Q) What is PAT (Portable Appliance Tesing)?
A) A PAT test is a routine inspection of some types of electrical appliance to check they are safe to use. Its purpose is to prevent electrical accidents in the workplace.
Q) Is PAT a legal requirement?
A) The Government has put regulations into place that pertain to the maintenance of electrical appliances and the most effective way to ensure that these regulations are met is through PAT testing.
The UK Health and Safety Executive along with insurance companies will expect you to perform PAT testing to ensure that you are compliant with certain regulations including:
Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999
Not complying with the above mentioned regulations can result in fines up to £5,000 and/or six months imprisonment. Fines have been seen to go as high as £20,000 and offences heard in the Crown Court have carried sentences of more than 2 years imprisonment in additional to unlimited financial penalties. So even though PAT testing itself is not legally required, it simply helps you to protect yourself by ensuring that you are complying with these regulations.
Q) What appliances need testing?
A) If you have an appliance that has a plug that is intended to be connected to a wall socket or generator, it qualifies as needing to be PAT tested. This can include items such as electric drills, monitors, printers, PCs, kettles and larger items like photocopiers, vending machines and others.
Q) Do rental properties need PAT testing?
A) It is a requirement for all HMO landlords to conduct annual PAT tests on all electrical appliances within the property. Private landlords currently have no obligations to conduct PAT testing within the properties.