Do you have a sizeable commercial operation and rely on a number of different appliances to perform the work involved? If so, then you have a duty of care to ensure that other people who come into contact with these appliances are as protected as possible. This duty of care may extend to customers as well as your regular employees, and you need to have a procedure in place to look after this issue. Are you sure that you are as protected as possible from a liability point of view and if not, what do you need to know about portable appliance (PAT) testing?
PAT testing is a process that involves regular inspection of portable appliances that are used within your business for operational reasons. This work should extend to the fixed wiring and other more permanent machines or appliances within your operation, and you should make sure that a qualified electrician inspects everything and that records are kept accordingly.
Test and Tag
In Australia, this type of activity is also known as 'test and tag'. The work will depend on the type of appliance or installation and how much of a risk it may ordinarily pose. For example, the technician may need to conduct a resistance or continuity test using an approved meter or other devices to make sure that the figures are contained within an acceptable range. Sometimes, insulation may need to be checked for its resistance to ensure that workers and others are protected as much as possible.
If any issues are found, then the electrician will immediately bring attention to this and will typically tag the equipment with a failure notice so that everyone is aware of the situation. If the equipment may be returned to operation following modification or repair, then full details will be kept and the records will be annotated accordingly.
Much on the Line
It is within the interests of every commercial business owner to ensure that all of their equipment is fully functional, safe and effective. If this type of testing is overlooked and an incident was to occur, then the owner could be found negligent, be open to a liability claim and suffer reputational harm.
Getting Up to Speed
If you have not performed any PAT testing in recent time, talk with a commercial electrician. They will be able to look at your operation and advise a course of action so that you can come up to date as soon as possible.