It’s mid-week and I arrive at my new client’s business address to start a day of PAT Testing. Now when I first arrive – and having met with the person responsible – I spend a few minutes wandering around to get an understanding of the layout of the offices. There is nothing worse than finding out that there is a basement with another office and staff room that I wasn’t aware of …
As I’m wandering around I noticed a number of things that make me smile, but at the same time have a potential of being dangerous. We have all seen them; the fire extinguishers being used as door stops, cables running across walkways without suitable covers. However one thing really stood out – I mean why on earth would somebody have their desk on the stairwell landing and be working at it? I can only assume that they have ran out of space – or it’s the naughty desk!
So I start testing and it was not long before I found a piece of equipment that had the wrong size of fuse for the type of equipment. Too many manufacturers now send out desk lamps with 13-amp fuses when a 3-amp would do. So I change the fuse to the correct rating and continue my testing process.
I was soon noticing the wrong fuse in many appliances, but as this is part of the service I make the change. Then I was told by a member of staff, “you don’t need to test that Printer, it’s only a few days old.” I still checked the lead and of course what did I find? One of the counterfeit leadswhich are flooding the UK market. As it’s counterfeit, it had no earth continuity and a fuse which did not meet British Standards.
Other things that I found being used included a lead extension which had melted, a number of leads which did not have the correct polarity in the moulded plug and of course my favourite the cardboard wiring diagrams still in situ.
I think the best appliance that failed was a toaster. Why? It wouldn’t turn off and was constantly on. It always worries me when I have completed the testing and the responsible person asks “was it really necessary to fail so many items?” Really? What would you prefer? Someone dying of an electric shock resulting in a prison sentence for the directors, or the knowledge that your staff and business is safe? I know my preferred option!
If you would like further information about PAT testing, or any other Health and Safety requirements, call us on 0330 6600264 or click here to ping over an email and I’ll get right back to you.I do wonder sometimes if customers see PAT testing as just a tick box requirement and find the cheapest solution rather than a looking at it as a need to meeting the current Workplace Safety requirements?
Until next time …