Health and safety is everyone’s responsibility. And while the law requires qualified inspectors to monitor the condition of equipment which could be potentially dangerous – for example, a mechanic inspecting a car at its MOT test – it also promotes conscientiousness when around smaller items, such as electrical office appliances. In order to show that they take such responsibilities seriously, may companies maintain inspection schedules for all electrical items on their premises, and the most common standard for such inspections is generally known as Portable Appliance Testing, or PAT.
PAT testing is therefore not a legal requirement, but if an incident were to occur, an organization may find it difficult to prove they had done enough to protect those on their premises if they couldn’t demonstrate some form of control. That’s why it’s so common to see colourful PAT testing stickers on electrical devices throughout business properties and public buildings.
At PAT Labels Online, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to implement such a scheme at your own workplace, should you so choose. We can supply all the stationary you will need to maintain a thorough safety inspection routine, including all the various types of PAT testing labels which attach to the appliances in your office. A current ‘PAT Test Pass’ sticker reassures all your colleagues that a particular item is safe to use.
You don’t need to be a qualified electrician to perform PAT tests, although some companies like to bring in a professional for the sake of convenience. If you decide to perform the inspections in-house, the designated inspector will have to be a ‘competent person’, that is, someone who understands the purposes and processes of the inspections, and can carry them out objectively. The process of inspection itself varies according to the device, but checking for damage, corrosion, or wear and tear should always be carried out first. Operational testing may follow, and many manufacturers websites carry recommendations on how their products may be tested to ensure they are safe to use.
At the conclusion of the test, the device should be clearly labelled with PAT stickers to denote its status – signed and dated Passed PAT Test labels for safe appliances, and warning labels for faulty ones. It is also advisable to restrict access to a faulty device to prevent accidental operation. This may involve locking it in a cupboard, or disabling it by removing the power flex. While PAT test stickers are the best way to tag equipment, it should not be assumed that everyone will pay attention to them.
To guarantee continuity, it is recommended a comprehensive log be kept of all inspections, including retest dates for each appliance. PAT Test Log Books are another handy product available from PAT Labels Online. Check out our website for our full range of products, including PAT test labels for specific circumstances. These include PAT testing Tuff Tags for harsh environments, and cable wrap PAT testing labels which affix to flexes and wiring.