Portable Appliance Testing


Pat Testing or Portable Appliance Testing is an important part of any health & safety policy.

This section is intended as a guide to both the legal implications and to the technical requirements.

Pat Testing is recommended:

  1. Where appliances are used within a building by employees.
  2. Where the public may use appliances in establishments such as hospitals, schools, hotels, shops etc.
  3. When appliances are supplied or hired for use, the equipment should be checked to ensure it has a current PAT certificate.
  4. When appliances are repaired or serviced, a PAT certificate should be provided to ensure it is safe for use.

The level of inspection and testing required is dependent upon the risk of the appliance becoming faulty, which is in turn dependent upon the type of appliance, the nature of its use and the environment in which it is used.

The Institution of Electrical Engineers publish the “Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment" (ISBN: 0-85296-776-4) . This guide forms the basis for portable appliance testing in the U.K. and Ireland.

Please follow the sections on this page for more information PAT Testing / Portable Appliance Testing and Electrical Safety Testing.

Pat Testing – Who is responsible?

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) requires, every employer to ensure that work equipment is suitable for the purpose for which it is provided, only used in the place and under the provisions for which it is provided. It also requires every employer to ensure work equipment be efficiently maintained and kept fit and suitable for its intended purpose. It must not be allowed to deteriorate in function or performance to such a level that it puts people at risk. This means that regular, routine and planned maintenance regimes must be considered if hazardous problems can arise.

Regulation 3 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 recognises a responsibility that employers and many employees have for electrical systems.

“It shall be the duty of every employer and self employed person to comply with the provisions of the Regulations in as far as they relate to matters which are within his control.

It shall be the duty of every employee while at work:

(a) to co-operate with his employer so far as is necessary to enable and duty placed on that employer by the provision of the Regulations to be complied with: and
(b) to comply with the provision of these regulations in so far as they relate to matters which are within his control.”

In Ireland the draft guide to the safety, health and welfare at work (general application) regulations 2005 part VII : Electricity State that : Portable equipment supplied at a voltage exceeding 125 volts alternating current shall be inspected and where appropriate be tested by a competent person and a certificate of test shall be completed verifying that the portable equipment including cables and plug-tops, was on the day of inspection, as far as could reasonably be ascertained, safe and without risk to persons coming into direct or indirect contact with any live part of the equipment.

Portable Appliance Tester

Portable Appliance Tester

• Fast Testing
• Tests 110 V, 230 V and IT equipment
• Full Test capabilities (Flash Test on PAT4DVF only)
• Compatible with latest IEE Code of Practice
• Extension Lead Testing
• QWERTY keyboard
• 10-Year Real TIme Clock
• Integral Database
• Parallel Printer Port
• RS232 Communication
• Backlight

The Mk3 Versions of PAT4 are compatible with all issues of the IEE Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of electrcial equipment.

PAT4DV/3 speeds testing by working the way you work. PAT4 is quicker to start, test, download and upload.

Full Appliance and Client details are stored along with test results. New Appliances may be added as and where you find them. The combination of Quick Boot, Auto Restart, Real Time Clock, Group Test Codes, Quick Check and Instant Certification will save you up to 50% of your time, resulting in increased efficiency, improved productivity and increased profits for your company compared to other testers.

Click HERE to view a sample test certificate.

Procedures for Pat Testing

The Brian King Engineering test engineer shall make himself known to the health & safety officer at the testing premises. The engineer will liaise with this person as the site contact in all matters of testing with regard to the schedule of testing on the premises, times appropriate for shutdown of equipment etc and advise this person of any appliances that fail testing.

Testing is carried out in the following manner:

We start with a visual inspection checking for:

  • Damaged flexes
  • Damaged plugs and equipment
  • Correctly wired plugs
  • Correctly rated fuse

Then a series of tests carried out with the tester depending on the type of appliance to be tested:

  • Earth continuity testing
  • Insulation resistance
  • Polarity test
  • Eatrh leakage test

A label will be attached to each appliance that passed testing with the appliance ID and “Retest Due” date. Appliances that fail testing will be labelled “DO NOT USE” failed safety test.

A certificate of test will then be awarded to the client (see sample)