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    Essential services to help keep your school running smoothly.

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  • person working at a desk Furniture

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We all are using these items on a daily basis, but do we ever ask ourselves the question of whether these resources are safe to use? Who is responsible for these items and how do we ensure that we are safe around them? To answer this question, we need to get an understanding on what Portable Appliances Testing (PAT) is.

What is Portable Appliances Testing (PAT)?

PAT is the process of checking electrical appliances for faults or issues through visual inspection and electronic tests. It falls under The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 which require that any electrical equipment is to be maintained in a safe condition, and The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998 which refers to ensuring that all work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, efficient working order and in good repair.

As we now know what PAT is, lets go a bit further and answer questions on how often we need to test the equipment that we operate and whose responsibility it is.

How often does equipment need PAT testing?

The frequency of testing and inspecting depends on the item that must be inspected. Usually, PAT must be completed on annual basis, however for larger items, such as printers and screens, a formal visual inspection can be done every 2 or 4 years.

Who is responsible for PAT testing?

The main responsibility for PAT is on the employer who is responsible for ensuring that all staff are  safe when doing their job. This requirement also applies to a work from home (WFH) arrangement. Any equipment taken home by an employee must be tested and safe to use.  For the annual PAT all staff are required to bring held equipment on site, so it can be tested in an office environment by an independent Engineering Inspection provider followed by a certificate of inspection and with a report of any faulty items if needed.

PAT testing and working from home

However, for any staff working from home, it is highly recommended to complete their own basic checks on the state of the equipment being used.  For your own safety, you should be checking daily the visual state of your equipment, which should include cables, equipment casing, plug sockets, screens, chargers and phone. If you will notice anything unusual when turning on your equipment, or if you will simply spot some damage follow the guidance given:

  1. Immediately stop using the faulty equipment and unplug it.
  2. Immediately report any faults to the relevant person, if you are unsure who it might be, report it to your manager.
  3. Wait for further instructions from the relevant person. In the result of your equipment being faulty, it may be taken for a repair or replaced completely.
  4. Do not ever try to fix faulty equipment by yourself, as this can cause a potential fire risk, electrocution or any other risk to your health and safety.

 

If you have any other questions please get in touch with your Health & Safety Manager. To find out more about our PAT testing procurement, visit our Internal Fit-out and Maintenance DPS and Engineering Inspection Services framework.

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Author

Maria Hadro

Category Buyer for Corporate and Financial Services
YPO