Electro-Technical Council of Ireland launches New P.A.T Testing Guide
Statutory requirements are in place since November 2007 under S.I. No. 299 (2007) with regard to the maintenance, inspection and testing of portable equipment used in the workplace which expanded further on the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act (2005). On 1st April 2008 ETCI launched its new publication ET215:2008 'Guide to the Maintenance, Inspection and Testing of Portable Equipment (Electrical Appliances and Tools) in the Workplace'. This document is intended to aid employers meet their statutory duties in this regard and is available as a free download from HYPERLINK "http://www.etci.ie/docs/ET215%282008%29.pdf
Portable Appliance Testing or P.A.T. is an integral part of any Health & Safety Policy. In simple terms a portable appliance is classed as any piece of electrical equipment that plugs into the electrical supply via a socket. However the scope of equipment covered by ET215 is much broader. The P.A.T. was devised in the interest of employee and public safety and it is now a statutory requirement. It is critical to have these appliances safety tested to guard against the risk of fire and prevent electric shock to either an employee or member of the public and to promote a safe working environment.
The Health and Safety Authority and the Electro-Technical Council of Ireland currently regulate the area of P.A.T. However the insurance industry is currently the main enforcer as many companies will no longer insure clients unless they receive documented proof of Portable Appliance Testing.
The frequency of testing is dependent on the use of the equipment and type of facility but in general should be carried out on an annual basis. The test includes a visual inspection of mains cables, fuses etc. as well as an insulation and full safety test using a certified Portable Appliance Testing machine.
A breakdown of what a typical P.A.T. would entail is as follows:
Earthing and Screen Continuity
Protective Conductor Current