PAT testing is required by employers, landlords and self-employed to ensure safety of portable appliances. The Health & Safety Executive provides no set rule on PAT testing frequency, only that testing should be done regularly to ensure preventative maintenance. The reason that there is no set frequency is because different situations arise that call for different measures. There are a number of factors that affect PAT testing frequency and it is up to each individual to determine when testing should be carried out.
In order to determine how often you should have your appliances tested, you should bear in mind a few different factors:
- Equipment that is used more should be tested more frequently. This equipment is likely to suffer less damage than that used regularly.
- If people using equipment report any damages as they become noticeable, there is less chance of a major hazard. If equipment regularly receives damage or abuse that is not reported then inspections and testing are required more frequently.
- The type of equipment in question is a major factor in determining PAT testing frequency. Hand held appliances are more likely to become damaged than those that are stationary. Class 1 appliances carry the greatest risk of danger and should be tested more often.
Although there are no requirements for PAT testing frequency, there are recommendations:
Offices, Shops and Hotels – Class 1 equipment including stationary and IT equipment should be tested every 48 months. Moveable equipment such as extension leads and portable equipment should be tested every 24 months. Handheld equipment should be tested every 12 months.
Schools – All Class 1 equipment in schools should be PAT tested every 12 months. Class 2 equipment should be tested every 48 months.
Public Use Equipment – Stationary and IT equipment such as computers should be tested every 12 months. Moveable, Portable and Handheld equipment falling into Class 2 should be tested every 12 months. Moveable, Portable and Handheld equipment falling into Class 1 should be tested every 6 months.
Construction – All 110V equipment used on construction sites should be tested every 3 months.
Industrial – All industrial sites, including commercial kitchens should have Portable and Handheld equipment tested every 6 months. Stationary, IT and Moveable equipment should be tested every 12 months.