PAT Testing (Portable Appliance Testing) is a rigorous, specialised check and audit of the portable electrical appliances that are used by a company, office building or sometimes within the home.
Carrying out PAT Testing not only protects and maintains the individual appliances that are checked but also adds to the safety of anyone who may use the tested appliances by helping prevent electrical accidents.
PAT Testing often involves the completion of several different tests on each appliance, beginning with a visual inspection of the appliance, as well as Earth Continuity Testing, Insulation Resistance Testing and Protective Conductor/ Touch Current Testing.
PAT Testing will usually require sophisticated equipment and a trained individual to carry out the checks but this depends on the size of building, the number of appliances to be checked and the level at which the PAT Test is carried out.
No company or household is legally obliged to conduct PAT Testing, however in certain circumstances insurance policies can be invalidated if appliances are not covered by a regular check. Businesses are expected to observe and follow the Electricity At Work Regulations (1989). Making sure regular PAT Testing is carried out will help ensure a company adheres to these regulations.
Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in an unlimited fine for companies and the individuals responsible for Health and Safety within companies can face up to two years in prison.