10 PAT Testing misconceptions busted

PAT Testing misconceptions

PAT Testing isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity to keep your electrical equipment in check and, more importantly, your employees safe.

With every requirement comes a set of misconceptions though, so, in this blog, we’ll aim to bust some common PAT Testing myths.

1. Toaster checks

Lots of PAT Testing businesses will claim that things like toasters need to be inspected every 12 months, but that’s not strictly true. Generally, every two years is a good timeframe to stick to for PAT Testing, and that’s no different for your toasters.

2. Train the tester

Signing up to a half day ‘train the tester’ course and buying your own kit isn’t a suitable way of keeping up with your PAT Testing responsibilities. PAT Testing should be done by a competent person – so that’s someone with the right experience, attitude and skills for the job.

That’s not to say you can’t book on to a course, but if you do, make sure it’s with an accredited company, like Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) – City & Guilds (2377-22) and (2377 -32), and that you’re 100% confident you fit the bill of a ‘competent person’.

3. The equipment itself

Often, people tend to forget that the PAT Testing equipment itself needs maintaining too. If you own PAT Testing equipment, it should be calibrated on an annual basis and, again, this needs to be done by a competent person. This can come at a cost and normally takes around five days to come full circle, but you can’t put a price on safety, right!

4. For the love of labels

If someone tries telling you that there’s a legal requirement to label all your equipment once it’s been inspected or tested, and try to charge you extra for it, run. Oh, and the same applies to people who say the law stipulates that you keep records of these activities.

There’s nothing to say that labelling or record-keeping are legal must-haves, but it might be worth doing them anyway to make it easier to keep your management, maintenance and reviewal processes simpler.

5. New equipment

If you’ve bought brand new electrical equipment, it doesn’t need PAT Testing for the first two years –  unless, of course, your visual checks flag any concerns.

6. It’s one or the other

A common misconception is that visual checks aren’t needed if you’re up-to-date with your PAT Testing – nope, that’s not right. Visual electric checks play an important role in the day-to-day maintenance of your electrical appliances, and employees should be encouraged to give any items a once over before putting it to use.

7. Battery-operated electricals

If you’ve got any battery operated electrical equipment on-site, they don’t need any form of visual checks or PAT Testing – so don’t be fooled if someone says otherwise!

8. Contractor confusion

Hiring a contractor to conduct your PAT Testing doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. When it comes to complying with the law, the buck stops with the duty holder, which is why it’s so important that you choose a reliable third party, that you have complete confidence in.

9. Risk assessments

“If you stick to regular PAT Testing, you don’t need to risk assess your electrical equipment”. Wrong. Risk assessments exist to identify risks – and subsequently remove, reduce or control them, and they’re absolutely needed alongside PAT tests.

10. Outside equipment

Just because the electrical equipment doesn’t belong to the business, it doesn’t mean you can turn a blind eye. If you let employees bring in their own items (like an electric heater, kettle or fan, for example), you may need to include them in your maintenance plans.

Need any more myths busting?

Here at Citation, we take a no-nonsense approach to all areas of Health & Safety. Whether it’s PAT Testing, risk assessments, method statements or accident reporting – and everything else in between, we give it to you straight.

We also offer a robust and reliable PAT Testing service, to help you keep your appliances tip-top all year round. For more information on our PAT Testing service, get in touch with our dedicated Additional Services Team on 0345 241 5250 or additionalservices@citation.co.uk.

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