The Importance of Portable Appliance Testing

Contrary to belief, the concept of Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is not new. As a result of regulations being passed, reasons as to why portable appliances should be tested include:

  • Legal compliance
  • Insurance compliance
  • Protection of integrity and professionalism
  • Protection from litigation
  • Protection of employees
  • Protection for visitors

The same legislation has required PAT testing records to be kept for a minimum of 5 years for random HSA/ HSE checks.

In Practice

Relevant guidelines supporting legislation require, amongst other matters, that:

  • All employers and self-employed persons ensure that portable electrical appliances are “safe and suitable for the purposes intended”
  • Inspection or testing takes place at no greater interval than 12 months
  • Testing should be carried out by a “competent person” i.e. a person who has attended a PAT testing course and has experience or knowledge of testing for safety

Whilst compliance in respect of electrics in the workplace is now taken as read, this legislation and the requirement to test also includes biological safety cabinets, fume cupboards and LAF units etc.


Electrical safety is also considered a quality issue as ISO 15189 “Medical Laboratories- Requirements for Quality and Competence” cites that “Equipment shall be maintained in a safe working condition and order. This shall include electrical safety…”

How Crowthorne Can Help

Crowthorne can integrate PAT testing into its expert periodic servicing of all safety cabinets, fume cupboards and similar equipment. Our qualified PAT testers at Crowthorne use approved and calibrated equipment to ensure your equipment provides your operators with the desired protection.


For more information regarding PAT testing and how it will benefit you, please contact us at +353 (0) 1824 3670.

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