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When Was The Last Time You PAT Tested Your Equipment?

PAT Testing stands for portable appliance testing. It is a routine examination to inspect any electrical equipment on-site to ensure it is all safe to use by workers. When inspecting electrical appliances, many faults can be identified visually. However, sometimes there may be damage to an electrical appliance that cannot be initially seen without a thorough examination. It is for this reason that PAT Testing is so crucial to everyday safety on-site.

What does a PAT Test involve?

A PAT Test usually involves:

● A visual inspection of an appliance's outer case.

● Ensuring there is no wear and damage to the appliance.

● Making appliances fit for use.

As well as the electrical appliance itself, plugs are rigorously tested and checked for damage. Doing this ensures the correct fuses and wiring are being used, and all are in line with the necessary regulations.

Once a visual test has been passed, electrical tests will be carried out to ensure all equipment is safe to use when switched on. The equipment in question will be tested using an electrical PAT Tester machine. This machine will be fully calibrated to ensure readings are accurate and any equipment is fully safe for use.

Once the test has been completed and the test results checked, a label will be placed on the appliance. This label will clearly show the PAT Test results, determining whether it is safe to use or not. This allows workers to easily identify which appliances they can use and which need to be repaired before returning to use. A record of these PAT Tests will be kept for each appliance to ensure that future references to any results can be made quickly and easily. PAT Tags will also be placed on appliances to ensure all information is readily available to workers or anyone else using the appliances.

Which equipment should be tested?

While several equipment classes need to be checked through a PAT Test, the simple answer is that all portable electrical appliances need to be checked. Items that can be moved around like Kettles, heaters, and computers must be tested regularly.

● Class 1 Appliances

Class 1 appliances are the most potentially dangerous equipment in terms of the voltage that runs through them while operational. They rely on an earth for protection and only have one singular layer of insulation. These pieces of equipment include:

● Kettles

● Microwaves

● Heaters

● Computers

● Industrial or office printers


This is not a full list of appliances but provides a small glimpse into the size and scale of the equipment included in Class 1. The process of a PAT Test for a class 1 appliance will start with a visual inspection, followed by many rigorous tests, including checking inside plugs, checking fuses, analysing any leads for potential damage, testing earth continuity and testing insulation within the appliance.

Class 1 appliances undergo the most intensive tests, as they are the most potentially dangerous appliances. Any class 1 appliances should be tested fully to ensure safety around them is optimised and risk from electrical injury is minimised.

● Class 2 Appliances

Class 2 appliances are safer than class 1 appliances as there is no reliance on earth for safety. They also have an extra layer of insulation that makes them safer. Class 2 appliances include:

● Small desktop printers

● Drills

● Lamps

● CD Players


When PAT Testing a class 2 appliance, there is less need for a fully rigorous test. Instead, just an insulation resistance test is carried out on these pieces of electrical equipment.

Class 2 appliances follow the same testing process for the most part as class 1 appliances. Still, as these appliances pose less of a threat, there is less need for as many specific tests. The testing process for class 2 appliances includes visual inspections, testing any plugs and inspecting leads and fuses to ensure all is in safe working order.

● Class 3 Appliances

Class 3 appliances are the least dangerous as they carry the smallest amounts of voltage. Class 3 appliances are usually safe enough for the user to handle without receiving an electrical shock. The range of voltage in these appliances usually ranges between 50v and 120v. Class 3 appliances include:

● Laptops

● Mobile Phones

● Low energy lightbulbs


The PAT Testing process is not a requirement for Class 3 appliances. However, the charging leads and other electrical accessories may be under Class 2. Therefore, it is important to ensure any chargers or accessories that fall under a different class still undergo the necessary testing. Testing for chargers or accessories to these appliances will go through the relevant process for their classification, and tags detailing the test results will be placed on the appliance.

How can we help you?

Here at Tag Tec, we provide our customers with the highest quality PAT Tags. Our tags give you the peace of mind that all information relating to PAT Tests is easily available to everyone in your working environment. If you'd like to know more about the information available on our PAT Tags or discuss your needs for any other tagging in the workplace, get in touch!

Our fantastic team of experts are on hand to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, you can browse our wide range of tags and take your first step towards a safer and happier workplace.

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