Most business owners are more than aware that it is their responsibility to ensure that all electrical equipment in the workplace is safe for all employees and site visitors and complies with current Health and Safety regulations, but have perhaps not thought about any equipment they may use in mobile situations.
Your office is PAT tested but what about the Engineers Vans?
Catering vans, for example, are advised to have their equipment PAT tested and recent tests on a small fleet of vans for a well-known key cutting company revealed surprising results. Out of the 4 vehicles that we tested, 40% of the equipment failed to pass standard safety tests and none of them had a fire extinguisher that had been serviced in the past 12 months or in a couple of vans, no extinguisher at all. We provided the correct extinguishers for the vans along with the brackets to hang them safely. However, although in this case ABC Powder extinguishers were used, it is worth consideration the use of a foam extinguisher with AFFF additive to cover additional fire types.
Insurance companies are increasingly requiring PAT testing be carried out, in some cases it depends on both the environment and the usage. However overall responsibility falls on the business owner or “duty holder” to ensure that both the public and employers liability cover remains valid.
There does seem to be some confusion among those that may use portable equipment for their business, as to what needs to be tested. According to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974;
“An employer has a duty for ‘the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health’.”
The best way of complying with this legislation, is to have your equipment PAT tested by a qualified professional. Should an employer ever be in the situation where they will need to prove that they took every possibly step to ensure the health and safety of their workforce, such as a fire, electric shock or fatality, they will have the PAT test certificates and reports to prove that they did.
If you require further advice or indeed need to book your vans in for PAT testing and fire extinguisher servicing or provision, then call our office on 0330 6600264 or email [email protected]
Until next time, stay safe!