Saru Systems Keeping you Safe

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

involves conducting a series of electronic tests and a thorough visual inspection to all portable electronic equipment within a workplace or building. The desired outcome is to ascertain whether or not the appliance is suitable and safe for use. In order to test each piece of equipment properly, it must first be disconnected from the supply socket and inspected visually by a competent Engineer/Operative.

The Engineer checks for signs of damage to the appliance and its supply cord (IEC Lead) and then tests the functionality of any switches before checking that the fuse within the plug top is correctly rated for the safe disconnection of the appliance. After this process, the appliance is energised by a test machine which uses a sequence of checks to establish the integrity of the live, neutral and earth wires. 


The machine, depending on its findings, will establish a “pass” or “fail” status for the appliance, and the Engineer will label the equipment accordingly.

The legislation and guidance governing PAT is quite clear in most cases about how to protect your people and property and why, however Saru Systems Cannot Assume , as others do, that everybody has read the Electricity at Work Act 1989 or the British Standard that governs electrical safety. The fact is that common sense tells us that electricity is dangerous and any equipment using or producing it should be well maintained, Saru-Systems can negate the need for our customers to worry about the legislative requirements by managing their electrical safety requirements on their behalf.

Why do I need to carry it out?

The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989 places a “duty of care” on employers and landlords to maintain electrical systems to prevent danger where otherwise it may exist, the term electrical systems refers to all parts of an installation including portable appliances. The most efficient and comprehensive way of ensuring your duties are performed and adequate records are kept is by performing Portable Appliance testing (PAT) in accordance with the IEE Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment. By following this practice, you can be sure that your obligations have been met under the Health and Safety at Work Act so far as electrical safety is concerned and more importantly that your staffs, visitors, patients, buildings and possessions are safe.

Who is responsible?

Realistically, everybody has a duty to ensure the safety of others whilst at work; however, the Duty Holder will have ultimate responsibility for electrical safety. If nobody at your place of work is clear on who that is, then the responsibility falls on the most senior person. It is important to know who has the responsibility for safety and welfare of staff in order to establish that compliance is achieved.

What does it involve?

Portable appliance testing requires a series of visual inspections and electronic tests to be performed to establish the safety and suitability of your electrical appliances. If performed correctly, you can expect that each electrical appliance within your workplace will have to be de-energised for a period of 2-5 minutes whilst the Engineer injects test signals into the cable and appliance to ensure their integrity and carries out a thorough visual inspection of the appliance, its plug top and lead. This type of work does not require the main supply to be isolated and with careful planning can be done with little disruption to your business. Alternatively, this work can be carried out whilst your workplace is empty, such as nights, weekends or holiday periods.

Who should do the work?

It is vital that this type of work is carried by a qualified and experienced test Operative. Who are competent people who have experience of test and inspection and have been trained and qualified in PAT inspection work specifically. When selecting your contractor you should ask to see evidence of their qualifications and experience in this type of work.

Will it impact on my workplace?

There will be some impact such as short periods of downtime on appliances; however, with careful planning this can be conducted at a time that best suits your business. Contractors that tell you this work can be fully carried out without isolating appliances – it is impossible.

Upon Completion of Tests

You will receive a report that details the following as a minimum:

  • An inventory containing each appliance type, name, location and description

  • A full set of test results for each appliance tested

  • A full list of any failed items with an explanation of their failure

  • A visible pass or fail label on each appliance detailing the inspection date, next test due and the inspector’s signature.

    Saru systems Electrician in Gloucester for electrical safety testing