Portable Appliance Testing: A Short Guide from Derby Firelec

Safety is an integral concern for any workplace. This is particularly true if you have a high-risk workplace. Manufacturing floors, warehouses, packing areas, etc may contain appliances and machines that may malfunction at any time injuring workers and causing serious workplace related problems. It may be difficult for the company to take every appliance to a testing centre to standardise it and ensure that it is within normal parameters.

Enter Derby Firelec Portable Appliance Testing

Derby Firelec, UK’s leading safety and security solutions provider offers portable appliance testing services. This is an easy way to test appliances at location by expert independent staff, to ensure that they are safe to use.

The law requires that PAT testers are 2377–22 City and Guilds qualified to ensure they do a good job. If you don’t know how to proceed, we recommend you hire a professional PAT tester from us at www.derbyfirelec.com.

We are a professional safety firm with years of experience in PAT Testing. Get in touch with us and a qualified account manager will help you identify your requirements and match them to the correct personnel. Read on for a short guide to PAT or Portable Appliance Testing to show you what can be done.

What is Portable Appliance Testing?

The entire process of portable appliance testing refers to the periodic checking of any electrical appliance and equipment to ensure that they are safe for use.

Evolution of PAT

Earlier, company personnel tested their own equipment but an in-house testing procedure could be variable and staff might not be experienced enough to test the appliance completely. In-house staff would also just visually examine the appliances and machines to detect simple defects.

However, just a visual examination was not enough and electrical safety defects were not usually visible to the naked eye. As a result, it became quite essential to have an independent testing contractor or firm evaluating the functioning and safety of machines and assessing them for use.

To ensure that all companies and workplaces followed this regulation, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 was passed. This regulation requires all workplaces to hire an independent contractor to check and verify all electrical equipments. All electrical equipment that could cause injury now need regular maintenance checks.

The exact type of maintenance and frequency for maintenance is not specified but workplaces are encouraged to follow regular maintenance procedures. Private houses are not covered under this law but householders who have rented out their property are.

When Is PAT Required?

Testing is recommended when employees have to handle electrical appliances on a day-to-day basis, when customers have to use the same appliance regularly, when electrical goods are sold or hired for temporary use and when appliances are repaired and set up for worker use.

How Is Testing Carried Out?

The exact process of testing is quite varied. However, the basic principle for all electrical appliances is that it should offer two levels of protection- earthing and insulation.

Electrical appliances are tested visually and through several testing appliances to ensure that they are functioning effectively and are completely safe.

  • User checks like visually inspecting the appliance for visual damage like frayed power cables, cracked plugs, etc. These small damages should be recorded and reported to a supervisor for immediate repair. User checks can be carried out by anyone and they are usually done before using the appliance.
  • Approved store staffs do formal visual inspections and it can catch almost 90% of all defects in the appliances.
  • Combined inspections and PAT testing can be done periodically to ensure that the appliance is up to code. A professional from Derby Firelec can do this and the date of inspection is noted on the appliance and on office records for the company.

A planned regime of testing is recommended particularly if you or your workers use the appliances regularly. The tested appliance should be checked and the date should be noted on the device. In case retesting is required, the equipment should not be used until retesting is complete. Ideally, the tester or inspector will determine the frequency of testing depending on the nature of use, frequency of use and the working environment.

Why Derby Firelec for PAT

Although an in-office staff member can do the electrical machine testing, it is a far better idea to hire an independent testing agency to do the job. At Derby Firelec, we train our inspectors in almost every type of PAT testing and they are qualified to test and approve every appliance for use.

Get in touch with us at Derby Firelec and we will be happy to help you ensure workplace safety to the best of our abilities.

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Sun - 10AM - 5.30PM
Call: 01204 395 525
           01204 395 526
           0845 894 5082

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