A competent person with suitable knowledge of electronics must carry out PAT Testing to be compliant with legislation such as:
- Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
- Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment regulations 1998
- Management of Health and Safety at Work regulations 1999
You will need to use the correct PAT testing equipment appropriate for the products under test. After the appropriate person has completed the testing and the products have passed, they will issue a PAT certificate signifying that the appropriate standards have been met and the product is safe for use.
What Do You Need to PAT Test?
There are 7 categories of appliances that require PAT testing:
- Fixed appliances
- Stationary appliances
- IT appliances
- Moveable appliances
- Portable appliances
- Cables and chargers
- Handheld appliances
Electrical appliances are mainly categorised as Class 1, 2 or 3, with Class 1 being the most dangerous if unsafe and Class 3 the least dangerous if unsafe. The class of an appliance helps determine the level of PAT testing required for the equipment so it can be used safely. Class 1 appliances need a full PAT test, Class 2 appliances need a PAT insulation test, and Class 3 appliances don’t need to be PAT tested at all.
Class 1 appliances are typically made of metal, have three cables, a metal Earth pin, and a fuse in the plug. They include small and large white goods, such as microwaves, kettles, toasters, refrigerators, and microwaves.
Class 2 appliances include additional insulation and therefore do not rely on a metal Earth pin for protection, with items such as hairdryers, televisions, computers, and photocopiers falling under this category. However, the safest way to ensure the class of your products is to look for the Class 2 appliance symbol.
Finally, Class 3 items are low voltage appliances and are considered the safest of electrical appliances, such as laptop computers, mobile phones, and low energy lightbulbs. While the items themselves may not require PAT testing, their charging leads and plugs may require testing.