It is perhaps the question I am asked most: “is PAT testing a legal requirement or not?”.

The simple answer is that it isn’t.  There is a big “but” coming though!

Whilst there is currently no legal requirement to have electrical equipment PAT tested, the Government has put a number of regulations in place regarding the maintenance of electrical equipment.  The simplest way of complying with them all is regular PAT testing.

The regulations require employers, including the self-employed, to ensure all the electrical equipment used in their business is safe to use and properly maintained.  In addition the UK Health and Safety Executive expect employers to carry out PAT testing and you may also find that your insurance company makes the same stipulation in your policy.

The relevant regulations currently are these:

  • The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
  • The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  • The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999

Non-compliance with these regulations may result in a fine of £5,000 or six months imprisonment.  In extreme cases fines have reached £20,000 and some offences heard at the Crown Court have resulted in sentences of more than two years imprisonment.

So, even though there is no statutory obligation to have your electrical equipment PAT tested, it pays to do so if only for your own peace of mind.  It means that you know your electrical equipment is safe and that your employees and the general public are not at risk.

If you would like to discuss having your electrical equipment PAT tested give us a call on 01453 764531.

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