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Portable Appliance Testing


Most organisations are aware of the Electricity at Work Regulations (EWR) 1989 and the Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment which recommends that all portable appliances be tested periodically. This is commonly known as 'PAT testing' and although not a legal obligation it is recommended in the IEE (Institution of Engineering and Technology) Code Of Practice. However, it is a sensible practice which helps ensure a safe electrical working environment for employees. Injuries due to electrocution can be severe and sometimes fatal. In such an event the Health & Safety Executive may also take an interest and wish to see your PAT certificate.

The EWR require, in Regulation 4(2) that:
As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, such danger.

Barry holds City & Guilds Level 3 Certificates for the Management of Electrical Equipment Maintenance and also for the Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment and is therefore able to offer a comprehensive PAT service. Barry uses a Metrel OmegaPat MI2140 test instrument and laptop PC.

What does the test involve

The test really is quite useful, almost like an MOT. Although the first line of appliance checking is the user, a PAT check involves checking the appliances' cable, the plug and its internal wiring, the fuse rating, and finally the earth continuity and insulation.
  • If the cable is damaged beyond repair the appliance must be removed from service
  • If the plug is damaged and replaceable it will be replaced and the fuse checked Not all appliances require an earth check as many appliances these days do not need an earth as they are fully insulated against electric shock and only have two-core cable - these are known as Class II appliances.
    Any appliances with an earth conductor are known as Class I and must have the additional earth and insulation checks.

    The earth continuity test ensures that in the event of an earth leakage fault the current flows to earth and not through the body of the user. The insulation test ensures that current cannot flow from the live and neutral conductors to the user.

    Each appliance tested will be listed on a supplied register along with the test results. Appliances passing the test will be marked with a green sticker indicating date of retest and appliances rejected will be marked with a red sticker and reported to the person responsible who will be expected to take the item out of service.
    Electronic and hard copy certificates are supplied and are also securely archived.

    All situations accommodated - hotels, pubs, factories, offices, shops, clubs, entertainers, DJs etc.