What do you have to do about testing your electrical equipment?

What do you have to do about testing your electrical equipment?

Testing of portable devices (PAT testing) is an important part of an organization or the individuals duty to health and safety. This is done through a number of special testing tasks on your portable devices.

Many Individuals Ask About Portable Appliance Testing Is A Legitimate Obligation?

The answer is a negative, but it is a statutory obligation and many insurance brokers demand that the insured comply with the terms of all applicable rules. This includes, inter alia, the Work Regulations 1989, which states that As is necessary to prevent danger, all systems must be maintained to prevent, as far as reasonably possible, such danger (Regulation 4.2). Electrical equipment includes all used to be used or installed for use to generate, provide, transfer, convert, fix, convert, power, distribute, control, store, measure or use electrical energy. (Regulation 2 (1)).

Employers liability is also stated in the Work Procedures for the Supply and Use of Work Tools in 1998. This states that Every employer must ensure that work equipment is so designed or adapted that it is suitable for the purpose for which it is being used or provided. (Regulation 4 (1)). This includes all work equipment (fixed, portable or portable) connected to an electrical power source.

What does PAT testing mean? You may ask. Many PAT test companies start with a visual survey looking for:

Damaged bend

Damaged plugs and tools (overheating, scorch marks, discoloration)

· Properly connected plugs

· Correctly labeled fuse

Then a series of tests (depending on the type of tool) they contain:

Earth Continuity Testing



Soil leak test

The gear tested by a PAT test operation is simply the kind of gear delivered by electric power.

The IET Guidelines for Electrical Equipment Inspection and Testing say that this Code of Conduct includes:

Portable devices:

An apparatus with a weight of less than 18 kg intended to be moved during use or an apparatus that can be easily moved from one place to another, for example kettle, food processor, vacuum cleaner, fan heater.

Movable equipment (sometimes called portable):

This is gear, which is either: 18 kg or less and not fixed, eg. electric fire or gear, wheels or other things to assist the operator as necessary to perform his intended use, e.g. an air conditioning unit.

Hand Holder:

This is easily moved gear that is intended to be held in the hand during normal use, eg. color separator, mill, engraving

Stationary equipment or appliances:

This gear has a mass of more than 18 kg and has no carrying handle, for example. fridge, washing machine.

Fixed Equipment / Appliances:

This is the tool of an appliance that is attached to a support or otherwise fixed in a designated location, e.g. bathroom heater, towel rail, domestic air conditioning.

Appliances / Equipment for fixing in:

This gearbox is intended to be fixed in a fully completed recess such as a cabinet or the like. Generally, attachment tools do not contain any enclosure on all sides because on one or more sides there is additional protection against electrical shock provided by the environment, e.g. a built-in electric stove.

Information Equipment (Business Equipment):

The IT equipment includes electrical equipment such as PC and networked telephone equipment and other general purpose utilities, such as mail processing machines, electric plotters, trimmers, VDU, computer terminal equipment, typewriters, phones, printers, photocopiers, power packs.

Extension Leads:

Use of extension cables should be avoided where possible]. If used, they should be tested as portable devices. It is recommended that 3-wire cables (including protective earth conductors) are used.

A standard 13 A 3-pin extension socket with a 2-core thread should not be used even if the gear to be used is Class II because it would not provide protection against electric shock if used at any time with an item of Class I gear .

The length of an extension cable for normal use should not go beyond the following:

Core area longest length

1.25 mm2 12 meters

1.5mm2 15 meters

2.5 mm2 25 meters

2.5 mm2 conductors are too large for standard 13 A plugs, but they can be used with BS EN 60309 industrial plugs.

These maximum lengths are not relevant to the devices cord, for instructions refer to item 15.13 (IEE Code for Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment).

If the extension cable length exceeds the above, they should be protected with a 30 mA RCD made according to BS 7071.

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