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PAT testing is important not only to comply with regulations but to ensure that your business is safe for employees and customers as well. In order to ensure that you are conforming to the Electricity at Work Regulations, you must have all qualifying appliances tested as part of your regular maintenance routine. Not performing the proper electrical test can result in your company being in violation of these regulations. UK inspections will involve a PAT tester examining the plug top of all appliances that need to be tested. The cord grip, polarity and termination tightness will also be examined and the appliances will need to be checked to ensure that no damage to the plug has occurred. Casing will be inspected to ensure that no cracks or visible damage is detected and any holes in the appliance cannot be larger than 6mm in radius. There is a number of PAT testing companies that can provide you with testing services. Ensuring that you select the right company is essential to keep your business safe from regulation violation. You should understand that there are different classes of equipment that are tested. These are categorised as follows:
- Class 1 includes equipment that is connected from the mains. The equipment in this category will have an earth connection from your mains and will likely have live parts that contain basic insulation. Appliances that typically fall into Class 1 include computers, fan heaters and other similar items.
- Class 2 includes equipment that does not have exposed metal work and contains at least two different layers of insulation. Items typically found in this class include dictation machines, desk calculators and others.
- Class 3 includes all equipment that operates from power supplies less than 50v AC. These items will have basic insulation and will contain no metal work. Items typically found in this category include mobile phones and lap tops among others.
It is possible to do your own PAT testing but there are requirements that you must meet. There are a few disadvantages to doing electrical testing on your own. The cost of obtaining certification is one factor that many consider a disadvantage, particularly if the only reason you are obtaining certification is to provide PAT testing for your own company. There is a number of PAT testing companies available to provide you with this service and many find that hiring PAT testing services is much more cost effective than obtaining their own certification.