If you buy new electrical equipment for your office or building, you may be wondering if you need to get it tested before you start using it.
If you’re not sure, this short guide will help.
I’ve bought new equipment, do I need to get it PAT tested?
As long as you have bought your equipment from a reliable retailer, then it doesn’t need PAT testing straight away. This is because it should have been provided to you in a safe working condition.
Just do a quick visual examination before you use it to make sure there are no major issues. For example, it could have got damaged in transit or while it was being delivered.
You can then get it added to your inventory ready for your next round of PAT testing (also known as electrical equipment testing).
Things to check include:
- Does the packaging look authentic?
- Is the casing of the appliance cracked, warped, discoloured, scorched or burned?
- Is the cable split, damaged or twisted?
- Are the pins in the plug loose?
- Is it lighter than you were expecting? Some counterfeit products don’t have as many components as their authentic counterparts
- Does the plug have the BSi kitemark or CE mark on it?
- Does the plug easily fit into a socket?
What if I’m not sure?
If you’re not 100% that the equipment is safe to use, then don’t use it.
If the equipment has arrived and it is faulty, return it to the supplier and ask for a refund or replacement.
If you start using the product and you hear, smell or see anything that is not normal, turn it off and unplug it straight away.
I can’t send the equipment back. Can I get a second opinion?
If you need to check the equipment, ask a qualified and experienced engineer to test it for you. They will carry out visual checks as well as an in-depth inspection and test to make sure it is safe and functional.
What if an employee brings in a piece of equipment from home?
Let’s say it's summer and one of your employees decides to bring a fan in from home to cool their desk down.
You would still need to get this equipment tested as if it caused injury or damage, you could be liable.
We would recommend factoring equipment your staff bring in from home into your electrical equipment maintenance plans.
In conclusion: You are not required to PAT test new items, but under The Electricity at Work Regulations you have to make sure they are safe.
You can do this by giving the equipment a visual check before you use it.
If you are looking for a company to carry out your PAT testing, Hawkesworth is here to help.
We provide cost-effective, friendly and professional electrical equipment testing service across the UK and Ireland, helping to keep your business compliant.