A couple of months ago the new code of practice which relates to “In-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment” or more commonly known as PAT Testing was released. One of the changes within the code does cause me a little bit of concern …
In Service Inspection And Testing Of Electrical Equipment Changes
This change is to the labelling structure. The IET, along with numerous other industry representatives, decided that it is no longer a requirement to have a retest expiry date on the labels.
Before the change, when a piece of equipment had been tested, it had the test date and when it would be due to be retested. Personally, it makes better sense for members of staff to be able to see when a piece of equipment should no longer be used; but that is my own opinion.
When a label shows the retest date it reduces the risk of a member of staff being hurt or even killed by a piece of equipment. However, it is the responsibility of every member of staff to carry out a user-check before the appliance is actually used, but I doubt if that really ever happens.
Damage to the lead including fraying, cuts or heavy scuffing, e.g. from floor box covers,With the user-check employees should look for:
Damage to the plug, e.g. to the cover or bent pins,
Tape applied to the lead to join leads together,
Coloured wires visible where the lead joins the plug (the cable is not being gripped where it enters the plug),
Damage to the outer cover of the equipment itself, including loose parts or screws,
Signs of overheating, such as burn marks or staining on the plug, lead or piece of equipment,
Equipment that has been used or stored in unsuitable conditions, such as wet or dusty environments or where water spills are possible,
Cables trapped under furniture or in floor boxes.
There has also been changes to the testing frequencies. The new code highlights that testing should be carried out subject to the risk associated with the use of the equipment and the environment it is being used in. This change really hasn’t caused me much of a concern; the reason being, as a company, we have always discussed with the client their testing needs and devised a suitable program which suits the clients’ premises and their insurance.
Until next time …Not all companies will work to this new code of practice, but that’s another story. If you want your equipment tested professionally – to code – then it may be a great idea to call FTS Safety Solutions on 0330 6600264 or click here to ping over an email and we’ll get right back to you.