Why do we need PAT Tests?

Although there is currently no strict legal requirement for PAT testing, the Government has put regulations in place regarding the maintenance of electrical appliances.  The most effective way to ensure that these regulations are met is through PAT testing.   

The UK Health and Safety Executive along with insurance companies will expect you to ensure that you are compliant with certain regulations including:

· Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974

· The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989

· The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998

· The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999

If you don’t comply, this could result in significant fines, as well as putting yourself, your employees, your tenants, and your business at risk. PAT testing is the most tried and tested means to ensure that your business complies with the above regulations and to identify faults and defects in electrical equipment.

How do you know what needs to be PAT tested?


Broadly speaking, any appliance that has a plug needs to be PAT tested.  

This can include items such as electrical drills, monitors, printers, kettles, hair dryers, as well as larger items such as vending machines, photocopiers and others.  If you are self-employed, all your portable electrical equipment will need to be tested.  For example if you are a musician taking your own electrical equipment to a venue, such as an amplifier, lighting set-up etc. it is your responsibility to ensure it meets the required safety standards. 

Government Guidelines - what you need to know

The following guidelines explain the importance of electrical testing:

- HSE Guidelines - Frequently Asked Questions 

- HSE Guidelines - Maintaining portable electrical equipment in low-risk environments.

- HSE Guidelines - Electrical Safety and You