Portable Appliance Testing (PAT Testing) is an important part of a Company’s health & safety policy. It involves the routine examination and testing of all electrical appliances within a company to make sure it is fully compliant with regulations and is not dangerous to employees. This is carried out by a qualified competent engineer.
The Health & Safety Executive states that 25% of all reportable electrical accidents involve portable appliances. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 place a legal responsibility on employers, employees and self-employed persons to comply with the regulations and take steps to ensure that no danger results from the use of such equipment. This requires the implementation of a systematic and routine program of maintenance, inspection and testing.
Most Electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some can only be found via testing. Both of these classes of equipment are required to be PAT Tested:
- Class 1 includes appliances that are single insulated and have an earth connection.
- Class 2 includes appliances that do not have exposed metal work and are double insulated.
The PAT Testing itself involves testing Earth Resistance, Earth Continuity, Insulation Resistance and Polarity.