Portable Appliance Testing – or PAT Testing as it’s more commonly known – is now part of Irish legislation, providing a new opportunity for electricians in the Republic of Ireland.
All businesses must carry out Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) on all appliances to ensure the safety and welfare of employees and customers. In fact it’s imperative that businesses take heed of the legislation as the onus now falls squarely on the employer who is 100% responsible to carry out PAT Testing.
Portable Appliances refers to any electrical equipment that can or could be moved from place to place. This might include office machinery (computers, copiers, fax machines), kettles, extension leads etc, usually having a lead with a plug attached. This type of equipment is naturally more susceptible to damage than fixed electrical equipment, is more likely to be used in different environments and is quite often directly in contact with the user.
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 state that portable equipment that’s supplied at a voltage exceeding 125 volts alternating current and is exposed to conditions causing deterioration that could result in danger should be visually checked by the user before use. Equipment should also be regularly inspected by a competent person, appropriate to the nature, location and use of the equipment.
Furthermore, to comply with regulations records must be kept for at least five years for random spot checks carried out by the HSA. Irish insurers/underwriters are now requesting proof that all portable appliances comply with the legislation prior to the renewal of existing or commencement of new policies.
PAT Testing has many advantages for companies. Some of the key benefits include improved safety in the workplaces well as for the general public; reduced insurance costs; decrease in liability; enhanced preventative maintenance; increased productivity through safe and reliable equipment; and reduced legal risks for managers.
For electricians, highlighting these advantages alongside the new legislation could provide a wide range of new opportunities.