30 May 2012
New HSE guidance has been released in an attempt to help businesses concentrate on looking after and growing their business rather than carrying out time and money wasting electrical testing in their workplace.
‘The law requires that an employer must ensure that electrical equipment is maintained in order to prevent danger.’
This is the common sense approach. The myth is that every portable appliance is to be tested every year; this is not true and unnecessary maintenance such as this costs businesses money.
A portable (or moveable) appliance is any item that can be moved, either connected or disconnected from an electrical supply. Portable or moveable items generally have a lead (cable) and a plug.
In low risk environments, for example offices or where portable appliances are not moved around, a simple check for obvious signs of defects such as wear on cables, can identify where more in-depth tests or maintenance is required. The main point of the risk based approach is to have system in place to regularly check the condition of such appliances. In addition, employers should encourage all employees who use equipment to visually inspect it before use and report any defects as soon as they appear to enable maintenance to be carried out.
The revised guidance on PAT testing in low risk environments to clarify simply the legal requirements, practical guidance and how to go about achieving it is INDG236 and can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/pubs/indg236.htm. FAQs can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/faq-portable-appliance-testing.htm. These documents are simple to understand and follow with plenty of practical advice.
Although Envirocare do not offer the service of undertaking electrical testing for our clients, you can be assured that we provide expert information on subjects such as frequency of testing and applicability of regulations, and would provide correct, proportionate advice tailored to your workplace.
For more information on general health and safety advice please contact chartered safety practitioners Andrea Beswick (CMIOSH) or Eddie Kalinowski (CMIOSH) on 01274 738668 or simply fill out our Online Enquiry Form