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(Redirected from Portable Appliance Test)
A Portable Appliance Tester or PAT, in the United Kingdom is a process by which electrical appliances are routinely checked to see whether they are safe. The correct term for the whole process is In-service Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment.
When people work with electrical appliances, health and safety regulations say that the appliance must be safe. Many types of equipment require testing at regular intervals to ensure continual safety; the interval between tests depending on both the type of appliance and the environment it is used in.
In the UK, the resulting evidence of Portable Appliance Testing (commonly known as PAT or PAT Testing) is clearly visible to workers in the form of 'Passed' , 'Tested For Electrical Safety' and 'DO NOT USE after' labels affixed to various parts of the electrical equipment they use.
3 Carrying out PAT Testing
4 Class of Construction
5 PAT Training and Qualifications
6 Types of PAT Testers
7 Calibration of PAT Testers
8 See also
10 External links
Portable Appliance Testing is abbreviated to PAT. The phrase PAT Testing is in fact a tautology, in the same way that some people say "LCD Display" (see also RAS syndrome). However, the phrase is commonly used in the industry, even though most people realise it is incorrect. The correct term for the whole process is In-service Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment.
Regulations on who must have their equipment PAT Tested
The Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) requires "All electrical systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any danger". This is interpreted as covering the fixed electrical installation as well as portable and transportable equipment connected to it. The Regulations also state "It is the duty of every employer and self employed person to comply with the provision of these Regulations."
British law (the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 in particular) requires that all electrical systems (including electrical appliances) are maintained (so far as is reasonably practicable) to prevent danger. Guidance from the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggest initial intervals for combined inspection and testing that range from three months (for construction equipment) to five years for inspection and, in many cases, never for testing (certain types of appliance in schools, hotels, offices and shops). 
Electrical systems refer to the installation as well as all the appliances connected to it. A qualified electrician would normally inspect the installation at periodic intervals. For an office, this is typically every 5 years and for say a hotel where the risk may be higher, it may need to be done annually. The maintenance of the appliances can largely be carried out in-house in many organisations. This can result in cost savings and more flexibility in when PAT testing is carried out.
The European Low Voltage Directive governs the manufacture or importation of electrical appliances. Compliance to this has to be declared and indicated by the display of the CE mark on the product. The responsibility for this lies with the manufacturer or the importer and is policed by the Trading Standards. However, it is important to have a maintenance regime for electrical appliances. The Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) requires that electrical appliances be maintained so that they remain safe during use. The implementation of this is up to employers. The HSE or the local authority is responsible for the policing of this.
Who can PAT Test
It is not a legal requirement to have attended a course or gained a qualification in order to PAT Test. If you are a competent person and have a basic knowledge of electricity then you can be perfectly capable of testing appliances for electrical safety. It is, however, recommended that an individual wanting to PAT Test attends a course related to the subject matter. There can be much confusion on what needs PAT Testing, what class an appliance is (and therefore which areas to test), and how often appliances legally need to be tested. Proof of a company competence in PAT Testing is usually found in the form of a course certificate or qualification.
Carrying out PAT Testing
This can be done by hiring an external company to test all the electrical products in a business or it can be done in-house by someone who has had some PAT training, either by an official qualification or by attending a health and safety course offered by some electrical health and safety companies.
The following steps are taken when testing a businesses electrical equipment.
Advising the user of potential...(and so on)
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