Clarification on PAT labelling

One of the most discussed areas of the new edition of the IET Code of Practice is its revised guidance on electrical appliance labelling.

The fourth revised edition of the code of practice now recommends that the date for PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) re-testing should not be marked on the pass label usually attached to electrical appliances after testing. This is a pretty clear statement and aims to stop Warrington electrical contractors automatically determining the retest period when the label is applied immediately after inspection and PAT testing.

Nevertheless, in some discussion groups this appears to have triggered considerable debate and some confusion. However this advice needs to be seen in the wider context of the overall theme of the new guidance, which is to clarify the role of duty holders and to emphasise the importance of electrical risk assessment.

Electrical Inspection Regime

The advice from IET and HSE has always been that any electrical test and electrical inspection regime should be based on risk, the reality is that in many cases this has not been the case and the suggested initial electrical test frequencies in the Code of Practice have become standard and have been applied regardless of risk.

Although the new code of practice says duty holders can take advice from the person doing the electrical inspection and electrical testing, it is they who have the legal responsibility to ensure that the electrical equipment in their charge is safe and it is their responsibility to decide whether or not to vary the electrical inspection and electrical test frequencies.

Electrical Testing Services

This is clearly the motive behind the new guidance on PAT labelling. It is of course a significant change to existing practices and without a visual reminder of any upcoming electrical testing due dates there is likely to be increased reliance on the effective use of electrical equipment inspection and electrical test records, with the Code also recommending that (previous) electrical testing results should be made available to subsequent electrical test operatives. In addition, rather than relying on pre-determined re-test dates, there will also be increased emphasis on the effective visual inspection of appliances.

For more information of PME Electrical Testing services contact our team on 01925 394111.

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