A Special Blog - Some Basic Office PAT testing tips
Some simple, practical housekeeping
When anyone mentions PAT Testing [Portable Appliance Testing], there is an immediate cause for concern. Straight away business owners think about what the cost implication will be for their business; however there are some things that can be done to protect their business, premises, clients, staff and their equipment…
If you wonder which cables need testing then you need a professional pat tester?
Recently the code of practice for in-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment changed, but one thing that did not change was the need to ensure that the working environment is safe.
PAT testing has always been a means to an end; in this case the end is meeting with the Health and Safety at Work Act. More and more business are looking for ways in which they can reduce costs, however cutting back on the safety of your staff could end up being a dangerous, and even expensive, outcome.
Some of the tasks that you can do is to first carry out a Visual Inspection on the appliance before they are used, I would recommend that you check:
1. The flexible cable – make sure there are no cuts in the sieving
2. The socket outlet – make sure it is not broken or cracked
3. The appliances – have a look at the casing; is there any visible damage?
4. The plug – have a look at the plug itself; is it cracked or broken
5. Cardboard wiring diagrams – make sure they have been removed from the plug
If any of the above is damaged then report it to the responsible person and don’t use. Some of the following checks may not be possible for those fitted with a molded plug:
1. Identify signs of overheating
2. Check inside the plug to check the polarity and connections
3. Correct size fuse fitted, BS marked, ASTA marked
This is where your PAT Tester and their knowledge and experience comes into play. We have to take into account the appliance’s suitability for the environment or the nature of the work being undertaken. We check the fuse rating is correct, check there is no damage to the plug and of course check to ensure the equipment is installed and is being operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions!
Good Housekeeping of your appliances could save your life so also consider checking:
- That cables are located so as to avoid damage
- The appliance means of disconnection (unplugging) is accessible
- Don’t put filing cabinets in front of sockets being used
- The appliance has adequate equipment ventilation
- Do NOT put cups, plants and work material in places where they could spill
- Do not position equipment so that the cable is being stretched
- Make sure equipment being operated with covers in place and any doors closed
- Do not use multi-way adaptors and trailing sockets to excess
- Make sure no unprotected cables run under carpets
- · If in doubt contact myself, Mike McCoy for ME PAT Services Ltd either via our website; www.mepattesting.co.uk , by email via firstname.lastname@example.org or direct on 07865 923716 for free advice and an equally free survey.
“Sharing the knowledge to reduce costs
and to protect lives in the work place”