Over the last few months we have noticed an increase in the number of client sites where the PAT labels have been left totally blank.
Blank PAT Test Labels
The minimum requirement is for the label to have a date of testing, a unique identifier and the engineer who completed the test. Some labels I’ve seen do not even have a company name on, this practice is not very helpful if an inspection is carried out for a Fire Risk assessment. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve asked the client for a copy of the PAT Test results and still end up with no way of checking the results against the appliance.
Just a few years ago, a PAT Test label had to have the date of the next retest too, but this was changed in the latest edition of the In-service Inspection and Testing Code of Practice. We still get requests from some clients to put a retest date on the label, luckily we have never changed our label design format, which has a unique identifying number, the date of testing and by whom and also there is an option to tick the box for a retest date. The Pat Test Labels even display our company contact details and a handy barcode to help us when re-testing the appliance and to archive a complete test history of the item.
Conversely, a couple of days ago I spotted a completed label on a fire blanket which I had to flag as a concern for the client. As a professional health and safety tester, I just can’t help it – the brain is always switched on and the eye is always drawn to hazards and risks. What caught my eye on this occasion was the fire blanket was housed in a white box, which for a number of years the industry standard is red. On careful inspection, I read the label stating that it was new in 2015 and had been visually inspected for the past two years. However, I could just about see a second label underneath, I peeled back part of the top label to discover that the label stated serviced in Dec 2002! Fire blankets have an expected safe lifetime of 10 years, which made this one at least 15 years old even though the company who serviced it said it was new in 2015. I only hope it never has to be used but I did mention it to the client. What does upset me more is that they had paid for a service which obviously has not done correctly and what’s worse, paid for a new fire blanket and had only a new label placed over the old one. It just goes to show not all Cowboys ride a horse, some of them drive a van!