Construction sites are one of the places that I dread when we get a call to PAT Test the equipment. It’s always the same, we have only a few items and in this case, I was informed that there were only 21 items to test, wrong the final figure was 85.
Now I have been PAT testing on construction sites for more than 10 years and I know that this will never be the case, to make matters worse I know that the testing of the equipment is going to take 4 times the length of time than doing an office.
PAT Testing on a Construction Site
One client recently had 16 vehicles, full of specialist tools and we go there to test on a Saturday morning, over two weekends. The first week there were over 100 items tested in about 5 hours, but the following week we only tested 60 items in about 8 hours. There were so many repairs to be done. I have to admit the client was very upset with the state of the equipment and how the staff seemed to abuse it. I’m sure he was planning a toolbox talk to explain the need to be a little more careful with the equipment and their own safety.
With construction equipment, the recommendation is that the equipment should not go longer than 3 months between tests and of course every tradesperson should carefully check their equipment with a visual inspection prior to use (Yeah and there are a few pigs lining up on the runway) it never happens!
Anyway, on arrival at this site, I was met with one of the site managers who instantly asked to see my CSCS card. So, I stopped this manager in his tracks when I answer with “I don’t have one”. I never have had nor needed one. I explained that as I do not actually enter on to the site other than to an office or the site canteen it is not necessary. In all my times visiting sites, I have always been escorted to an office or the canteen to set up and everyone brings their equipment to me. At that point, the colour returned to his face and agreed that was a good solution.
So, I set up in the canteen, it’s a good place to start as the first thing that comes my way is the all-important cup of tea. Anyway, then the equipment starts to arrive, I just love 110V cables with sections of tape on them, of course, what do I do, but remove them to find the cable cut and the copper cores exposed. Construction tools always have repair work, from Heat shrink repairs to the cable, to replacement plugs and sockets which have been broken or damaged. That’s why it always takes longer, there are always repairs.
Now one of the things that is always stressed on construction sites is the need for Personal Protection equipment and I was asked to ensure that I was wearing my Hi-Viz jacket, safety gloves, goggles and of course my hard hat. I did have to explain that my glasses were safety spectacles so didn’t need goggles.
I read recently that some companies are now adopting a colour scheme for the hard hats:
- Green for Health and Safety which is fine as ours are green, not because we are a health and safety company, but it is part of our company uniform colours.
- Blue for site visitors
- Red for Fire Marshalls
- White for general operatives and laborers.
I did smile when I read that there was a Pink Hard Hat given out to the person who had forgotten theirs, bet they didn’t do it a second time.
Anyway, give us a call if your tools need testing…
Until next time, stay safe.