Why is PAT testing so important?

For any business owner, ensuring the health and safety of your people and premises is fundamental. There are roughly 22,000 workplace fires every single year in the UK, and around a third of these are caused by faulty electrical appliances. Yet, while many businesses have safety procedures in place in the event of a fire, many overlook the importance of portable appliance testing (PAT) as an effective method of prevention. In this blog we explore what PAT testing involves, why it is so important and the benefits it offers.

 

What is PAT testing?

PAT, or Portable Appliance Testing, is the process of testing electrical appliances to ensure they are fully functional and not faulty. It involves the inspection of the appliances, cables and plugs to confirm everything is in good working order and safe to use. The recommended frequency for PAT testing depends on your type of business and the appliances you have, but it should be between two to four years. A professional will be able to advise you of how regular your checks should be.

The types of appliances you might have in your workplace that require PAT testing fall broadly into the following categories:

· Fixed appliances – these are connected to the electricity supply, such as ovens and hand dryers.

· Stationery appliances – appliances that cannot be easily moved and are usually large and bulky, such as fridges and air conditioning units.

· IT equipment – any piece of computer equipment that uses electricity as well as networking equipment like routers, servers, printers, and any power cables.

· Portable appliances – smaller appliances that can be easily transported between places, for example, kettles and toasters.

 

The benefits of PAT testing

In a worst-case scenario, a fire in the workplace can cause injury and damage to your property, which can have serious financial implications for your business. One of the best ways to reduce the risk is through prevention. Ensuring your electrical appliances are regularly checked and maintained through PAT testing means you can ensure you’re doing everything you can to protect your people and property.

Regular PAT testing is also important to comply with UK safety standards. Although testing is not a legal requirement, the Electricity at Work Regulations states all electrical equipment be maintained in a “safe condition”, and the Health & Safety at Work Act specifies the employer is responsible for the safety of anyone on their premises. Acting within these guidelines is best practice and means in the event of injury or fire you are likely to be viewed more favourably if you need to make an insurance claim.

A further benefit is the practicality of discovering any electrical faults before they become a problem. Any equipment you use on a regular basis is likely to carry the biggest risk of breaking down or going wrong, but it is also what you rely on most heavily. PAT testing can pick up any issues and give you a chance to repair or replace your equipment, before it breaks down and you’re left without it completely.

Even if you think your electrical appliances are safe for use, regular PAT testing can bring you surety and peace of mind, so you can focus on running your business.

 

How can we help?

JELACO’s expert engineers are on hand to help you maintain the highest safety standards in your workplace. Our team of multi-skilled professionals allows us to offer cost-effective packages, so whether you just need PAT testing, or want a complete overhaul of your fire safety equipment, in one location or across multiple sites, we tailor our services to suit your requirements. Get in touch to talk through your requirements.