PAT Testing

BPT Electrical are specalists in PAT Testing in Northern Ireland and were formally known as Belfast PAT Testing.

The ‘Inspection and Testing of In-Service Electrical equipment’ (usually referred to as Portable Appliance Testing or PAT), was introduced to enable companies & organisations to comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations. To meet these regulations it is necessary to have in place a program of inspection and testing of portable appliances.

Other legislation of specific relevance to electrical maintenance

  • The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.
  • Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
  • The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
  • The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

What equipment should be tested?

The regulations cover all items of in-service electrical equipment, this includes all movable items connected to the mains supply by 3A or 13A BS1363 plugs, BS EN60309-2 industrial plugs. In addition to being responsible for the safety of their own portable appliances, companies are are also responsible for electrical equipment brought on site by employees and contractors.

Please Note

Electrical Safety – each year about 1000 accidents at work involving electric shock or burns are reported to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). Around 30 of these are fatal!

Fire Safety – Portable electrical appliances are a major cause of fires both in the home and at work. A sobering fact:- Over 2,500 people are killed or injured as a result of electrical fires every year!

Insurance Cover – When you take out insurance cover with Insurance companies, they often make the assumption that the insured business is complying with all regulations necessary. If any claim is made throughout your insurance period the insurance company may reduce, delay, or even refuse to pay on any claim for damage if the damage has been caused by an appliance that has not been tested.

Items that can’t be tested will be given a visual check.

The Penalties

Successful prosecution under the Act or any health and safety statute carries a maximum penalty of a fine of £5000 and/or up to 6 months imprisonment. For breaches under the general duties of the Health Safety at Work Act 1974, penalties of up to £20000 were introduced in 1992. Offences heard on indictment in the Crown Court attract unlimited financial penalties and up to 2 years imprisonment. (source: The Principles of Health & Safety at Work – Allan St. John Holt. ISBN 0 901 357 219).

The Powers of inspectors

Sections 20-22 and 25: If an inspector discovers what is believed to be a contravention of any Act or Regulation then the inspector can:

Issue a prohibition notice with immediate effect prohibiting any work if the inspector is of the opinion that the circumstances present a serious risk of personal injury. Issue a improvement notice requiring rectification of any contravention of a statutory requirement. Prosecute any person who contravenes a requirement or fails to comply with a notice as above. Seize, render harmless or destroy any article or substance that is considered to be the cause of imminent danger or serious persona injury.

What does this mean?

It is for the accused brought to the court under this act to show that “all reasonable practicable care” or in some cases absolute care has been taken. The demonstration of this is often the difference between an employer proving employee negligence or sustaining substantial fines, even personal prosecutions when he/she is unable to do so. And remember your insurance does not cover you breaking the law!

How can we help?

BPT Electrical provide a professional, yet cost effective portable appliance testing service for all types of businesses. Our annual testing agreement makes sure that you to comply with Health & Safety Regulations regarding portable appliance testing.