As many of you know, the old adage that PAT testing must be carried out annually is a myth that has been spread by bad PAT testing companies looking to make more money out of you. Some businesses will test many of their items annually, some may be bound by a tenancy or lease agreement that specifies when to test the items. Many business will not have the luxury of such fixed rules, and the latest recommendation from the IET is to take a ‘risk assessment’ based approach to PAT test frequencies. How is a business owner or safety manager, with limited knowledge in this area supposed to make an informed judgement?
The IET publish their recommendations as to how often to re-test with each revision of their code of practice, and we’ve included that on our website for you here. These recommendations are to be used as a starting point for your risk assessment. From there, take each group of items you have, PCs, kettles, extension leads etc, and take the following items into consideration, and increase or decrease the frequency as required.
PAT Testing Risk Assessment – 10 Point Plan
1. Type of equipment – (Stationary, Information Technology, Portable, Moveable, Handheld).
2. Style of use – (infrequent, constant, rough).
3. Age of equipment.
4. Is the equipment moved or transported anywhere and by what means?
5. Type and competence of personnel using the equipment.
6. Environment of usage (outdoors, construction sites, hazardous atmospheres etc).
7. Results of previous test – if a particularly large number of appliances failed or required repair it might be worth increasing frequency until issues are solved.
8. Any recommendations by the manufacturer.
9. Effect of any modifications/repairs to the item.
10. Likelihood of user-checks taking place – many business we test put these in place with the best intentions, but the reality is they do get overlooked in many cases.