We often get asked about the legal requirements of PAT testing and the ramifications of not conducting regular PAT testing for your business.The reason we get asked about this so much is that the legislation can often be confusing. In fact there are no direct legal requirements for you to complete PAT testing.
You are required to legally comply with the following legislation. Your insurance company will want to know you comply as well.
- The Health and Safety at Work Act
- The Electricity at Work Regulations Act
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations Act
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
None of these articles specifically state that you must test your electrical equipment on a regular basis.
What the Law actually requires
The law requires that all electrical equipment is maintained to safe standards. You don’t allow undue wear and tear, you address faulty equipment and maintain equipment to the highest health and safety standards possible.
Failure to do so can result in heavy fines and imprisonment. Fines are often £5000 or more and can come with a 6 month prison sentence if the company or individuals are found to have acted negligently.
Why PAT Testing is still the answer
Whilst not a legal requirement, Portable Electrical Testing is still the easiest way to ensure your machinery, tools and appliances remain legally compliant. Whilst you can service and maintain equipment yourself without adequate record keeping, and some form of standardised documentation, it can be difficult to demonstrate that you have sufficiently met your legal health and safety obligations. This is the crux of why it gets so confusing for companies trying to understand whether PAT testing is or isn’t a legal requirement!
How frequently should you test?
The frequency of testing is also brought into confusion with the rambling legislation. You are legally required to maintain equipment to a safe standard.
For power tools, heavy machinery or manufacturing equipment used continuously a safe standard might be every month, or every few months depending on the industry.
For a lamp in an office or a monitor in a meeting room this might be every 2 years.
The frequency of testing should be determined by the frequency of its use, its exposure to “rough” or “heavy” use and its actual uses and risk factor. For example a power tool is significantly higher risk than a lamp. At least we’d hope it is!
Equiptest PAT Testing
We can provide full PAT testing at your premises and also provide you with a detailed assessment of your actual needs, thus providing you with a clear structure of when specific equipment should be tested.
We will also provide you with full documentation for all the items tested so that you can have peace of mind regarding your legal health and safety electrical obligations. This protects your business against any potential claims and ensures your insurance will remain valid in terms of electrical equipment.