What is PAT Testing and Why is it Important?

If you are involved in the running of the business, chances are you will have heard of PAT testing. There is no escaping the health and safety regulations in the UK that instruct all businesses, no matter how large or small, to ensure that their staff are free from harm at all times, and PAT testing is one way to meet said regulations concerning portable electrical appliances.

Portable Appliance Testing is essentially a process that involves checking each and every portable electrical appliance that is used by a company. Many different types of electrical equipment require this testing to be done on a regular basis (usually yearly) to ensure that workers are kept safe.

Keep reading now to learn more about the fundamentals of PAT testing, as well as the reasons why it is so important in our society.

What Is PAT Testing?

There are different types of PAT tests, from formal visual inspections to the use of one of many different types of PAT testing machines. Different tests are used by different companies, and for different electrical appliances. The majority of appliances owned by your company will be subject to several different checks to ensure absolute safety. For example, both the outside and inside of plugs will be checked, and all appliances will be visually inspected for any obvious signs of damage. Believe it or not, this check is commonly the one that forces many electrical appliances out of use as a health hazard.

Once each appliance has been checked by a certified PAT tester, a label will be attached to the plug, or around the cable close to the plug. This label will contain details of the date that the PAT test was completed, when the next test is due, and details of the company that actually perform the testing. A printout of the passes or fails of all appliances is usually also provided by the company, allowing the health and safety officer of the business to record the information accordingly.

Why PAT Test?

For some, PAT testing may seem like an inconvenient and expensive experience. Having people enter your business year after year, unplugging and inspecting every single item of equipment, from computers to telephones, coffee makers to fax machines, may not be something that you look forward to. PAT testing though is absolutely essential for UK businesses, because it really can reduce the risk of injury within many different workplaces.

Many electrical appliances are subject to strenuous use by many different employees. A gradual fault can develop into a large problem that could cause serious injury. Not only is this bad for business, and for a company’s reputation, but it could also cause lawsuits. As an employer, it is your responsibility to look after the well-being of your staff. PAT testing is usually not an expensive process (unless your organisation boasts a particularly large number of portable appliances), so it is certainly worth keeping on top of.