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Pat Testing

Pat Testing or Portable Appliance Testing






 Portable Appliance Equipment



Portable appliance and equipments does not have a specific or common definition but there are many regulation and standards domestically and European that does seem to be in an agreement of such opinion that these equipments is either movable equipments that may be moved with no difficulty while connected to a supply or they are equipments that are held while connected to the supply.



These equipments can be connected to a supply but it is not a requirement for these equipments to be deemed transportable or portable. These appliances can have a plug top connected to them or be without plug top. This is a mistake which sometimes occur and it means that some of the equipments in the system are not tested.



NAPIT (National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers) describe a portable appliance as any electrical equipment which can or is intended, to be able to move around while attached to some sort of electrical power.'


Various equipment types are explained in the IEE Code of Practice:


Portable Appliance


  • Any electrical device of equal mass or less than 18kg that can be moved while in operation or any other equipment that can be moved to different places for example blender, vacuum cleaner, television, radio and many more.



Movable Equipment


  • Any electrical device of equal mass or less than 18 kg and not fixed, e.g. electric heater
  • Any equipment which can be moved and has wheels or other means to assist movement by the operator for example air conditioning unit.


Hand Held Equipment or Appliances


  • This portable equipment is intended to be held during use, for example hair straighter.


Stationary Equipment or Appliances


  • Any equipment that has a bigger mass of 18kg and cannot be carried around while in use for example refrigerator.


Fixed Equipment or Appliances


  • Any appliance which is fixed firmly to a support and otherwise safe in a exact position, for example bathroom heater.



Appliances or Equipment for Building


  • Any appliance that is intended to be installed in a prepared recess such as a storeroom. Usually the equipment has additional protection on the sides to prevent electrical shock for example built in electric cooker.


Information Technology Equipment


  • These equipments are equipments such as computers, mains powered telecommunication equipments and any other equipments for general business use, such as mail processing machines, photo copy machines.



Pat Testing or Portable Appliance Testing


Pat testing or portable appliance testing is an important part of any health & safety policy.

CSI website is intended as a guide to both the legal implications and to the technical requirements.

Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing. However, it is essential to understand that visual examination is an essential part of the process because some types of electrical safety defect can't be detected by testing alone.


A relatively brief user check (based upon simple training and perhaps assisted by the use of a brief checklist) can be a very useful part of any electrical maintenance regime. However, more formal visual inspection and testing by a competent person may also be required at appropriate intervals, depending upon the type of equipment and the environment in which it is used.

The Health & Safety Executive states that 25% of all reportable electrical accidents involve portable appliances. The Electricity at Work Regulations place a legal responsibility on employers, employees and self-employed persons to comply with the provisions of the regulations and take reasonably practicable steps to ensure that no danger results from the use of such equipment. This in effect requires the implementation of a systematic and regular program of maintenance, inspection and testing. The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) places such an obligation in the following circumstances:


  • Where appliances are used by employees.
  • Where the public may use appliances in establishments such as hospitals, schools, hotels, shops and etc.
  • Where appliances are supplied or hired.
  • Where appliances are repaired or serviced.


The level of inspection and testing required is dependant upon the risk of the appliance becoming faulty, which is in turn dependant upon the type of appliance, the nature of its use and the environment in which it is used.


Legal Requirements



The legislations of specific relevance to electrical maintenance are:


  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  • Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992



The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974



This regulation place the responsibility of care upon the employer and the employee. This would ensure that health and safety of all people using the place of work.


The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999



Every single employer must make sure sufficient and suitable measurement of:


  • Evaluate the risks to the H&S of his/her workforce to which they are exposed whilst at the work place.
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 has been taken into considerations.
  • Risks ensuring that H&S of person or people not in his employment such as sub contractors and general public arising out of or in relation with any work undertaken by himself or his undertaking.

All of the equipments should be maintained in an efficient manner and kept in a good working condition. Any repair must be done by a competent person. The above is the responsibility of the employer.


Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 covers almost all of the associated risks that may result from using work equipment. Taking into account the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 achieve compliances in respect to risks using electricity. 



The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 states


The regulation requires that employers and employees keep every system in a practicable working condition to prevent danger to themselves and any other person who comes into contact with the systems.


To prevent danger to any persons all of the systems and equipments must be maintained to the highest standard as reasonably possible.


By the word system the regulations means any electrical equipments that used electrical energy for a source.


An electrical equipment is a device that is used or intended to used to transmit, generate distribute or use electrical power.




Extent of the Legislation



It is clear that the combination of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 apply to all of the electrical equipment that are used in association with any places of work. The extent of the legislation covers the big systems to the smallest of electrical equipments. There is an immense requirement for having a routine inspection and testing done for all of the electrical equipments at the place of work.




Who is Responsible



Employer Legal Requirements


The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) requires, every employer to ensure that work equipment is suitable for the purpose for which it is provided, only used in the place and under the provisions for which it is provided. It also requires every employer to ensure work equipment be efficiently maintained and kept fit and suitable for its intended purpose. It must not be allowed to deteriorate in function or performance to such a level that it puts people at risk. This means that regular, routine and planned maintenance regimes must be considered if hazardous problems can arise.


Landlord Legal Requirements


Anyone who lets residential accommodation (such as houses, flats and bedsits, holiday homes, caravans and boats) as a business activity is required by law to ensure the equipment they supply as part of the tenancy is safe.

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 requires that all mains electrical equipment (cookers, washing machines, kettles, etc), new or second-hand, supplied with the accommodation must be safe. Landlords therefore need to regularly maintain the electrical equipment they supply to ensure it is safe.




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