Are you a business owner? If so, have you booked your business in for its all-important PAT test yet?
If you’ve never heard of the process of Portable Appliance Testing (PAT tests) before, you could be inadvertently skipping one of the most important regular checks for businesses of all sizes to take part in.
Here’s a little more about what exactly a PAT test is and whether or not your business needs one.
What Is A PAT Test?
PAT tests are an inspection carried out at businesses of all kinds and sizes across the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, and they are designed to keep you, your employees and customers safe around the electrical equipment and appliances used by your business every day.
A PAT test is completed using a series of different checks, both visual and more practical. The first test that will be completed is a visual inspection of the appliance, both with the appliance itself and the wires, plugs and electrical packs used to power it, in which the person completing the PAT test will check for any visual signs of damage or anything that may affect the safety and good working order of the appliance. Such signs that the appliance is not fit for use include exposed wiring and loose parts. In many cases, 90% of appliance faults can be found during this part of the process.
After that, the inspector carrying out the PAT test will often switch on the appliance to briefly test that it is in good working order. Any appliance which passes the test will usually be marked with a sticker, clarifying that the appliance has passed the PAT test, the date that the PAT test was carried out and the date that the next PAT test is due.
All electrical appliances at a business should be PAT tested, whether they are used only by employees or not. If it uses electricity in any way, it needs to be included in your regular PAT test.
Do I Need A PAT Test?
While PAT testing itself is not currently required by law, business owners ensuring the safety of the electrical appliances used at their business is. PAT testing is recognised by the UK Health and Safety Executive as the most effective way to do this, so it’s widely expected for business owners to organise a PAT test around every two years.
Breaking the UK Health and Safety Executive regulations can result in fines to business owners of up to £5,000 or can result in up to six months in prison, so it’s highly recommended that business owners have PAT tests carried out regularly to demonstrate the level of care and attention that they give to ensuring the safety of electrical appliances.
Whatever kind of business you run, you are liable to ensure that any kind of electrical appliances are fully safe to use, meaning that you could find yourself in hot water should an accident involving an electrical appliance occur and you are unable to provide proof that the appliance was, to your knowledge, safe to use. In this sense, PAT tests are a government-recognised way of demonstrating that appliances have been subject to checks and monitoring to ensure they are safe for the use of employees and customers.
All electrical appliances can be checked during a PAT test, both stationary (IT equipment, cookers, etc.) and mobile (radios, vacuum cleaners, etc.), so a PAT test is also an incredibly thorough way to ensure that all the electrical equipment used by your business is up to scratch.
If you are a business owner and are yet to have a PAT test or have not had a PAT test completed within the last two years, it’s highly recommended that you book one as soon as possible to avoid trouble further down the line and ensure the safety of yourself, your employees and your customers.
Here at TNS Electrical, PAT testing is just one of the many great commercial services that we offer. Each and every one of our PAT tests is carried out responsibly and thoroughly, giving you the peace of mind that all your business’ electrical appliances are up to standard and that you are doing all you can to keep your business safe for all.
Call us today and book your PAT test with us here at TNS Electrical Services.