The HSE expects businesses to resume testing of their equipment following Covid restrictions.

Lady with dark hair returning to work after covid, wearing a face mask

In early April (2021) the Health and Safety Executive updated their guidance for “thorough examination and testing of equipment“, which includes electrical equipment, and we, the Portable Appliance Testing Trade Association, agree with them completely.

The HSE have stated that during the coronavirus pandemic, businesses may have found it difficult to carry out their duty to thoroughly examine and test electrical equipment.

This has been because many businesses have been closed, whilst others have reduced or even banned contractors on their sites. We know from member feedback of the number of their clients who have not kept their PAT testing up to date, using Covid as an excuse or reason to put it off.

But as these businesses return to work, putting it off is not something that can be allowed to continue.

In their guidance the HSE has said it fully expects businesses and organisations to have a plan in place for resuming thorough examination and testing of their equipment; something it expects a business to implement.

The document is on the HSE website, link below, entitled “Thorough examination and testing of equipment“.

Electrical appliances need regular maintenance to ensure their safety; PAT testing being done on equipment fitted with plugs.

The excuse of “it hasn’t been used for a year” doesn’t really cut it as a reasonable excuse, as that appliance may have been under fault conditions all this time and is just an accident waiting to happen.

PATTA” recommends it’s members advise their clients of this update by the HSE, and guide to bring their own compliance up to date, if it has been allowed to lapse during the pandemic.

Now that businesses are opening again, the need to make sure electrical equipment is safe to start using again is great. Certificates that show out of date, or too long a period since the last test, need updating with new records.

In this update the HSE stated “Within the Electricity at Work Regulations examination and testing is still a legal requirement and a fundamental part of risk management“.

The HSE advises businesses that have missed their usual ‘retest’ due to the pandemic to get that test done as soon as possible to bring their records up to date.

If you happen upon this article and are looking for a PAT tester to help you you can reach out to one of our PATTA members through the member directory, which will show you who is most local to you.

The full version of this latest HSE update can be found here.