Friday, August 27, 2010

How Often is PAT Testing Needed?

If you run a business, hotel, school, or any other organisation where people gather for work, learning, sleeping, or simply meeting others, you may be curious as to how often you require a Portable Appliance Testing service.

PAT testing will ensure that your electrical devices are safe, reducing the risk of injury to any individuals. It is an essential service, but one that could cause disruption and one that will cost money each time your chosen testing company visits.

For this reason you may wish to minimise the frequency of your PAT testing. To do so you will need to understand exactly how often the inspection and testing of certain electrical devices is required.

As useful as it would be to inform you of the exact testing schedule that you require for your business or organisation, unfortunately there are actually no absolute rules as to how often your appliances should be tested.

Instead the guidelines simply state that the inspection of any of your electrical equipment must be 'regular'. While this lack of solid guidelines may seem frustrating at the outset, it does make sense.

The frequency of testing of different appliances is, as it should be, related to the risk posed by the users of said appliance. For example, heavy duty electrical machinery used on a building site will probably require testing more often than the computer of an office worker.

In deciding how often your electrical equipment requires PAT testing, the following four factors will help you to make your decision:

* What environment is your electrical equipment located in? Could the environment be described as arduous, for example a building site? Or would 'benign' be a more appropriate word for, for example, an office space.

* Are the users of the electrical appliances in question likely to report any flaws or failings? If an employee is likely to notice a potentially hazardous situation with the equipment that they are using, and report said situation, then PAT testing may not be required as often as if individuals will ignore the situation.

* The construction of the equipment is another valid factor in deciding how often portable appliance testing is needed. For example, a piece of Class 1 equipment must have a connection with earth to be deemed safe, whereas Class 2 equipment need not have a fixed earth connection.

* Finally, the equipment itself bears some influence as to how often PAT testing should be carried out. An electrical item that you carry around may be more likely to be damaged than one that is found in a fixed position.

Hopefully these four factors have got you thinking about how often your electrical equipment requires PAT testing. It is important that the frequency of your testing is determined by the factors above, and that it is kept under constant review to ensure that your employees, tenants, or any other individuals, are kept as safe as possible.

By : Rebecca_L_Waterman

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