What is the legal requirement for PAT Testing  

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What is PAT Testing?

PAT stands for Portable appliance testing which is the process of a visual examination and electrical testing of portable equipment used in the commercial or public areas and locations to ensure safety and prevent electrical dangers for the workers working on the premises.

PAT Testing legal requirement

Few of the Electrical hazards are listed out here that are more dangerous,

  • Defective, loose or missing ground/Earth connection
  • Frayed power cord
  • Exposure to live damage due to the outer casing of the equipment.

Many of these failures are identified through visual inspection but still, it is being unreported. Some of the internal defects are not at all identified sometimes which leads to severe damages to workers as well as the organization. In order to prevent all these damages enabling PAT testing on a regular basis depending upon the portable equipment ensures not only safety to the workers and the working environment but also increases the operational life of the equipment and maintained properly for further usage.

what are the legal requirements for pat testing

PAT Testing allows the operator to perform various Safety tests with single equipment that inhibits the safety level and they are as follows,

  • Earth Bonding and Continuity Tests

To verify proper ground earth connections of exposed metalwork appliances

  • Insulation Tests

Verifies Equipment conductors are isolated from the earth

  • Touch Current Test

Verifies Exposed metal parts are isolated from earth

  • Differential Leakage Test

Measures the difference in current between existing and neutral during the working process.

  • Functional Load test

Ensures that the asset works as expected and does not draw excessive current for the operation.

Legal Requirement of PAT Testing

Currently, there is no firm legal requirement for PAT Testing. However, the employer or manufacturer should be more concerned about the safety measures for their products in the working premises as per the legal rights and laws. The key term defines it as “Liability” that is ensured by the manufacturer that all the electrical appliances used for work are safe and certified after the visual examination and documentation as per the legal requirement of the UK Government for PAT testing.

rules of PAT testing

In the UK there are many PAT testing companies available which abide by the Health and Safety, at Work Act and the Electricity at Work Regulations, while not specifically dictating that portable appliance testing must be carried out, but do state that all electrical systems (which include appliances) must be maintained to prevent injury and danger of workers.

The UK Health and Safety Executive expects the PAT testing team to perform and ensure that they comply with the following regulations,

  • Health and Safety Work Act in 1974

This law is implemented to ensure the safety of all employers using the premises

  • The Electricity at Work Regulations in the year of 1989

This act is used to take necessary actions to prevent electrical danger and maintain safety.

legal requirements for pat testing

  • The Provision & Usage of Work Equipment Regulations in the year of 1998

Employers must ensure that the work equipment is constructed such that it suits the purpose for which it is used or provided.

  • The Management of Health & Safety Work Regulations in the year of 1999

Suitable and sufficient assessment of

i. the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed while they are at work,
ii. the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking.

The companies that do not abide by the above-mentioned regulations then it would certainly result in a fine which includes £5,000 and/or six months’ imprisonment. Even though PAT testing is not legally required it would simply help you in safeguarding your electrical equipment and employers and also at the time yourself from these fines and punishments by ensuring the above regulations.

pat testing requirements


Either you are self-employed or involved in small or large business activities it is always better to maintain a safe working environment for all your portable appliances and be free from Electrical hazards. It otherwise means that PAT Testing plays a crucial role in your business in accordance with safety concerns.

Benefits of PAT Testing

  • A most effective way of detecting the defects that come in use
  • Free from potential Electrical Hazards
  • Periodical Maintenance enhances the lifetime of the Product or portable appliance
  • Complete analysis of Handheld Equipment (Portable Equipment)

There are also Local PAT testing available for all household items and even it supports all startup business either small or large. In Shipley, there are companies that do PAT testing with highly qualified and professional engineers at affordable prices, abide by all these regulations and maintain safety among all the equipment and working premises along with PAT Certificate that includes an itemized list to confirm that each appliance is safe for continued use.

Hope this article gives you the full detail of PAT testing and its legal requirement to implement the process successfully and also few benefits of PAT testing are also highlighted here. Ensure PAT Testing in your organization and have a safe and peaceful development in all aspects.


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