Portable Appliance Testing

Portable Appliance testing can be used as part of a maintenance regime for portable electrical equipment. The recommended cyclical testing is detailed in the Electrical Engineers Code of Practice for in-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment. This service is available from Epica upon request whether it is on site or on your premises.

While there is no specific statement of requirement of portable appliance testing, such testing ensures compliance with some pieces of legislation, including; The Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, The Management of Health Safety at Work Regulations 1999, The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

Portable appliance testing must be carried out by a competent person. In addition to a formal visual inspection specialised electrical test instruments are used to test for things such as earth bonding, insulation strength, touch current, leakage current, substitute leakage current and functional tests.

Portable appliance testing is not only for construction but for equipment found in schools, hotels, offices, shops, industrial areas, kitchens, etc.

What Epica charge for PAT testing

The minimum charge for PAT testing is £52.50 (which covers the PAT testing of up to 30 items) – Epica charge on a scale that works out cheaper the more appliances that are tested:

  • 31 to 50 items is charged at £1.75 per item
  • 51 to 100 items is charged at £1.50 per item
  • 101-200 items or more is charged at £1.25 per item
  • 200 items or more is charged at £1.00 per item
  • 3phase items are charged at £2.55 per item

Risk based testing in accordance with the IET Code of Practice. City and Guilds qualified, CRB cleared engineer with over 30 years experience in the electronics industry. Testing of 415v, 240v and 110v equipment and 16Amp stage equipment can be carried out.

  • All prices quoted would be inclusive of:
  • Free plug and fuse changes (within reason),
  • Free microwave leakage testing,
  • A full report available. Reports are available electronically on request.

Equipment on hire?  What to do?

Epica strongly recommend that equipment suppliers formally inspect and test the equipment before each hire, in order to ensure it is safe to use. The person hiring the equipment should also take appropriate steps to ensure it remains safe to use throughout the hire period.

Why Is PAT Testing Important?

The health and safety at work etc. Act 1974 puts a duty of care on both employers and employees to ensure the safety of all persons using the premises.

The management of Health and safety at work regulations requires every employer shall make suitable and sufficient assessment of:

  • The risks to health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work, and
  • The risks to the Health and Safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking.

The Provision and use of work equipment regulations 1992
Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is so constructed or adapted as to be suitable for the purpose for which it is provided.

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 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

The best way to reduce your PAT bill is to implement a simple disposal policy of redundant electrical goods throughout your site. It is usually the old ‘spare’ appliances which have a greater risk of being faulty due to obvious wear and tear reasons. By disposing of these electrical items, you not only free up valuable storage space but you also reduce the number of items being tested for safety, thereby reducing your bill significantly.
It is generally accepted that brand new items are classed as safe for the first year of use in a normal working environment. However, it’s a good idea to test all new items so as to create an accurate asset register of your electrical equipment. Ensure you liaise with your testing engineer and if possible, mark any new equipment by attaching a clearly written label to the appliance prior to the testing process as this will also reduce your total bill.
You may be surprised to know that you may not need all of your appliances testing every 12months. It is a generally accepted industry standard for appliances to be retested after 12months, construction every 3 months. However, it is not an absolute requirement, if in doubt check with Epica today!
The extra low voltage item can’t be more dangerous at any time than, for example, an iPod or child’s battery powered toy. In effect, the power supply and its high voltage lead do need to be regularly tested but the extra low voltage appliance does not.
You can get it done in-house but this often causes undue pressure on personnel. You should ensure that whoever you appoint to carry out the inspections are suitably qualified, competent and diligent to the task. The test machines should be industry standard and calibrated annually. Formal records of all tests should also be kept.

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