PAT testing is the routine testing or inspection of certain types of electrical appliance to make sure that they are safe to use. The main purpose of London PAT testing is preventing electrical accidents from happening in the workplace. For a PAT test certificate to be issued, full visual inspection along with a more in-depth checking and testing with specialist PAT equipment must be done, hence ensuring a complete inspection of portable appliances. PAT testing in London includes insulation resistance checks, earth continuity, and lead polarity tests although some appliances need only a reduced form of the test known as the PAT insulation test.
At the end of every PAT testing, the appliances tested must be marked as passed or failed and a record of the results must ideally be generated. This said, not all electrical appliances require PAT testing. Portable Appliance Testing is a compliance requirement although current legislation doesn’t have a definition of what portable appliance covers. The standard interpretation for the term is any appliance with a plug attached to it and can be plugged into a wall outlet—this is also why the world “portable” in PAT test can be somewhat misleading.
There are 7 general categories of appliances that must be considered for PAT testing in London. These categories include fixed appliances, stationary appliances, movable appliances, IT appliances, cables and chargers, hand held appliances, and portable appliances. PAT testing per se isn’t a legal obligation, although laws do state that businesses should maintain all electrical equipment within the workplace in safe working condition. The legal responsibility of business owners to ensure employees’ safety, therefore extends to keeping their equipment and appliances safe from electrical hazards and obtaining a PAT test certificate is one of the best and most effective ways to do so. This is especially true in the case of high risk and complex working environments.