Checking electrical equipment in the workplace for safety is a well-established practice, since the original edition of the IET code of practice was published in 1989.

The IET Code of Practice (COP) provides guidance on in-service inspection and testing to determine whether electrical equipment is fit for use.

So, what’s new?

The new 5th Edition of the Code of Practice is very different in structure to previous editions, adopting a more streamlined approach. It reinforces the intention of the 4th Edition, that the duty holder should consider the need for inspection and testing by assessing the risks to which the equipment is exposed. As well as focusing on the environment it is used in and the skill level of the user.

No more mobility classifications

fuse boxThis is a big change. The COP has removed equipment mobility classifications such as portable or fixed, with the idea being that unless equipment is covered by another inspection and testing regime, the COP will provide the necessary guidance for duty holders, regardless of how portable the equipment is.

Portable Appliance Testing or ‘PAT’ has always been the term commonly used for testing portable electrical equipment and appliances. But with the emphasis on inspection and testing all equipment, whether portable or otherwise, references to ‘PAT’ have been removed from the COP.

More user checks

The 5th Edition promotes greater application of ‘User Checks’ of electrical equipment. A Poster is included to help promote user checks in the workplace.

Guidance on the initial frequency of inspection and testing of equipment has been removed in favour of guidance on risk assessments. This means intervals between inspections will be more relevant to the environment in which the equipment is being used.

We are always up to date

Here at Equiptest we always ensure that we are up to date and fully understand the regulations and codes of practice that affect electrical testing. If you are unsure whether your property is complying with all the legislation, get in touch and we can help.