Keeping the work place safe…….


Increasingly the insurance industry is requiring that PAT Testing (portable appliance testing) is carried out prior to the renewal of the insurance policy. This is because each year over 1000 work place accidents involving electric shock are reported to The Health & Safety Executive each year, of which some are fatal! Most of the reported accidents involve portable appliances.

PAT Testing forms an important part of The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974)

PUWER (The UK Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations) 1998

PUWER  states that “every employer shall ensure that work equipment is so constructed or adopted as to be suitable for the purpose in which it is used or provided”

The use of electricity in the work place is subject to “The Electrcity at Work Regulations 1989”

The Electricity at Work Regulations place a legal responsibility on employers and self employed persons to take reasonable practical steps to ensure no danger results from the use of any electrical appliances. This requires the introduction of a systematic and regular programmed schedule of maintenance, inspection and testing.

The Safety at Work Act (1974) places such an obligation in the following conditions,

¨ Where appliances are used by employees.

¨ Where the general public may use appliances in establishments such as Hospitals, Schools, Offices, Hotels e.t.c.

¨ Where appliances are supplied or hired.

¨ Where appliances are repaired or serviced.

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