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PAT Testing in London & Croydon
The Health & Safety At Work Act 1974 puts a duty of care upon both employer and employee to ensure the safety of all persons using the work premises. This act describes a number of fundamental issues of workplace safety including measures to secure the health, safety and welfare of persons at work and also the protection of others against risks to health or safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work.
However the particular legal requirements relating to the use and maintenance of electrical equipment are contained in the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (EAWR). Regulation 4(2) of the EAWR requires that all electrical systems should be maintained, so far as reasonably practicable, to prevent danger.
This requirement covers all items of electrical equipment including fixed, portable and transportable equipment – essentially anything connected to a building’s electrical system with a plug.
In addition to this requirement Regulation 29 of the EAWR 1989 states that it shall be a defence if it can be proved that all reasonable steps were taken and due diligence was exercised to avoid the commission of any offence under certain regulations.
PAT Testing in London & Croydon is an essential part of any businesses health & safety procedure. Think of it as an MOT for all your electrical appliances. Depending on the nature of your business will determine the frequency of the testing.
Electrical appliances which will need testing are any item, whether permanently connected or connected by a plug and socket-outlet to a building electrical supply. Typical examples include portable appliances such as toasters and kettles; hand held items such as power tools or hairdryers; movable items such as microwave ovens or printers; stationary items such as washing machines or gym treadmills; and fixed items such as hand dryers and towel rails.
Movable items in an industrial environment may also include 3-phase plant and equipment that are in common use around many factories and workshops. These should also be subject to in-service inspection and testing according to the IEE Code of Practice.
Some ‘single’ items may in fact comprise a number of parts and each item needs to be considered separately. For example a personal computer could include separate monitor, power lead, speakers and possibly a multisocket extension which all need testing. In general terms if the lead can be separated from the appliance then it should be considered as a separate item.
All items that pass inspection and testing procedures will be labelled with a safety pass sticker.
The Type Approval Safety tests required by various design standards are essentially:
- Protective conductor (earth) continuity.
- High voltage withstand test (dielectric strength, hipot or ‘flash’ testing).
- Touch current or protective conductor current.
- Insulation resistance (not common to all standards).
When the equipment under test contains integrated circuits or other sensitive components, high voltage testing may damage these components. It can therefore be seen that the tests required will vary according to the type of equipment being tested.
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