PAT Testing - Is it a Legal Requirement?


The short and somewhat deceptive answer is -no!  However, tempting it may be for company owners and landlords to let out a sigh of relief, seemingly let off the hook from the costs and time it takes getting your lighting and appliances PAT tested, each company and property owner needs to take several other things into account.


The HASAWA (Health and Safety at Work Act) 1974, puts the onus on company owners and management to provide a safe working environment for all staff, service users, and customers.  In fact, if you have 5 or more employees, you are required by law to have a written policy on what acts you and your staff must implement to ensure safety measures.  This may include such measures as regular training programs for the use of machinery and other equipment, the provision of PPE, and regular checks such as PAT testing.


The Electricity at Work Regulation 1989 also makes clear that it is the responsibility of business owners to prevent danger to all who enter the working premises, or use the work equipment.  This not only includes using the electrical systems in a safe way, but to ensure the systems in place themselves meet up with safety standards.


So, whereas cost and the amount of time available to concentrate on other “essential” things may seem like a better option, conscientious business owners will recognise that it is prudent to factor our commercial electrical testing services in to their yearly costs.  That can include PAT testing when we provide any of our other electrical inspections, maintenance and installations for our customers.  


PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing; therefore, you don’t have to worry about PAT testing LED lighting that is installed/fixed into the structure of the property.  However, LED lighting that is part of a movable appliance can be PAT tested for you, when we come to your property to carry out tests on all of your installed electrical systems.


Fixed wire testing, which is the electrical systems within a building that are not portable, must be done every 5 years when you are a business owner of a somewhere like commercial shop, office building, or a landlord, and is a legal requirement.  Industrial buildings and warehouses where a lot of dirt and dust mount up must have fixed wire testing every 3 years.  So, any LED lighting that is fixed into the shop, restaurant or any other commercial business is classes as fixed wiring.


So, in conclusion, as you have several legal requirements when it comes to the regular testing of electrics built into a property, and other requirements by law to take care of your employees when it comes to handling portable machinery or equipment on the premises, it makes sense to book in your PAT testing along with other electrical system checks, such as your LED lighting checks.


Here at Existatest, we are a conscientious company who make sure, that we not only follow guidelines and safety measures when installing electrical systems, but provide an aftercare to ensure the safety of our customers for many years to come.  Although we do not provide PAT testing as a stand-alone service, we do have all of the qualifications and expertise necessary to carry it out.  We also provide electrical testing for previously installed systems, including fire alarms, petroleum pumps for fuelling stations, and any other fixed wire electrics.


For more information on any of our electrical testing services, contact Existatest today.



Leave a comment