PAT testing and the law


PAT testing and the law

There are no laws in place that specify you are required to carry out PAT testing (also known as electrical equipment testing) in your office building or rental.

However, there are some laws in place that specify that as duty-holder, it is your responsibility to keep your employees and customers safe.

If you fail to do this, you could be liable for a fine or prison sentence.

These regulations include:

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 states that you must keep all electrical equipment that could cause injury in a safe condition.

Electrical equipment can be dangerous if not well-maintained. Not only can equipment cause electric shock, but a malfunction or overload can result in an electrical fire.

Where PAT testing is required

Under the regulations above, you must keep electrical equipment safe. This is to prevent staff and customer injury, as well as damage to buildings.

PAT testing can help identify not only visible risks but invisible risks using specialist equipment. This will result in a piece of electrical equipment passing or failing inspection.

Do I need to get PAT testing done for insurance purposes?

Your insurance company may require that you carry out PAT testing for your public liability and employer’s liability cover to be valid.

We’d recommend checking with your insurance provider if you are not sure.

Do I need to get PAT testing done if I am a landlord?

If you are a Houses In Multiple Occupation (HMO) landlord, you have to carry out annual PAT tests. This is because the risk of fire is higher in HMOs than it is in single homes, and as the occupants may not know each other, they may be less likely to help one another in the event of a fire.

You don’t have to get PAT testing done if you rent out other types of properties in England and Wales, but as duty-holder, it can be the right way of showing your tenants you are keeping them safe.

More information about PAT testing for landlords.

Bear in mind that it is a legal requirement for you to have your electrical installations (e.g. sockets and light fittings) tested through EICR.

In summary

It is a legal requirement that you keep your equipment well-maintained to protect your employees and customers from harm.

The most effective way to ensure your electrical equipment is safe is by carrying out regular PAT testing.

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.

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