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Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)


When people work with electrical appliances, legislation specifies that the appliance must be safe in order to prevent harm to workers. Many types of equipment require regular testing to ensure safety. The interval between tests depends upon the type of appliance and the environment it is used in.

What has to have a PAT test?
To satisfy various safety laws, safety and evidence of routine maintenance of all hand-held, portable and plug all portable appliances with a mains plug need testing. This includes:

  • Computer equipment
  • Audio and telephone equipment
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Extension leads
  • Vending machines

How do I know if something has been PAT tested?
Evidence of testing should be clearly visible to workers in the form of ‘Passed’, ‘Tested For Electrical Safety’ and ‘DO NOT USE after’ labels affixed to the electrical equipment they use.

How often should a PAT test be conducted?
The interval between tests depends upon the type of appliance and the environment it is used in. Best practice recommendation for office environments and low risk environments would be every 2-3 years. Other working environments may need to PAT tests as often as every 6 months depending on likely risk exposure.

Who is responsible for portable appliance testing?
Ultimately the employer – but the daily arrangements may be delegated to line managers. PAT testing must be conducted by a competent person with the relevant PAT testing equipment.

PAT Testing Reports & Certificates
After testing you will be issued with a safety certificate and a detailed report that provides information on each individual item. All items that pass the inspection & testing will be labelled with a safety sticker and a unique barcode number. For the busy facilities manager, PAT testing can also double –up as a way of creating a company assets register.

We use PAT equipment to test both 230V and 110V appliances. All our testing is conducted accordance with The Institute of Electrical Engineers’ (IEE) code of practice.



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