PAT inspection has been recommended in the United Kingdom as around 30 deaths every year, related to direct contact with electricity, are reported, and even more people are injured as a result. 25% of electricity-related accidents happen with portable appliances, and in order to ensure that employees, customers and clients stay protected from preventable accidents, PAT inspection is suggested.

What kind of equipment needs to go through PAT inspection?

PAT inspection is required for any electrical equipment that has not been built into a building.  Any appliance with a cord or a plug, which needs to be plugged into a power source, needs to have PAT inspection done. Cordless appliances do not need to be tested their chargers do.

It is important to have IT equipment tested regularly, especially the power cords, as testing must be carried out to different standards. It may not be possible to switch servers off periodically, but they will still need to be inspected as far as possible while they are switched on, and should be tested fully during the next routine shut down.

All 110v equipment needs regular testing too, as well as extension cables, because they are a safety hazard.

Is PAT Inspection a Law?

According to the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, the Electricity at Work Regulation of 1989, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999 all employers are under obligation to keep their staff and customers safe. While there are no laws in place for the frequency with which PAT testing should be carried, there are recommendations that have been put in place, depending on the frequency with which the equipment is used.

What are the guidelines for PAT inspections?

Handheld devices used in offices, hotels and shops are recommended to be inspected every 12 months, whereas moveable equipment and extension cables need to be checked out every 24 months. IT equipment and stationary electrical equipment needs a test every 48 months.

Class one and class two equipment used in schools should be inspected every 12 and 48 months respectively. When it comes to electrical equipment in public areas, class one equipment should be tested every six months. Class two and IT and stationary equipment can get by with an inspection every 12 months.

In terms of construction and industrial electrical equipment, 110V appliances need an inspection every three months, portable devices every 6 months and moveable, portable and handheld appliances should be inspected every 12 months.