Do I need to get hire equipment PAT tested?

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Do I need to get hire equipment PAT tested?

You may choose to rent equipment in your office, factory or rental property. Hiring equipment rather than purchasing it can often be cheaper and help increase capacity.

However, you may not be sure who is responsible for PAT testing (also known as electrical equipment testing). Is it your business (the hirer), or the hire company?

This question was answered in the 5th edition of the in-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

So – is PAT testing the responsibility of the hire company, or the hirer?

The answer is… it depends on how long the hire takes place for.

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016 and Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 states that hire companies must deliver electrical equipment to hirers in a safe condition. 

Hired/leased equipment must be considered as new equipment when supplied for the first time to the hirer, so it should work and be safe. 

The IET recommend that the hirer carry out a quick visual inspection before using the hire equipment though, to be on the safe side.

However, if the hirer is hiring the equipment for an extended period (i.e. over a week), and it doesn’t specify otherwise in the contract, the hirer is responsible for the safety of the equipment.

This means that the hirer must continue to ensure that the equipment is safe for use, which may include the use of PAT testing.

So, whether it’s a vending machine, audio-visual equipment or heavy plant machinery, make sure that you factor leased equipment into your testing schedule.