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What is Portable Appliance Testing?

Electrical equipment is commonplace in all our lives these days and no matter whether we are at home or in in the workplace it is likely that we will use some form of electrical device. In the home most of us just take for granted that our electrical devices are safe to use as long as they are still working, but in a public place or company building this is not the case. All electrical devices in places such as schools, restaurants, and office buildings need to be tested to ensure they meet the required level of safety, and this is where Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) comes in.

Portable Appliance Testing is something that should be carried out on a regular basis throughout the company. It is not a requirement by law to do this because the law simply states that employers have a duty to ensure that the equipment is safe for use, it does not state that the PAT testing has to be done or how often. It is in the employer’s best interest to have their electrical equipment tested regularly though because, amongst other things, this will give the peace of mind that there are no pieces of dangerous electrical equipment being used.

The testing should be carried out by a trained individual. It is a relatively simple test and these days there are devices that are sold to the public that enable anyone to carry out the test. With that said however, in a professional environment it is better to use a professionally trained person. They will use a combination of visual assessments and testing equipment to ensure that the electrical devices meet the required standards. If the devices pass then a sticker will be placed on it to show that it has passed and what date it passed. This makes it easy to monitor testing and determine when to schedule another round of Portable Appliance Testing.