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ME PAT Newsletter - May 2014

  • Posted on: 10 May 2014
  • By: admin

Hi folks

Welcome once again to the May edition of our newsletter where we do our very best to highlight the need and the growing recognition of  electrician safety in the office, pub, club, factory, homes, leased or rented property, in fact just about everywhere where you have employees and/or customers.... and hopefully we can offer a little bit more too?

Before I go any further I received an excellent and quite frankly unexpected feedback from various quarters last month not only complimenting us on the lovely testimonial on a “job well done” but also the personal story about the heating boiler which eventually died. Quite a few echoed the unreliability at times of trades people with their own stories and in some cases I have been able to pass on a plumber contact to help out – being an experienced networker [ok a network tart!] I have a lot of network contacts to hand in such a wide variety of professions – and if I don’t have a name I can usually pass you onto someone “who would know someone” if you understand my meaning…? And as always if you help others without condition then you will find that they or someone close will help you out at a later date – “what goes around comes around” I think as the saying goes?

Is it me or is the year rushing by? May is such a quick month what with all of the bank holidays – long weekends, but followed by short stressful weeks catching up after the long weekends no doubt? Once we get through “another” bank holiday the year will almost be half over, yik's! Anyway I’d best move on; I have in this month’s newsletter a few stories from the industry such as; a “Fire Service Warning from Kent”, a “Campaign to Check Safety Plug-In Night Lights” and “HSE Guides on Electrical Safety of Entertainment Equipment” which creates a fab “lead in” [bad pun intended] to this month’s personal story of the testing of a Rock Band at a local event. Finally to lighten the mood I will finish off with some very corny gags/jokes which I refuse to apologise for… You have been warned!!

New HSE guides on electrical safety of entertainment equipment

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has updated two leaflets providing guidance on the use of entertainment equipment.Separate documents are provided for owners of equipment and those organisations managing entertainment venues.

In each case the updated leaflets provide advice on how the electrical safety risks associated with the use of entertainment equipment can be controlled, with explanations of what actions are required and why. Updated references to legislation and links to further guidance are also provided.

INDG247 is intended as a guidance note for entertainers who use electrical equipment for sound lighting of other effects. A free download is available at: 

GS50 Electrical safety at places of entertainment is intended for managers of entertainment venues, and for people who provide facilities for entertainers. A free download is available at:

Anyway onto the personal story….
The above article about new HSE guides on electrical safety for entertainers got me thinking and reminded me of an interesting “panic” job we had involving Portable Appliance Testing of a band which I think is very apt….

A few years ago not long after me and Alison set up ME PAT Services; it was a Saturday afternoon and instead of a nice relaxing chilled out day – we or Alison had decided we were going to have a spring clean – even though it was way past spring…. Anyway as our carpet washer had packed in Alison had to put the living room mat over the bath trying to remove some stains… At that moment I answered a knock at the back door which was Alison’s brother Steve Leyland, who by day is a software writer [I know he will tell me it’s a bit more than that!], but by night and most weekends he has a really, really good Rock, R & B band who does events, weddings, bar-mitzvah, you name it… although nowadays he does mainly "Blues" music with his new band LoboBlues [Please follow the links if you are interested in finding out more?]. Anyway, he was looking for Alison [rather urgently] to see if she could “possibly” do PAT tests of a few items – like now?? Well naturally she couldn’t refuse her brother and it looked important – so grabbing her gear, PAT machine and not bothering to change her tat and rather wet “weekend” clothes she then dashed away to what she thought was to Steve’s house not far away….?
Well I continued with the house and DIY duties and an hour passed not a problem, two hours passed and I am thinking she is having another cup of coffee and a long chat – when it got passed four hours I was getting concerned… five hours later Alison surfaced and got the full story..

Up the road from us is a big and rather important hotel and Steve and his band complete with a DJ had organised the music for the party after a very lavish and expensive wedding, the assistant manager of this said hotel had come in and demanded “there and then” that the all of the gear to be PAT tested or the wedding party was to be cancelled – needless to say at great expense…. Quick thinking on Steve’s part was to dash down to us as this Hotel assistant [other names were thrown about at the time no doubt] was not allowing a reprieve for the sake of this and costly special event. Alison [remember in her tat gear  among all of the expensive costumes and regalia ] tested something like eighty to ninety pieces of electrical equipment and the wedding was saved – a most grateful and now regular R & B band client/Steve – and a… well no one heard from the assistant manager of this hotel but his face was shut…. Hurray!!

So, as always there has to be a moral to the story…..
The moral of the story as there always has to be, a lesson to be learnt – now Steve’s fast thinking saved the day but other bands, groups, DJs, exhibition stands even down to a someone with a single laptop going into a hotel for an event may not be as fast thinking! Be aware that when you enter someone else’s premises such as a hotel, event or exhibition hall, private or council and so on – you have to obey their rules AND more importantly the demands of their insurances and public liability requirements. As Steve has told me on many occasions he is finding more and more events are demanding Electrical testing and likewise we are getting more requests each year. We are exhibiting at the “Show Your Mussel” event at the Newcastle Racecourse on the 5th of June 2014 [a quick plug, come and find us – we are at stand 34 upstairs], we have already had a few requests for testing at this event. So please think about it and if I can help – even for some free advice then give me a call…

[Incidentally the band is called “Lobo Blues” please follow the link, if you want any more info on him, the band and the type of music they play follow the links or give me a call…

And now for something completely different…..
On our travels around the North East or further afield you will come across some interesting, inventive and downright hilariously funny signs above businesses and on the back/sides of vans? Well these are a few that you “may” come across – apologies well in advance!

On An Electricians Van: 
“Let us remove your Shorts”  
On A Plumbers Van:        
“Don’t Sleep With A Drip, Call Your Plumber.”

On a Fence: “Salesmen are Welcome, Dog food is expensive!”
In A Vets Waiting Room: “Be Back in Five Minutes, Sit, Stay!”
Sign on the back of a Septic Tanker: “Caution – This Truck is Full of Political Promises”          
On an Opticians Window: “If you don’t see what you are looking for, you’ve come to the right place!”
On a Maternity Room Door:     “Push, Push, Push”
And finally….. [I’ll get shot this one?]
Sign Above A Gynecolists Office:
“Dr Jones, at your cervix” [guys ask the missus to explain this one] 

I hope you liked this month’s newsletter if so see you next month and tell your friends, have great day, week or month and I wish you all the very best of successes out there in the “fun” and expanding world of the self – employment….

   Ta, ta for now 

   ME PAT Services Ltd