be done by one of your staff if they are trained and competent to complete the task.

This link from the HSE provides an excellent guide to when and how testing should take place: HSE Portable Appliance Maintenance. You then decide the frequency of testing which, for example, for a PC can be anything from 2 – 4 years.

So, the next time you get that call from a call centre asking if your annual PAT testing has been done, think carefully before booking and save some cash.