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Portable Applicance Testing (P.A.T)

In 2001 we decided to expand our list of services to include PAT Testing, since then we’ve been fully certified testers.

Why do I need to have it tested?
There are a numerous reasons why appliances should be tested on a regular basis, listed below are the most important ones.

  • To comply with all Health & Safety requirements. ISO 9000 & BS 5750
  • To comply with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations
  • To minimise the risk of fire and injury caused by electrical appliances
  • To satisfy your Insurance Company
  • To comply with The Electricity at Work Regulations

What does PAT Testing involve?
Firstly, a visual inspection is required. The inspection involves examination of the plug top, lead and the casing of the equipment. The plug top is checked for the correct fuse size, adequate cord grip, correct polarity and tightness of terminations, cracking, heat damage and a plug with insulating pins conforming to current BS standards. The casing of equipment is checked for any visual damage or cracks and any holes or vents that are apparent must not have a radius greater than 6mm. Allso there must not be any live parts within 80mm of the aperture.

The Appliance

  • Is it working?
  • Does it switch on and off properly?
  • Is there any damage to the external casing?

The Lead

  • Is it in good condition?
  • Is it free from cuts, fraying and damage?
  • Is it too long or too short?
  • Are there any hand-made or taped joints?
  • Is the cable secure where it enters the plug?

The Plug

  • Are the cable terminations secure and correct?
  • Is the cord grip effective?
  • Is the correct fuse fitted?
  • Are there any signs of internal damage?
  • Overheating or ingress of liquid or foreign matter?

What you get for your money?

  • Any necessary re-termination of plug-top cables
  • Any necessary replacement of standard plug-tops
  • Any necessary replacement of fuses cartridges
  • All standard pass (or Fail) labels
  • A Failure Report (where appropriate)
  • A Certificate of Electrical Appliance Testing
  • A record in respect of each item inspected/tested that includes - Company name, location description, building, floor, asset description, manufacturer, test results and date of next test.

Cost

  • £0.50 Per Item
  • £25.00 Call Out Charge


Portable Applicance Testing FAQ

What is a Portable Appliance?
For the purpose of the legislation, a portable electrical appliance is taken to be an item of equipment which is not part of a fixed installation but is, or is intended to be, connected to fixed installation, or a generator, by means of a flexible cable and a plug and socket. Phew, heavy stuff eh? In layman's terms this means that any item with a plug is Portable Appliance. This would include electric drills, kettles, PCs, printers, monitors, extension lead and even some large items such as vending machines and photocopiers.

Who does this apply to?
The Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) placed a Legal responsibility on empolyers, suppliers and hirers etc to take reasonable steps to ensure that no danger results from the use of electrical equipment. This means all Portable Appliances at your place of work have to be regularly tested to ensure they are safe.

How often do I have items tested?
There is no specific schedule set out. There are however guidelines to help. The frequevcy of testing depends on the type of equipment and the enviroment in which it is used. For example a high-risk item such as an electric drill should be tested more frequently than a low risk item such as a PC. Furthermore a drill that is used everyday in a high density manufacturing plant should be tested more frequently than a drill used only occasionally in an office environment. Essentially it is the responsibility of the employer to assessthe risk involved and implement it's own programme of testing. Most companies still opt for a blanket test of all equipment on an annual basis to ensure conformity.

Is it done during normal office hours?
This type of testing can be executed either during or outside of normal working hours. If you are in charge of a department budget you should be aware that it is likely that evening work and weekend work would attract an uplift in costs.

Do we have to unplug the machines?
Yes. In order to electrically test the equipment it needs to be disconnected from the mains and plugged into a testing device. This is how the electrical readings are obtained and a PASS or FAIL status is defined.

What are the implications for our I.T systems?
Since the early days of testing, the test equipment that PHR use has been adopted to ensure that no damage can be done to equipment during the test process.

What about our servers and critical systems?
In some environments where it is not possible to turn equipment on and off, such as computer suites and comms rooms, it may only be appropriate for a visual inspection to be carried out. If this is the case, then every effort must be made to carry out a combined inspection and test at the next available times. This would normally be during a scheduled shutdown for maintenance purpose.

How long does it take?
This will obviously depend on the number of appliances within your building and how easily accessible they are. A normal workstation with a computer, printer and extension lead would typically take between 10 and 15 minutes to test and reconnect. If you have any specific timescales to work to you should liase with us and gain clarification.

What is the labelling system?
All appliances that are tested should be given a unique form of identification. This will normally be in the form of an adhesive bar-code label indicating an asset number, the retest due date and initials of the PHR test engineer.

Do I have to keep records?
Once again, the guidelines are sketchy as to the necessity of testing records. It should be viewed as best practice to adopt a register of all Portable Appliance Teasting. In this way we are able to demonstrate that we have safely maintained the equipment within our control.

What happens if an item fails?
Most failures are found during the initial visual check (i.e. a cracked plug or an incorrectly rated fuse). These minor repairs will be carried out during the course of the works however other failures may not be fixed quickly and PHR would take them out of service to eliminate danger to your staff.

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