PAT testing for commercial premises like offices, factories, and retail outlets can be an excellent way to ensure health and safety compliance.
Here’s our guide to everything related to commercial PAT testing.
Is PAT testing a legal requirement on commercial premises?
PAT testing isn’t a legal requirement on commercial premises. However, electrical equipment does need to be maintained in a safe condition to protect staff and building visitors.
PAT testing is the most efficient way of doing this.
Who needs to ensure PAT testing is carried out on commercial premises?
The person with ultimate responsibility for PAT testing is the employer.
The employer may delegate PAT testing responsibility to an employee known as the ‘duty holder’.
What equipment needs to be PAT tested?
Anything that plugs into the mains should be PAT tested on commercial premises.
This means that items like computers, phone chargers, servers, and electric drills all should be PAT tested.
What is checked during a commercial PAT test?
There are two parts to a PAT test inspection. Firstly, a visual examination that checks for cracks, dents, overheating, and that the correct size fuse has been used.
Then there is an in-depth inspection and test, which includes:
- Earth continuity check (also known as the Earth bond test or Earth resistance test). This check ensures a satisfactory connection between the case of the appliance and the plug’s Earth pin. This connection reduces the risk of electric shock when the case is touched
- Insulation resistance check. This check makes sure that the insulation around the live parts of the appliance has a high level of resistance
- Lead polarity check. This check makes sure that the lead of an appliance is wired correctly
Any remedial works that need to be carried out for an appliance to pass a PAT test, like a plug or fuse replacement, will be carried out as part of the testing.
What happens if a piece of equipment fails a commercial PAT test?
If an individual appliance fails a PAT test inspection, it will be labelled and ‘quarantined’ so it can’t be used. This involves taking the device out of the room or, if this isn’t possible, removing the fuse.
The duty holder can then decide whether the equipment is repaired or replaced.
What happens after a commercial PAT test?
After testing is complete, you will be sent a PAT testing certificate. This shows that the electrical equipment on your commercial premises has been tested and is safe.
Hawkesworth will also provide a list of all PAT tested items, itemised by room. This report will also contain photos of all equipment that failed inspection, so you can see why this was the case.
How often should commercial PAT testing be carried out?
Some electrical equipment needs to be tested more regularly than others. For example, electrical equipment on a construction site will need testing more often than equipment in an office.
The best way to determine PAT testing frequency for commercial premises, in line with the 5th edition In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment code of practice, is to carry out a risk assessment.
How much does commercial PAT testing cost?
PAT testing is charged per unit, so it depends on the number of items you have in your building.
Bear in mind that each electrical item counts as a unit, so a computer with two monitors would count as three units.
Hawkesworth: your commercial PAT testing experts
We have nearly 30 years of experience carrying out PAT testing for various commercial businesses, from offices to factories.
With UK-wide coverage, competitive pricing, and evening and weekend testing at no extra charge, we’re the company of choice for many commercial organisations across the country.