Case studies

Case studies

If you are looking for PAT testing and other electrical compliance services, no matter what sector you are in, we can help.

Find out more about some of the customers we work with.

If you are responsible for a shop or retail outlet, ensuring your electrical equipment is safe for use is even more critical than usual.

You are not only responsible for the safety of the staff that work in the store, but also customers that visit too.

We carry out electrical equipment testing (PAT testing) for a wide range of different retailers, to help them stay safe and compliant.

One of our customers that we work with is Build a Bear Workshop.

The problem

As Build a Bear Workshop has several stores across the country, they need to work with an electrical company that can attend all sites and complete testing to the same high standards each time.

The company has an internal estates team that deals with all aspects of building management, from cleaning to plumbing. This means they need to work with an efficient company that provides clear and concise communication.

They also need a contractor that can carry out PAT testing before stores open or after stores close, so customers and staff are not disturbed.

The solution

We have a network of over 100 engineers across the whole of the UK, meaning we can attend all sites, wherever they are located.

We work with Build a Bear Workshop’s estates team to manage electrical equipment testing across all of their UK sites. One dedicated person manages the entire process in our team, making it convenient if they need to reschedule a test, or have any questions.

The typical store has a wide range of different units that need testing; from computers, vacuum cleaners and point of sale systems to the pumps used to fill the bears with stuffing!

Our engineers work with the estates team and store staff to carry out equipment testing outside of working hours. This is a free of charge service we provide to all our clients, and means there is no downtime and no disruption to customers wanting to make a purchase.

“Our contractors help us to provide an exceptional service to all our customers, so efficiency and professionalism are essential to us.

“Hawkesworth provides an excellent service each and every time, with comprehensive reports so we can see which of our assets are fully functional, and which need repairing.” – Xowie Grist – Retail Operations Manager, Build a Bear Workshop

Compass Community School Victoria Park is located in Tipton in the West Midlands. The school supports vulnerable pupils and students, helping them not only achieve educational qualifications but also develop as young people.

Read more about our work at Victoria Park

We carry out electrical equipment testing (also known as PAT testing) for the National Badminton Centre (NBC) in Milton Keynes. This building not only is the training ground of the England Badminton team, but is a gym, leisure centre, hotel, and museum open to the public.

Hawkesworth tests the centre’s electrical equipment on an annual basis. We check a wide range of equipment including televisions, gym equipment, tills, vending machines and extension leads.

The problem

Leisure centres and gyms have long opening hours. For example, the centre is open to the public from 06:30 am to 11 pm, with staff accessing the building outside of these hours. 

This means that any essential maintenance work needs to take place outside of opening hours, to prevent as little disruption to customers and staff as possible.

Flexibility in leisure centres and gyms is also needed. Class schedules regularly change meaning that maintenance providers need to be as accommodating as possible.

For example, the NBC recently held a badminton tournament which meant our engineer needed to PAT test electrical equipment in certain rooms around matches.

The solution

Hawkesworth offers flexible electrical equipment testing to all customers, with equipment checks outside regular working hours. PAT testing is available early mornings and evenings, as well as weekends.

If the centre needs to reschedule their testing for another day, all they need to do is call or email their dedicated account manager at Hawkesworth, who will arrange this on their behalf.

“One of the reasons why we like using Hawkesworth for our testing is because they can work around our requirements.

“We recently had to rearrange testing to take place on a different day – Hawkesworth sorted this out for us quickly and provided clear communication every step of the way – Lauryn Crawford, Operations Manager, NBC

If you are carrying out PAT testing in the office, your engineer comes in once a year to check your electrical equipment. Carrying out PAT testing is a little bit trickier if your staff are working from home, but it can still be done.

We have been working with NHBC for several years. The national company has always supported their employees to work flexibly, giving them the option to work from home if practical. All staff working from home have full access to all of their office systems, including computers and phones.

We attend many employees’ homes to carry out their PAT testing. As we have engineers based all across the country, we can attend any location, at a time convenient to the member of staff.

All of our engineers are DBS checked and stringently follow all social distancing measures, ensuring peace of mind when they come to visit.

Based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NorthGene provides DNA relationship testing to a wide range of customers across the UK including private clients, law firms, family courts, Universities, the NHS and Public Health England.

DNA samples can be collected at home, at NorthGene, or at a GP’s or solicitor’s office. The samples are then sent to the laboratory for analysis.

The issue

Laboratories contain a wide range of sensitive laboratory equipment. As this equipment is workflow critical and expensive to replace, it needs to be checked regularly to ensure it doesn’t malfunction. If the equipment does malfunction, it can be repaired before it becomes unusable.

Laboratories also handle biological specimens that need to be managed with care. Damaged equipment could overheat, spark or stop working, which runs the risk of compromising or damaging DNA samples.

The solution

Hawkesworth provides electrical equipment testing (also known as PAT testing) to NorthGene on an annual basis, testing the company’s office equipment and laboratory platforms.

Our engineers test a range of equipment including freezers, UV cabinets, microscopes, centrifuges and block heaters to ensure they are compliant and safe. If our engineers identify a piece of equipment that is not working as it should, they can fix minor issues onsite or quarantine malfunctioning items so NorthGene can get them repaired.

As laboratories have stricter health and safety regulations than other buildings, we are happy to comply with any additional guidance requested such as engineers wearing specific PPE and additional security clearance.

We also create specialised risk assessments and method statements (RAMS) to factor in these additional health and safety issues.

“We’ve been working with Hawkesworth for several years and are delighted with the level of service we receive. The engineer is always professional and mindful of their surroundings, and supplies us with a detailed report after the work is done” – Paul Cherry, Operations Manager.

Severfield Plc is based in Thirsk in North Yorkshire. Founded in 1978, it is the largest structural steel business in the UK as well as one of the biggest in Europe, with a growing presence in India.

The company manufactures a wide range of steel products which feature in buildings including the London Shard, Tate Modern and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

The issue

As a heavy-duty steel manufacturer, Severfield has a large factory onsite where it fabricates products to ship not only across the UK, but internationally.

The factory contains a variety of machines used to temper and shape steel including lathes, drill presses, planers and grinders. All of these machines are mains-powered.

It is vital to ensure all electrical circuits in the factory are running at optimal capacity. This not only protects staff from injury but also safeguards the factory against potential fire and electrical damage.

Due to the nature of the factory, it needs to keep as fully operational as possible. Closing it temporarily for safety checks would reduce output significantly.

The solution

Hawkesworth carries out EICR inspections every three years, as well as annual thermographic surveys on their distribution boards.

EICR inspections should be carried out every three years to help factories remain compliant and safe. Severfield has nearly 3,000 electrical circuits in its factory that need to be tested.

To reduce the time spent on site and limit downtime, we stagger EICR inspections, so we carry out a third of the checks every year on a three-year cycle.

As well as electrical circuits, there are over 200 distribution boards that need checking for electrical faults. As the distribution boards contain the factory’s circuit breakers, turning the power off to test them is not an option.

Instead, we carry out thermographic surveys. Thermographic surveys, also known as thermal imaging, use an infrared camera to identify damage.

Potentially dangerous components give off heat, which is picked up by the camera. This means the boards can stay operational while the testing takes place.

All testing is carried out by the same team of engineers each time, meaning the engineers are always familiar with the location of everything that needs to be tested.

One of the businesses we work with is Vehicle Weighing Solutions (VWS), a company that specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of weighing systems and waste management software.

We have carried out annual electrical equipment testing at their installation centre at Chesterfield since 2013.

The issue

As well as testing the electrical equipment in VWS’s office, we also check the equipment in their factory, where they manufacture and install a range of products.

Electrical equipment in factories is more prone to wear and tear than equipment in an office environment. Equipment is exposed to friction, heat, abrasion, corrosion and heavy impact daily. This makes it more likely to wear down and malfunction.

Although some of this damage manifests itself physically in the form of damaged cables and equipment casing, some damage is internal. This means that staff may not be aware of any damage until the equipment stops working. 

And in a busy factory, this can cause production line issues until the equipment is fixed or a replacement is sourced.

The solution

“I would like to say how very nice the engineer was. He was very helpful, efficient and thorough during his visit to our site” VWS

Hawkesworth test a range of equipment for Vehicle Weighing Solutions, from monitors in the office to heavy machinery on the factory floor.

Our skilled engineers carry out a thorough visual check and internal test on each piece of equipment, ensuring that equipment is safe to use. 

A thorough report with photos is provided so that if any equipment fails testing, VWS has the information they need to get it repaired or replaced.

We can also carry out of hours work at no extra charge, preventing disruption and reducing equipment downtime.

If you operate a facilities management (FM) company, you will want to provide the most high-quality service at the most cost-effective price point.

This is where subcontracting (or outsourcing) some of your services may have benefits.

Wates and their need for high-quality testing solutions

Wates is a facilities management company that provides construction and maintenance services to companies across the UK.

Hawkesworth not only carries out PAT (electrical equipment) testing for Wates regional office in York, but also as a subcontractor. Our team of engineers carry out testing for various companies on behalf of Wates, including a global law firm and an international investment management company.

Our engineers are City & Guilds qualified and DBS checked, meaning that they are cleared to work in schools, hospitals, children’s homes and care homes.

As a company, we are registered with both CHAS and Safe Contractor, meaning that we are fully compliant with QHSE requirements, saving Wates valuable time.

One dedicated person in our team manages the entire process for Wates, meaning that if they need to reschedule a test or ask a question, there is just one contact point.

Tina Howe, Account Manager at Wates said: “We need to work with subcontractors that we can rely on and Hawkesworth are brilliant in that respect.

“We hope that we will be working together in the years to come.”

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Tell us more about your enquiry:

If you are looking for electrical equipment testing for your business, Hawkesworth is here to help.

Our network of engineers is available wherever you are in the UK, helping to ensure your equipment is safe to use and will not let you down.

Contact us today for your free, no-obligation quote.