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Is PAT testing a legal requirement?

Portable appliance testing (PAT) is a routine process which involves checking the electrical safety of portable appliances at work. Portable appliances are classed as portable if they have a plug and are carried or moved from place to place (so this would include things like extension leads).

To comply with the law, you’ll need to arrange for your appliances to be checked regularly by a qualified electrician – how often depends on the risk factors of each item. For example, high-risk items such as drills and other tools that get used a lot should be checked at least annually. Low-risk items such as a kettle might only require checking every four years.

Is PAT testing a legal requirement?

Yes, PAT testing is a legal requirement that came into force in January 2005 and has been in effect ever since.

Portable appliances are plugged in and so they have an electric current running through them, but they aren’t permanently connected to the main electricity supply.

For example, a kettle is a portable appliance as it connects via an adapter to an electric cable and can be moved around easily by workers in offices or factories etc., whereas something like an oven would not be considered portable because it doesn’t connect directly to the mains supply.

How often do you carry out PAT testing?

The legal requirement for carrying out PAT testing on your equipment depends on how often you use it.

If you use your electrical items more than once every four weeks then they need PAT testing every two years; if you use them less than once every four weeks then they only need PAT testing once per decade (ten years).

The Health and Safety Executive’s Code of Practice on in-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment covers the specifics of this.

Find a PAT tester near you

So, is PAT testing a legal requirement? Yes. It’s an essential part of your business’s electrical safety, so if you don’t already have a regular testing schedule in place it’s time to start looking into it now!

If you’re in Stockport or the North West, get in touch with our team at Brooktech Maintenance today to schedule PAT testing or to discuss your needs further.

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