According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 95% of faults and damages to portable electrical appliances can be found by a visual inspection whilst electrical testing takes place.
It is highly advisable however, that these checks are carried out by a specially trained electrical contractor, especially in the hotel trade, where hundreds of guests and staff may be at risk from faulty electrical equipment.
Nick Walls from Manchester-based Walls Data & Electrical contractors, explains how Health and Safety law dictates that all employers must do regular electrical testing to ensure their portable electrical appliances and electrical installations are safe.
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT Testing) basically involves the periodic testing of electrical appliances within a commercial or domestic setting to identify any possible faults which could make the equipment unsafe.
The electrical safety contractors will examine the equipment, the cable and the plug, after disconnecting it. They will look for:
- Damage, eg cuts, abrasions (apart from light scuffing) to the cable covering
- Damage to the plug, eg the casing is cracked or the pins are bent
- Non-standard joints including taped joints in the cable
- The outer covering of the cable not being gripped when it enters the plug or the equipment
- Equipment that has been used in conditions where it is not suitable, eg a wet of dusty workplace
- Damage to the outer cover of the equipment or obvious loose parts or screws
- Overheating (burn marks or straining)
In addition, formal inspection would include the opening of the plug top and checking:
- The correct fuse is being used
- The cord grip is holding the outer part of the cable tightly
- The wires, including the earth where fitted, are attached to the correct terminals
- No bare wire is visible other than at the terminals
- The terminal screws are tight
- There is no sign of internal damage, overheating or entry of liquid, dust or dirt
For all electrical testing requirements, contact Wallsde.co.uk