Preventative role of Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

By J Wallace, Seaward Group


Published in:

Electricity+Control, October 2013 (pages 4 – 8)



The full article on Preventative role of Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) can be downloaded in PDF format.


The process of electrical inspection and testing (including Portable Appliance Testing – PAT) in the United Kingdom has made a significant contribution to improving and maintaining safety in the workplace. It is clear, however, that there is a continuing need to educate the contractors who provide this service and better inform those organisations which carry out inspection and testing on their own behalf.

A problem rests with the actions of unethical contractors and the industry needs to consider how higher levels of responsibility and professionalism among PAT contractors can be encouraged. This is an area where a number of the electrical trade organisations could play a significant role in helping to raise standards within the industry.

The clarification on PAT recommended by the Löfstedt Review should encourage a better and more widespread understanding of this vitally important area of health and safety.


Take note

  • In-service testing of portable electric devices is important.
  • Unsafe electric devices pose many risks.
  • Often, equipment is not tested at all.