PAT Testing

PAT Testing

Pat testing or portable appliance testing is an important part of any health & safety policy. This site is intended as a guide to both the legal implications and to the technical requirements.

The Health & Safety Executive states that 25% of all reportable electrical accidents involve portable appliances. The Electricity at Work Regulations place a legal responsibility on employers, employees and self-employed persons to comply with the provisions of the regulations and take reasonably practicable steps to ensure that no danger results from the use of such equipment. This in effect requires the implementation of a systematic and regular program of maintenance, inspection and testing.

You must comply with the following regulations:

The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) places such an obligation in the following circumstances:

Regulation 3 of the electricity at work regulations specifies that employers and the self-employed are liable for the correct use and maintenence of all portable appliances at their place of work. Employers in this context include those people accountable for the management of offices factories, shops, hospitals, hotels and all other buildings used by the public.


A portable electrical appliance is defined as any electrical equipment that is powered between 40 and 240 volts and which is connected to the electrical mains via a flexible cable/plug and socket (usually a 13 amp outlet). It does not imply that the appliance is readily portable, only that it can be moved without unwiring. Portable electrical appliances owned by employees are occasionally brought to work to be used in the workplace. This policy applies to such appliances as if they were the property of the business.

Such items could include:

Art vision always uses a qualified electrician, who has the knowledge and practical experience of electricity and its hazards, to carry out both visual and electrical testing. since that person must make judgments on the appropriate level of electrical appliance testing required, they must understand the operating principles of each portable appliance and have adequate knowledge of the relevant safety standards.

The portable appliance testing that Art Vision offers is very extensive and covers appliance testing in all work environments. The test falls into two categories:

Visual Inspection

This is the most important element of portable appliance testing as over 80% of potential hazards are detected by physical inspection. The qualified electrician will be looking for hazards such as damage to the insulation of the appliance or mains lead, incorrect wiring or fuse rating of the mains plug, unsafe cable joints, loose connections and accessible live conductors.

Electrical Testing

The type of electrical testing performed on portable appliances depends on the safety design itself. Class I portable appliances are the most common type. If relies on earthing of its conductive case and one layer of insulation covering its live internal parts for prevention against electric shock.

Class II appliances have no earth connection and rely on two layers of insulation that cover the live parts as protection to the user. Usually the second layer of insulation is the case of the appliance itself. All class II equipment is physically inspected as a satisfactory test of Class II appliance safety.

The electrical tests carried out using the latest PAT equipment on each appliance include:


All equipment that is inspected and/or tested will be provided with a label that will include an identification code to enable the equipment to be uniquely identifiable even if several items exist within the same premises. An indication of whether the item has passed or failed and the appropriate safety and/or test will be included. The date on which re-testing is due or the last date and re-test period will also be stated.


Art Vision keep full records of each piece of equipment with its unique number and full description for future traceability. A full 'status report' will be sent to the client indicating what equipment has passed or failed and when it is due for re-testing. Should we locate any failures we can avoid extra work by carrying out minor repairs as we find them such as replacing a plug, fuse or cable repairs.

The client will be notified of any items that fail the test and cannot be mended by a minor repair. Equipment found to be unsafe would be removed by the client or by Art Vision, as agreed. Any items requiring major repairs will always be quoted first. These repairable items will then be repaired on site or can be repaired at our central workshop. Following a major repair we will issue a 're-test certificate following repair report'.

Key Features of our PAT Testing Service

Art Vision provides a comprehensive on-site Portable Appliance Testing Service that contains the following features:



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