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Portable Appliance Test (PAT)

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. However, the Regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently (i.e. they don't make inspection or testing of electrical appliances a legal requirement, nor do they make it a legal requirement to undertake this annually).

It is a commonly held misconception that portable appliance testing is a legal requirement which, as described above, is not the case. It is however, the most commonly used form of testing used by employers to ensure that the electrical equipment used by their employees is safe and compliant with the law.

Portable appliance testing encompasses regular visual checks to ensure that equipment is in safe working order along with more formal tests carried out by an appointed competent person at periodic intervals.