PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing. It is also known as ISITEE which is In Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment. This is only applicable in a domestic premises if it is being rented or if a business is being run from home. Equipment will also need to tested if its used in other premises e.g. tradesperson’s hand tool battery chargers, a mobile hairdresser’s hairdryer etc;.
The Electricity at Work Regulations and HASAWA 1974 (Health and Safety at Work Act) place a legal responsibility on employers and self-employed persons to take reasonable practicable steps to ensure no danger results from the use of any electrical appliances. For the purposes of PAT, portable appliances are defined as devices that use electricity to perform a function which can be moved (i.e. not fixed in place permanently) such as laptop chargers, desktop computers, printers, fridges, battery chargers, power tools etc; Equipment/appliances which have been hard wired (i.e. no plug but connected to a fused connection unit) also come under the ‘portable’ umbrella so must be tested. The process is made up of various tests and a visual inspection and can confirm the electrical safety of the appliance. After inspection, a document will be provided confirming the items tested (make, model, serial number), test results and confirmation the appliance has passed.
This type of test is required annually. If I undertake testing to your appliances, I’ll contact you before the year is up to re-arrange attendance to ensure compliance.
It is now very common within Building, Employers’ and Public Liability Insurance policies that the Electricity at Work regulations and Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 are mentioned within their wording. Testing portable electrical equipment is considered part of both and if you are found in breach due to negligence, your insurance provider may turn down a claim.
More information can be found here on the HSE’s website (link opens in new window).