Every electrical appliance in the workplace must be maintained in a safe condition to meet the legal safety requirements, namely the Electricity at Work Regulations. Regulation 4(2) of these states, “As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, such danger”. With this in mind, keep reading to find out ‘is PAT Testing a legal requirement?’
A legal requirement?
PAT Testing itself is not a legal requirement; it’s a method used to identify if maintenance is required. It helps to identify defects that come with usage. However, The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will expect you to perform PAT testing to make sure that you are complying with certain regulations. Some of these include:
Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989, The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998 and The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999.
To ensure that all electrical equipment that is classified as ‘portable’ is safe for use, PAT testing is done. The legislation deems that any competent person can perform it by using a PAT instrument or tester.
What happens if I don’t comply?
Non compliance can result in fines up to £5,000 and/or six months in prison. Offences heard in the Crown Court have carried sentences of more than 2 years imprisonment and unlimited financial penalties. It is worth keeping these penalties in mind, because PAT Testing is not legally required but could save you a lot of money and time. PAT testing is a critical part of your company’s health and safety and should be considered part of a solution to your safety concerns. It is also recommended that you keep an up to date EICR.
What’s an EICR?
An Electrical Installation Condition Report identifies any damage, deterioration, defects and/or conditions which may give rise to danger along with observations for which improvement is recommended. It is strongly advised to keep an up-to-date EICR at your premises to keep you right. Homeowners often ask for, or obtain a condition report as part of a house sale to keep them in the loop. It is recommended to carry out an EICR every 10 years, or when there is a change in occupancy.
PAT Testing itself isn’t a legal requirement, however, in order to avoid violations of the laws surrounding electrical appliances, it is in your best interests to have these performed. Contact us today to discuss testing for your premises.
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