How often should PAT testing be carried out?
How often should PAT testing be done? PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) testing is an essential preventative measure that companies and HMO landlords carry out on anything deemed to be using electricity. By having a PAT test inspection done, you are ensuring appliances are safe for use and comply with all legal regulations, maintaining your business as a safe place to work and visit.
Having a PAT test carried out does offer many benefits for companies and employers alike. Amidst the hectic running of a business, you may ask the question ‘how often should PAT testing be done’ as the recommendations for differing industries means guidelines can vary. To assist you, we have written this helpful blog to cover all things PAT testing related.
The need for maintaining portable appliance testing
Simply put, having a valid PAT test certificate stands you and your business in good stead from a health and safety standpoint. Having a PAT test carried out does offer many benefits for companies and employers alike. It goes without saying that many accidents occur in the workplace every year, whether there are food or drink spillages on equipment, or problems with faulty appliances.
Although it is not technically a legal requirement, organisations implement procedures requiring a PAT test certificate to be obtained on a frequent basis. As the safety and wellbeing of employees is the responsibility of the company, it would be unwise to risk an injury to a colleague or visitor in the event of an accident involving electrical equipment.
Ensuring all your appliances are safe and have passed a PAT test will eradicate the potential for any unwanted risks or hazards.
How often should PAT testing be carried out on equipment?
There is no definitive figure or frequency as to when a PAT test is required, this is usually down to the type of company and industry you work within. Ultimately, there is great variation in working environments and the equipment that is used in sectors will define how frequent PAT testing is recommended.
Be sure to evaluate all aspects of importance within your workplace and what needs to be considered for PAT testing. Invariably, the elements you consider as prominent will inform how frequently you will need to obtain a valid PAT test certificate.
Some of the elements you need to think about but are not limited to are things such as the type of installation method. Also, ensuring you have testing and maintenance records that are valid and easily accessible is key. Consider if you have some equipment that is hired through an external third party, as you may be unsure on how rigorous the prior testing has been on these items.
The frequency of how often your electrical equipment is used is one of the biggest indicators for PAT testing frequency. Depending on the nature of your workplace, some equipment may be used sporadically, whereas in an office setting for example, it is likely that a lot of electrical equipment is used on a daily basis.
Having data logged on all your electronic equipment is useful. This makes it easier to locate the correct information and by having it stored in a centralised place, it is more accessible for your organisation should this need to be reported on or disseminated to colleagues.
Class 1 and Class 2 Appliances
The classification of the equipment and type are important factors to consider for PAT testing. Ordinarily, appliances are categorised as either Class 1 or Class 2. Below, we’ll explain the difference for each.
What is the difference between Class 1 and Class 2 appliances?
Both Class 1 and Class 2 appliances run from mains voltage but require PAT tests, although there is a slight adjustment to how they are tested.
A PAT test will check both appliances to ensure that at least two levels of protection are recorded to the end user. The PAT test will check that both levels are working in accordance with standard safety protocols.
- Class 1 appliances are usually defined as fridges, toasters or microwaves. The checks required for this type of appliance are to ensure users are protected by a combination of basic insulation and that an earth provision is in place.
- Whereas, Class 2 appliances relate to technical equipment, such as computers, televisions, or photocopiers. These should demonstrate ‘double insulation’ as part of PAT testing requirements.
However, these two strands can be further segmented by the types of equipment. This is equally important, as the weight and consistency of a product needs to be considered.
Frequency recommendations for PAT testing
Below we have compiled a list of the recommendations for PAT testing frequency, determined by type of equipment and the relevant sector.
Offices and Shops
- Class 1 equipment (or any general IT equipment) should be tested every 12 months.
- Portable equipment such as extension leads should be tested every 12 months.
- Any general equipment that is classed as handheld, transported or used more frequently should be tested every 12 months. This is due to an increased risk of damage.
- For construction, this is much more frequent, and can be as often as every 3 months.
- Industrial sites including commercial kitchens should have their portable and handheld equipment tested as often as every 6 months.
- For other stationary, movable or IT equipment, it is recommended to test every 12 months.
Arrange your PAT test with UK Safety Management
If you require PAT testing and are looking for a reliable, reputable company to do this, UK Safety Management can help you.
Ensuring all electrical safety within your workplace is good practice for your business and will help maximise the safety of your equipment, your building and most importantly, help safeguard your employees and visitors. To ensure complete electrical safety, we also offer fixed wire testing services, ensuring your electrical system is safe and compliant.
Plus, to ensure fire safety in your premises, we also offer fire extinguisher testing, making sure your fire safety equipment is in optimal condition.
We have a depth of knowledge and experience across all our services. So, why not get in touch today and discuss this further with our friendly, professional team.