Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

1st October 2012

HSE guidance indicates that 25% of all reportable electrical incidents involve portable appliances.

The Electricity at Work Regulations place a legal duty on employers, employees and the self employed to take all reasonable steps to ensure no danger results from the use of such equipment. This in effect requires a systematic program of maintenance, inspection and testing.

These obligations apply where-
  • Appliances are used by employees
  • The public may use appliances e.g. in offices, shops, hotels, schools etc.,
  • Appliances are sold or hired
  • Appliances are repaired or serviced
  • INSPECTION AND TESTING The level of inspection and testing required is dependent on the risk of the equipment becoming faulty, which is in turn dependent on the type of appliance, the nature of its use, and the environment in which it is used. You can use the following summary to check whether you are managing the risks from portable appliances effectively.
  • set up a system for the maintenance of portable and transportable equipment.
  • identify all portable equipment and decide what to do about "unauthorised equipment" brought in by employees or others e.g. radios, kettles etc.,
  • provide basic training for users regarding visual checks.
  • set up a formal system of inspection, appoint someone to carry this out and provide training for this person.
  • consider producing brief written guidance on the inspection procedure, and what action is to be taken when faults are found.
  • decide on the frequency of inspection depending on the use and the environment.

Further information can be found in HSE Guidance Note HSG 107 - Maintaining Portable and Transportable Electrical Equipment.

For further advice or guidance please contact us on 01295 275205