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What requires testing?

How often is testing required?

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:: How often is testing required?

There are no absolute rules regarding the frequency of P.A.T Testing an item of electrical equipment. HSE Guidance Notes, which advised regular testing were generally interpreted as a requirement for annual testing, however, circumstances and conditions of use will vary

In not specifying a specific time interval, but saying ‘regular testing’ the HSE appreciate that different situations require different measures in order to meet the requirement that the danger is prevented.

For instance a kettle frequently used in a busy staff area would require more attention than a server locked away in a computer room.

“Approved Engineers” will be able to advise on the frequency of testing from their own experience and discussions with the user or duty holder regarding the lifestyle of the equipment.

In accessing frequency the duty holder would consider such aspects as:

  • The environment - equipment installed in a benign environment will suffer less damage than equipment in an arduous environment
  • Users - if the users report damage as and when it becomes evident, hazards will be avoided. Conversely, if equipment is likely to receive unreported abuse, more frequent inspection and testing is required
  • The equipment construction - the safety of a Class 1 appliance is dependant upon a connection with earth of the electrical installation. If the flexible cable is damaged the connection with earth can be lost. Safety of Class 2 equipment is not dependent upon the fixed electrical installation
  • The equipment type - appliances which are hand held are more likely to be damaged than fixed appliances. If they are Class 1 the risk of danger is increased, as the safety is dependant upon the continuity of the protective conductor from the plug to the appliance.

The judgement is then made by the ‘responsible person’ for Health & Safety