Pat Testing Legal Requirement and Legislation

Pat testing legal requirements

A lot of confusion surrounds the current PAT testing legal requirement and legislation.

Here’s What You Need to Know

The law states that you must maintain all electrical equipment if it has the potential to cause danger.

However, it does not stipulate how this must be done or how often.

This is left down to the employer to make an assessment of how often equipment must be maintained and tested according to the risk of the item becoming damaged or dangerous through use.

PAT testing legal requirement and legislation.Portable Appliance Testing online training.
PAT testing legal requirement and legislation. Office Health & safety online training

Pat Testing

Things to consider when making an assessment might include:

The environment in which the equipment is used (Harsh or otherwise)

How likely it is to become damaged?

Is the equipment being used correctly?

Is the equipment suitable for the task?

Pat testing requirements

The requirement for pat testing applies to any electrical equipment supplied by you for your employees to use, or any equipment belonging to your employees that they are using within their work role.

It also extends to equipment that is leased or rented, and also equipment provided by a contractor (but not where it is owned and used by the contractor exclusively).

Pat testing rules | Does everything require a full electrical test?

No, not necessarily.

Certain items that are static, for example a radio on a window ledge or other low use low risk items may just need a visual inspection and an awareness of potential hazards. This would include a visual inspection of the body of the appliance to check for signs of damage, cracks, overheating, a damaged flex or plug. Where possible look inside the plug to ensure the wires are tight and secure with a suitable cord grip.

Other more heavily used items such as a vacuum cleaner, kettle or microwave for example would be subject to a more thorough check and an electrical test, though not necessarily every year.

Again, it is down to an assessment from the employer as to the environment surrounding the equipment.

The important thing to remember is that you have some sort of system in place for the periodic PAT testing of your equipment based on circumstances and usage.

For downloadable information from the HSE regarding Portable Appliance Testing, please visit our Knowledge Base.

And last but not least

We all have a role to play in effective health and safety, and for those actively involved in promoting safe working practices it can be a rewarding, interesting and varied role.

Please visit this site often where you will find a growing number of articles, resources, advice and opinion.

Whether you are a seasoned health and safety professional, or just getting started, we value your opinions and input so please feel free to comment on any of the posts.

Due to the ever-changing nature of regulations and the law, please visit for the very latest information and updates.

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