Why Get PAT Tested?
We are aware that there is some confusion as to whether businesses must have PAT testing completed by law.
There is currently no strict legal requirement for PAT testing, but the Government have 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.
UK Health & Safety Regulations
The UK Health & safety Executive, along with insurers, will expect you to perform PAT testing to ensure that you are compliant with certain regulations which include:
Health and safety at Work Act 1974
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
The management of Health and safety at work Regulations 1999
The law does require that employers, including the self employed, ensure that all electrical equipment that they provide or use within their business is safe and properly maintained. Ultimately this means that a regular programme of PAT testing should be a critical part of your company's health and safety policy and should be considered a major part of any safety concerns when compiling or updating risk assessments.
Don't get fined, get tested!
Failure to comply with the above regulations can result in fines up to £5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment. Fines have been seen to go as high as £20,000 and offence heard in the Crown Court have carried sentences exceeding 2 years imprisonment.
So even though PAT testing in itself is not a legal requirement it does enable you to demonstrate, in the unfortunate event of an accident, that you have complied with the relevant regulations.