The Advantages of Expert PAT Testing
When working in an office environment, there are a host of safety considerations to take into account. Whether it’s minimizing trip hazards or creating a comprehensive fire safety plan, ensuring you and your employees are able to carry out your work in a safe manner.
However, aside from the obvious safety hazards that arise from working in an office, it can sometimes be easy to forget about an ever-present danger that finds itself in nearly every commercial space here in the UK – the threat of electrocution. As the business world has become increasingly reliant on technology to stay ahead of the game, it’s not unusual to see office spaces filled with everything from plug-in lighting to whole computer suites.
However, with this increased reliance on electronics comes an increased threat of electrocution. As a significant danger to everyone in the office, it’s important to ensure that all of your electronic equipment is working properly. If this isn’t carried out, you could face costly litigation at best and risk the lives of you and your colleagues at worst.
One of the best ways to ensure your electronics are working safely is to contact a commercial electrician and have them carry out what is known as a Portable Appliance Test, also known as a PAT. Here in this blog, we look at what exactly a PAT inspection is and how they can help protect you and your employees from serious electrical injury
The dangers of electrical appliances
Although electricity has completely revolutionised the way we live our lives, we all know the significant dangers it can present. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), there are around 1000 reported accidents involving an electric shock in the workplace every year. Here in the UK, the average plug socket uses about 230 volts AC in order to power equipment which is more than enough to cause a fatal injury.
The other significant danger from faulty electrical appliances is fire risks. A broken appliance can easily spark and, if situated in a space with ample fuel for a flame, it can cause fires that can put you and your employees in significant danger.
These risks can be created due to a host of issues. It could be that your electrical equipment hasn’t been properly installed or faulty wiring could pose the risk of a fire. Whatever the case, it’s vital that you take electrical safety very seriously in order to keep everyone safe whilst at work.
Understanding portable appliance testing
Now that we have a grasp on the inherent dangers of faulty electrical appliances, we can look at how a PAT can rectify any issues present around your workplace. In layman’s terms, a portable appliance test is a comprehensive inspection of electrical appliances and other equipment to ensure it’s working as it should and has no defects that could potentially pose a safety risk.
This will involve a range of checks, from a visual inspection to testing earth continuity, lead polarity and insulation resistance, amongst others, to check that the appliance is working safely. Once this has been carried out, the appliance is labelled with a safety sticker highlighting that it has passed inspection.
Although a PAT isn’t a legal requirement, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 does require companies to ensure that any electrical equipment with the potential to cause injury are maintained in a safe condition, meaning a PAT could be in your best interest.
What are the benefits?
Portable appliance testing can offer the recipient a host of benefits, some of which you may not have even thought about, especially when they’re carried out by a qualified electrician.
Of course, the main issue a PAT resolves is that of safety. It cannot be underestimated how dangerous faulty electrical equipment can be, and, with many of us using electrical appliances on a day to day basis, it’s essential to be putting the safety of your employees first.
A PAT can check that your appliances are safe to use and weed out any inconsistencies that could cause injury, giving you peace of mind that you’re taking every precaution to ensure the safety of everyone in the workplace.
Also, with consistent testing on a regular basis, you can always be sure that the electronic equipment you’re using is up to scratch and can let you know when replacements are needed.
As we’ve mentioned, a PAT isn’t a legal requirement, however, it may be in your best interest from a legal standpoint. Failure to comply with electrical safety regulations can land companies with a fine of £5000 or six months in prison.
Also, as this applies to the Health and Safety at Work Act, you could find yourself in extremely hot water if one of your employees is injured due to faulty electronics, leading to even more hefty fines and longer prison sentences. Because of this, it’s in your best interest to have a PAT to check that everything is in working order.
Working with faulty electronic equipment is not only risky for you and your employees, but it could also cause significant issues for your other electronics too. For example, a faulty extension lead could potentially overload any devices connected to it, effectively frying them.
Rather than having to fork out money to buy a brand new computer, a PAT can weed out any issues before they become a genuine problem which can help you save money in the long run.
Insurance can be a pretty costly expense for businesses and will expect you to comply with all health and safety standards in order to accept your claim.
By carrying out a comprehensive PAT, you are able to create a certified record that your electrical appliances have been sufficiently inspected by a competent individual, meaning you’re more likely to have your claim accepted and potentially at a lower cost.
Positive brand image
Safety should always be at the forefront of your business. However, championing safety does have its knock-on effects. Potential clients may look at your positive safety record and view your brand as a more trustworthy company to work with.
Interlink Lighting & Electrical – Scotland’s premier electrical services company
Every business should take safety very seriously and electrical testing is an important part of ensuring your workplace is a safe environment. Although a PAT can be undertaken by a ‘competent person’, for complete peace of mind, it’s best to get in touch with a professional local electrician in your area.
If you’re in need of quality PAT testing in Scotland then look no further than Interlink Lighting and Electrical. Offering our expert electrical services in Glasgow and beyond, you can be sure that our team of qualified electricians are on hand to help.
Our portable appliance testing service is comprehensive and meticulous, testing everything from your computers to the office kettle to ensure that your workplace is as safe as possible. However, our services don’t stop there, offering a huge range of electrical solutions including lighting consultancy, electrical maintenance and facility management.
Want to learn more about why we’re Scotland’s go-to electrical contractors? Give us a call on +44 (0) 141 429 1254 to speak to one of our advisors or take a look at our website for more information.