It is, but it isn’t!
One of the most common questions we are asked about PAT testing is “Is PAT Testing a legal requirement or not”, as a result we thought it important to bring some of the facts to the fore and ensure that all have the facts and knowledge to ensure your companies compliance.
There is currently no strict legal requirement for PAT testing. The Government however has put regulations into place that pertain to the maintenance of electrical appliances and the most effective way to ensure that these regulations are met is through PAT testing.
Claims that PAT testing is required by law and that the client is breaking the law by not having it done are simply NOT true. The Law does require however that employers, including self-employed, ensure that all electrical equipment they provide in their business is safe and properly maintained. This means that PAT testing is a critical part of your company’s health and safety and should be considered part of a solution to your safety concerns.
What Regulations must we comply with? – Here are the facts
The UK Health and Safety Executive along with insurance companies will expect you to perform PAT testing to ensure that you are compliant with certain regulations including:
Health & Safety at Work Act of 1974
The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989
The Provision an Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999
Not complying with the above mentioned regulations can result in fines up to £5,000 and/or six months imprisonment. Fines have been seen to go as high as £20,000 and offences heard in the Crown Court have carried sentences of more than 2 years imprisonment in addition to unlimited financial penalties. So even though PAT testing itself is not legally required, it simply helps you to protect yourself by ensuring that you are complying with these regulations.
It is fair to say that PAT testing is not defined by its own law but as a tool to ensure safety and compliance with work regulations and also as employer it gives clear piece of mind, knowing that all electrical items that you and your staff members, operators and general public use are safe and fit for purpose and not a risk of causing damage or harm to people and premises.