Pat Testing

Every business wanting to comply with health and safety advice needs to keep their electronic equipment in good working order and one of the best ways to test whether portable appliances are safe to use is PAT testing.

As a PAT tester, you’ll be responsible for checking the safety and functionality of portable devices within offices, stores and other places of work. While not a legal requirement, many businesses and insurance policies require their equipment to have been tested and maintained and PAT testing is an ideal way to do just that.

If you’re looking to become a PAT tester either for your business, or as a business offering testing to clients country-wide, we’ve put together a guide to how important PAT testing really is, and the training and insurance you might need.

What Is PAT Testing?

PAT testing – or Portable Appliance Testing – refers to the examination of an electric appliance in order to make sure it’s safe to use. PAT testing usually involves a mixture of visual examination for any defects, as well as the use of specialised testing equipment that can find any internal defects that may not be caught visually. Both types of testing are important, as some defects may not be found by testing, and others may not be found simply by looking. Having a comprehensive approach to testing electrical appliances can help to find any faults that could lead to problems in the future.

How Important Is It?

There is no law that demands PAT testing be done, however, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 does require that any electrical equipment, particularly any that has the potential to cause harm, should be maintained properly. Given the lack of direct guidance on how to keep electronics in a safe condition, it rests on business owners and individuals to ensure everything is safe to use.

PAT testing is a quick and simple way for businesses to keep on top of the maintenance of their electrical equipment, particularly in offices that may have hundreds of employees working at any one time. A full, regular PAT test of all equipment can help them to find any faults or defects before they can become a health and safety hazard. In some cases, insurance claims can benefit from the record of maintenance that a PAT offers, which is why businesses often lean towards this route.

Should I Get Training?

If you want to become a PAT tester, you don’t officially need any specific training, however, getting training will put you in the best position to run a PAT service. Whether your business is entirely centred around PAT testing, or you want to start up as an electrician offering PAT testing as an additional service, training will not only give you the knowledge and expertise needed to conduct tests safely, but it can also ensure you appear competent to potential clients.

What Training Is Available?

There are a number of training regimes available to you, ranging from simple online courses to classroom-based training at your local college or University. The training available in your local area may differ from another, so it’s important to do your research to find the best training programmes for you and your current schedule. Night classes may be beneficial if you currently work full time, while those working part-time or on their own schedule may be able to arrange a daytime course around their work.

You can also consider an Electricity At Work Regulations 1989 Electrical Safety training course if you want additional knowledge and information about PAT testing and the requirements workplace electronics face. Having varied but in-depth knowledge can help set you apart from the rest by offering expertise in electrical safety that others may lack.

Do I Need Insurance?

If you’re looking to start up your own PAT business or simply want to add PAT testing as a service to your existing business, you may need to consider taking out a PAT testing insurance policy. When going into a workplace, you need to ensure that not only are they compliant with health and safety, but that you are too. Accidents can happen and while every care can be taken to prevent them, having a good insurance policy can help protect your business in the case of a claim. From something as simple as someone tripping over your equipment to missing an electrical problem and damage or injury occurring as a result, there are many claims that can be made for illness, injury and damage but PAT tester’s Public Liability Insurance can provide protection and cover when you need it most.

For more information about PAT testing insurance and how it can help you and your business, feel free to get in touch with a member of Ashburnham Insurance.

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