Every month I contact my previous years clients to inform them that their current PAT certification is due to expire, last month was no exception except this time there would be a slightly different return contact. No sooner had I send the message than I get an immediate response. The client states that he thought that PAT testing was a bi-annual inspection …
Within 10 minutes of the first message I received a second message from one of the management team, which informed me that there was no requirement for PAT testing at all, evidently he had previously been notified by the HSE that PAT is only a tick box solution and there is no need for it to be carried out. My initial thoughts were “who the hell is this plonker and more importantly who did he speak to” as I would love to talk to them and understand what it was that they actually said.
I decided that it would be best to arrange a visit to the said customer and talk to them about what would be considered the right solution. I do understand that testing is based on the current IET guidelines and the risk associated with the equipment and its use but importantly the safety of the employer, the employees, visitors and the business premises. As their premises is considered high risk it would be good to talk face to face.
I had my meeting with this client and explained that as most of their equipment is high risk – industrial thermal equipment – it would be a recommendation that they continued with the annual inspection and at the same time check with their insurance before they took the final decision.
A couple of days later the telephone rang and it was the said same client, they informed me that they had decided to continue with the annual inspection, I did ask what was behind their decision to continue with the annual inspection and was told that they felt that the equipment was indeed high risk and needed to be tested and I can only guess but I also understand that their insurance had instructed them to maintain the annual inspection.
So I arrive on site to start the testing, was met by one of the managers who was so nice, even asked if I would like a cup of tea or coffee. I asked where he wanted me to start and as I had a couple of hours before the office staff started he asked me to start there. Well the first thing I looked at was the rather impressive printer, I was told it was brand new, evidently it had arrived two days earlier, well what happened next explains why we PAT test equipment, the mains lead was tested through my machine only to fail. “Great start” I thought, “what’s the matter with my machine?” Well it wasn’t the machine but the mains lead – it had a reverse polarity in the moulded plug which means that the live was connected to the neutral and vice versa. Of course you could not see that as the leads are hidden in the plug moulding. So I cut off the plug and fitted a new one. Bingo! The lead now passed.
To cut a long story short I found a number of appliances that failed the testing and other dangerous items including kitchen foil being used as a fuse, a broken Earth pin still in an extension block, which meant that the live and neutral sockets on the block were open and dangerous, my pet hate (Grrrr!) and finally, in true “i told you so” manner, I found that the manager who was told that testing is not required, had a new laptop which was supplied with a lead which did not meet British Standards even though it was marked that it did and also a dangerous non British Standard fuse which was highlighted in the blog how safe are your appliances?
Until next time …So if you think PAT testing is just a tick box requirement, you need to think again. The things that I found on this site had the potential of either killing someone, whether it was a member of staff or worse, starting a fire. So please don’t hesitate, give me call today on 0330 6600264 to discuss your PAT testing needs or business safety!