Under the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, dutyholders (employers and self-employed people) are legally required to ensure that electronics with the potential to cause injury are maintained in a safe condition, so far as is reasonably practicable. Dutyholders are jointly responsible for equipment that is leased or provided by a contractor, unless it is solely used by the contractor.
The way in which equipment should be maintained, how often, and by whom is not dictated by law. Nevertheless, most businesses use portable appliance testing (PAT) to ensure compliance with the aforementioned regulations, to keep their customers and employees safe, and to help protect themselves from liability in the event of an electrical accident.
PAT is the process of testing and visually inspecting movable appliances such as lamps, heaters and computers to ensure that they are safe for use. The electrical test requires specialist equipment, which checks non-visual features such as polarity, earth continuity and insulation resistance.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that businesses perform a risk assessment to determine the frequency of PAT. The type of equipment, what it is…