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Frequently Asked Questions

Find out all you need to know on PAT Testing – when you need to do it, how often you need to do it and what it involves. 

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Commonly Asked Questions

PAT stands for ‘Portable Appliance Testing’ and covers a wide range of appliances and environments. Green Sparks are experts are testing items that are connected by a plug. Whether that is 110v, 230v or 415v, we have a full range of equipment that can test every type of appliance. We do not test fixed appliances such as ovens, hand driers or air conditioning units.

Despite popular opinion, your appliances do not need to be tested every year. The person in charge, or ‘Duty Holder’, should carry out a Risk Assessment of the requirements taking into account the type of item, who is using it, how often it is used, and where it is used. Any company that insists on annual testing of everything, without explanation is putting profit above responsibility. The experience and qualification of Green Sparks engineers can help you with this.

PAT testing is not, in itself, a legal requirement, however it may be a necessary requirement of your insurance company.

However, current UK legislation states that businesses must maintain electrical equipment in a safe condition for employees and members of the public.

Because PAT testing is one of the most effective ways to do this, particularly for high risk or large, complex environments, it has become a standard way of meeting this legal obligation.

If you would like to read the specific guidance concerning electrical equipment at work, you can find this in a number of pieces of legislation:

–   The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/37
–   The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1989/635/contents/made
–   The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1998/2306/contents/made
–   The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1999/3242/contents/made

Green Sparks use uniquely designed labels that are colour specific for each year. Because not all items require testing every year, we can, with appropriate discussions with the Duty Holder, quickly and easily identify which items require testing when we are on site.

In environments such as schools, offices and shops, we usually place our stickers on the plugs to prove compliance. It places such as holiday lets and hotels, we place our stickers discretely so that they are not unsightly around the plug sockets.

Each item should be identified so that it is fully traceable through the Record of Testing provided at the end of the testing.

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