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A Complete Guide To PAT Testing (For Businesses)

If you operate a business, you have probably encountered the term “PAT testing”. But do you understand it? PAT testing is a huge part of workplace safety and is surrounded by laws and legislation, and it’s important not to ignore it. This post will help you get to grips with PAT testing and understand its place in a business environment. 

This guide explains what PAT testing is and how often it needs to be carried out. We will also take you through what makes PAT testing important and the laws around testing appliances in the workplace. 


What Is PAT Testing?

Before we get into PAT regulations and why it matters, we need to address what PAT testing is.

PAT testing stands for Portable Appliance Testing. It is a combination of visual inspections and electronic tests carried out to check the safety of portable electronic appliances. 


Why Is PAT Testing Important?

What makes PAT testing so important? First and foremost, there are a lot of regulations and legal requirements around PAT testing. But it is not just important because it’s a legal necessity. PAT testing would be just as important even if there were no regulation surrounding it. 

The consequences of electrical faults can be dire. Faulty electronics can result in everything from small shocks to electrocution and fires. These damaging and potentially deadly consequences make it vitally important that all electronics are properly maintained. PAT testing is key to identifying problems before an accident occurs. 

Important safety note: Electrical faults are a common cause of workplace fires, and PAT testing is a great preventative measure. But the issue does not end there. Workplace fires are a real threat, and we encourage you to read our guide Most Common Causes of Workplace Fires (And How to Prevent Them) for more details.

It is also important to note that whilst PAT testing covers portable appliances, other electronics and wiring are other tests. For example, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) will highlight hardwiring, sockets, air conditioning, etc.


What Does PAT Testing Include?

In addition to a visual inspection, a PAT test can include a detailed check using specialised testing equipment. For some appliances, a reduced test (also called a PAT insulation test) is all that is required. Whichever test an appliance receives, the appliance will be given a pass or fail. 

The result of the test (and the date) will be marked on the appliance. The details of the test should also be recorded in a PAT test log.

After a PAT you should receive:

  • An inventory listing the appliance type, name, location and description
  • Test results for all of the appliances that were tested 
  • A complete list of any appliances which failed their test (including details of the failure)
  • A pass or fail label with the date and inspectors signature for each appliance


PAT testing is carried out on all the appliances the landlord or employer is responsible for. In the case of an employer, this is usually all portable appliances on the premises. The PAT testing is applicable for landlords for appliances they supply but does not cover a tenant’s appliances. PAT testing applies to seven categories of electronic appliances:

  • Fixed equipment
  • Portable appliances
  • Stationary equipment
  • IT equipment
  • Moveable appliances
  • Cables and chargers
  • Handheld appliances


What Are The Rules Regarding PAT Testing?

There are plenty of regulations regarding workplace safety, including; Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989, Provision and Use of Work Equipment regulations of 1998 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work regulations of 1999. PAT legislation was created to increase company compliance with these regulations.

PAT testing regulations require that portable electronic appliances are suitable for their intended purpose, are safe and are appropriately maintained. This requires regular maintenance, inspections and testing. 


Who Is Responsible For PAT Testing?

PAT testing laws apply to landlords, employers and self-employed individuals. As it relates to PAT testing for businesses, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states “It shall be the duty of every employer and self employed person to comply with the provisions of the Regulations as far as they relate to matters which are within their direct control.”

The regulations also outline employees duties while at work. An employee must cooperate with an employer to enable them to fulfil their duties as outlined in the regulation. The regulations also stipulate that employees must “comply with the provision of these regulations in so far as they relate to matters which are within his control.”


Who Can Provide A PAT Test?

Meeting the requirements outlined above requires PAT testing to be carried out by a competent person. describes a competent person as “someone who has experience or knowledge of being able to check and test appliances for safety purposes.”


How Often Do You Need A PAT Test?

The recommended frequency of PAT testing varies by appliance and business type. However, it is common to have a full PAT test annually. Certain industries such as construction require more frequent tests. For example, states, “All 110V equipment used on construction sites should be tested every 3 months.”

Be sure to research the specific PAT Testing Regulations for your business and the appliances you use. The standards for PAT testing frequency are set for a reason, and it is important that you adhere to them to maintain safety, reduce risk and protect your employees and business.


Get Started With PAT Testing

There is no debate, if you operate a business, you need to have your appliances PAT tested by a qualified professional. If you are not already getting regular PAT tests, you can speak with the Kiasu Workforce PAT testing team and arrange a test.

Workplace Safety: Is Your Business Fully-Certified?

Workplace safety is exceptionally important but making sure your property meets rigorous safety standards can be difficult if you are unaware of the different assessments used to test your safety. In this guide, we will show you the most important certificates, assessments and tests needed to demonstrate your property’s safety and identify areas which may need improving. We will focus on three of the main areas of any property’s safety; electrical safety, fire safety, and gas safety. From EICR and fixed wire testing to gas safety certificates, there are a plethora of ways to improve your commercial property’s safety.


Electrical Safety

Electrical safety is one of the most important areas of any business. The consequences of bad electrical safety can be significant, ranging from shocks and burns which can be harmful to employees, to fires and explosions which can destroy a property and even be fatal. There are a few assessments you can undergo to make sure your electrical safety is up to standard.

Firstly, portable appliance testing (more commonly known as PAT testing) can be used to ensure electrical safety across all appliances which are connected to electricity through a lead and plug. Health and safety laws make it a legal requirement that all appliances are tested regularly.

Secondly, a business can acquire an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) to evidence that electrical installations are up to standard. An EICR will detail the findings of fixed wire testing which is crucial to identifying potential electrical hazards. An EICR is so incredibly important to health and safety that recent laws have made them mandatory in privately rented residential properties.


Fire Safety

A fire can be devasting to a business which is why it is important to implement precautions to prevent them as well as take measures to mitigate their damage if they occur. Businesses are no longer issued fire safety certificates and instead must undertake a fire safety assessment. This puts the onus of fire safety on the business and its “responsible person”. A fire safety assessment will cover the full breadth of fire safety measures for businesses. You can read a step by step guide to implementing a fire safety assessment in our Guide to Fire Safety.

Fire alarm and fire door installation is essential, and all smoke detectors should be tested routinely. Fire extinguishers should be placed throughout the building. Properly training employees on fire safety and the evacuation process in the event of a fire is also fundamental to keeping employees safe. A fire safety assessment will cover all these elements and more.


Gas Safety

Commercial property gas safety obligations fall into two main areas; maintaining all gas installation and keeping records of an annual gas safety inspection. Maintenance is required for all gas installations and appliances. Gas safety maintenance includes an annual inspection and servicing by a Gas Safe registered engineer. 

You legally require a Gas safety certificate which can only be issued by a Gas Safe engineer. To get a Gas Safety certificate an engineer will need to visit your premises and carry out an inspection of all gas appliances including a visual inspection and functionality, operations and pressure tests. The extraction methods of appliances which use an extraction system to extract combustion gases will be assessed for suitability.


The health and safety of your employees and those visiting your commercial property is extremely important. To best protect them from hazards (and yourself from legal consequences) you need to make sure your businesses is taking all the necessary precautions and has obtained the required certificates which evidence that safety measures have been put in place.

What is Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)?

If you have found yourself asking, “What is PAT Testing?” you have come to the right place. Here at Kiasu Workforce, we are pleased to present a comprehensive guide to PAT testing. Starting with the answer to your burning question.

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is the periodic inspection of electrical equipment to identify defects. You’ve probably seen one of those little green stickers on a toaster, kettle, washing machine or tumble dryer. It means the appliance has undergone electrical testing and is safe to use. These stickers are commonplace in our day-to-day lives and ensure the public’s safety while using electrical appliances.

But sometimes, knowing the definition of PAT testing is not enough, so here is some more information to ensure you’re fully informed on the importance of PAT testing. 


Is PAT Testing a legal requirement?

By law, electrical appliances in business premises must be safe for use (as per the HSE’s Electricity at Work Regulations 1989). PAT testing allows businesses to comply with this legal requirement. 

There is no legal requirement to carry out PAT inspections at home. Still, it’s always worth keeping electrical safety in mind.

There are seven categories of appliances that should be considered for PAT testing:

  • Fixed equipment
  • Stationary equipment
  • IT equipment
  • Moveable appliances
  • Portable appliances
  • Cables & chargers
  • Handheld appliances


What is the difference between movable and portable appliances?

In this case, “moveable” means something which plugs into a socket and can be unplugged and moved around easily. “Portable” means something designed for use on the go.


Traditional vs visual examination methods

Most defects can be found through visual examination methods, but some types can only be found by testing. Visual examinations are still necessary because some types of electrical safety defects can’t be detected through traditional testing methods.

Visual inspection and testing by a competent person may be required, depending upon the type of equipment and the environment in which it is used.


How frequently do I need to test my electrical appliances?

Most people do not know how often PAT Testing should be done. Some appliances must be tested more often, such as well-used, often knocked or easily damaged appliances. It is recommended that risk assessments are carried out regularly to determine how frequently each appliance should be tested and the type of test needed.

The frequency of inspection and testing depends upon the type of equipment and the environment it is used in. For example, a power tool used on a construction site should be examined more frequently than a lamp in a hotel bedroom.

A record and labelling can be useful management tools for monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the maintenance scheme and for demonstrating that a scheme exists.

New equipment should be supplied in a safe condition and not require a formal portable appliance inspection or test. A simple visual check will verify the item is free of damage.


What are the classes of electrical equipment?

Electrical appliances are generally categorised as classes 1, 2 or 3, with Class 1 being the most dangerous and Class 3 the least dangerous. Class 1 appliances need a full PAT inspection, Class 2 appliances need an insulation test, and Class 3 appliances are safe enough not to require testing. However, a visual test may be carried out.


Class 1 Appliances

This type of electrical equipment has only basic insulation and relies on an earth for protection. Examples include washing machines, tumble dryers, computers, kitchen equipment and extension leads.

Class 2 Appliances

This type of electrical equipment has extra insulation. It doesn’t rely on an earth for protection, which makes it safer. E.g. lawnmowers, televisions, drills, hairdryers and lamps.

Class 3 Appliances

Class 3 appliances, such as laptops, torches and cameras, are the safest class of electrical appliances due to the low voltages involved. Their charging leads may require tests.


How is Portable Appliance Testing carried out?

Many people do not know how to PAT Test. Those carrying out PAT testing do require a level of knowledge and experience. The right equipment is also necessary, as is the ability to understand the test results properly.

Testing required depends on the type of appliance. The electrician must carry out risk assessments to ensure equipment can be tested safely.

Another important consideration in ensuring the user’s safety is the order in which these tests are carried out. The sequence should always be:

  1. Earth continuity test
  2. Insulation resistance test
  3. Protective conductor/touch current test or alternative/substitute leakage test
  4. Functional Check

An insulation test should always come before attempting any tests which involve applying mains power to the equipment under test. It may detect a dangerous insulation failure.

The recommendations given by the IET Code of Practice for In-Service Testing of Electrical Equipment are as follows:

Class I Appliances

  1. Earth continuity test
  2. Insulation resistance test or protective conductor current test, or alternative/substitute leakage test
  3. Functional checks

Class II Appliances

  1. Insulation resistance test or touch current test, or alternative/substitute leakage test
  2. Functional checks 


How Much Does PAT Testing Cost?

The cost of PAT testing depends primarily on the number of electrical items that will need to be tested in the workplace. A PAT Test also needs to be carried out to the highest standard to ensure the safety of people in the workplace, so it can be time-consuming.

Prices can vary based on the number of items being tested and the time this will take, so it is best to enquire and get a personal quote. Contact our expert team today and email us to enquire.


Can I carry out PAT inspections myself?

A “competent person” can legally carry out testing. This person should have adequate knowledge of electricity and experience in electrical work. They need to know how to carry out both the visual inspection and PAT test, plus understand the hazards.

They should also know the precautions to take when PAT testing and be able to decide whether it’s safe for PAT testing to continue.

Suppose you are concerned about the competency required for PAT testing. In that case, you may feel more comfortable contracting a qualified electrician to carry out PAT procedures. This is especially important where multiple items must be PAT tested, or class 1 appliances require testing.


Book PAT Testing Today 

We can help you with a variety of electrical works at Kiasu Workforce, including expert PAT testing in London. 

Our team of qualified and experienced electricians are on hand to ensure capable and competent PAT testing for all appliances on your site.  We can also offer further guidance on appliances that do not pass the PAT test, as well as advise on when PAT testing should be carried out again in line with legal safety compliance. 

Get in touch with our team today to learn more about how we can help you with PAT testing. 



PAT testing explained: Everything you need to know

A complete guide to PAT testing for businesses

Workplace safety: Is your business fully certified?

The Essential Safety Checks of Commercial Building Maintenance

Commercial building maintenance

No matter what kind of commercial building you own or run, it’s vital to maintain it carefully and correctly. If you don’t pay attention to the regular maintenance requirements, you’ll pay for it later. Ignoring problems or not even checking for them in the first place won’t make them go away.

If you want to learn more about maintaining a commercial property, you’ve come to the right place. We will cover all of the essentials and explain why they’re important. By reading all of the information below, you’ll better understand what it takes to maintain your commercial property. So read on now to learn about all the maintenance inspections you need to keep your building in top condition.

Why Do Building Maintenance Inspections Matter?

First, we need to discuss why these checks and property maintenance procedures are necessary. For a commercial space to function correctly and offer fundamental safety and security to the people working inside it each day, it must undergo regular maintenance checks. This doesn’t happen by itself.

It’s very easy to coast along and assume everything is fine. Still, you won’t know that for sure until you actively seek out problems and carry out proper checks. Now it’s time to look at the inspections and maintenance tips you should know.

The regular checks you’ll need to make

Many areas require inspections, and each area requires several different checks. Here are the areas of your property you will need to check to meet safety standards and legal requirements routinely:

Checking and double-checking all alarms

You should make sure you have various types of alarms on your property. You’ll require a burglar alarm to ensure the building is secure 24 hours a day. On top of that, you should have fire alarms in place to comply with all relevant fire safety regulations. Once you have all of those alarms, you should ensure they’re regularly checked and double-checked to ensure that they’re functioning the way they’re meant to.

Fire Safety Inspections

One of the most dangerous threats that every property must strive to avoid is a fire. Several of the other inspections covered in this guide will help prevent fires and help keep you safe if one does break out. For example, fire alarms (as discussed above) will alert you to a fire. And some of the electrical testing (which we cover later) will identify potential fire risks so you can fix them before they cause an incident. In addition to these, however, you will also need regular fire door inspections. In the event of a fire, fire doors are essential to reducing the spread and containing the problem. However, over time they will suffer wear and tear. Regular checks will be able to highlight any significant damage that will prevent them from functioning correctly.

PAT Testing By The Book

Portable appliance testing is necessary for every commercial setting. It’s a vital aspect of health and safety and ensures electrical appliances are safe for use without any risk to the employees interacting with them. PAT testing has to be done carefully and by the book. A series of visual and electronic tests have to be carried out before an appliance can be passed as safe for use. These tests need to be completed regularly; it’s not enough to pass them once and then forget about them.

Plumbing And Pipe Checks

When something goes badly wrong with the building’s plumbing, you’ll know about it, and it certainly won’t be pleasant to deal with. Burst pipes or blockages can quickly get messy, making the commercial space unsafe and unusable until the problem is put right. That’s why regular plumbing and pipe checks are vital. When you carry out those checks, you can spot potential issues or minor problems before they become more severe. It is best to identify and fix the issue early to avoid potential disruptions. These checks need to be done thoroughly and carefully to ensure nothing is missed.

Annual Electrical Checks

All electrical components need to be checked annually. Faulty electrics pose several serious risks, including the threat of electrocution. Plus, faulty electrics are a fire hazard. Therefore these checks are crucial to a building’s safety. When it comes to electrics, it’s not worth taking any chances. Outlets, breaker boxes and switches should be reviewed and assessed for safety concerns and potential issues. 

Things like cracks or signs of deterioration should be spotted as early as possible. It is important to rectify these issues before they worsen and cause a bigger, more serious problem. It’ll save you a lot of time and money in the future if you do. And more importantly, it can prevent a harmful (or even deadly) incident such as a fire.

Regular Roof Inspections

Roof inspections might not apply to every business as they might be a contained office in a larger building. But if you are maintaining a whole building, you’ll need to ensure the roof is regularly inspected for faults and damage. Let a professional carry out these checks because they can be risky if carried out by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. It’s imperative to carry out these inspections if there’s recently been a lot of stormy or generally adverse weather in your area.

Commercial Property Maintenance - Roof inspections& Roof repair - Kiasu Workforce

Maintaining HVAC Systems

Without regular maintenance, an air conditioning system’s effectiveness can subside. They become less energy efficient – costing you more for the same results. Eventually, your HVAC system may not even be able to function to the same level at all. Furthermore, as with all maintenance inspections, HVAC servicing will identify small problems before they become bigger. If left unattended, these issues could leave you without air conditioning and a sizable repair bill. So make sure you spot them early and fix them while the issue is still small. 

Ventilation and Air Quality Control

Dust fumes and airborne contaminants can cause a range of health issues. Air quality is a serious concern that needs to be properly monitored. Ongoing inspections are crucial to ensuring your ventilation minimises these risks. In some cases, such inspections are a legal requirement. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH), for example, requires Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems to be tested every 14 months.

Preventative Maintenance and Inspections

Property maintenance will be far easier for you if you stay on top of things. It’ll allow you to spot small problems before they get the chance to develop into much bigger ones. Each of the checks listed above will be vital for commercial property to function properly and run smoothly. Left unattended and unchecked, any one of these areas could lead to a significant problem resulting in costly fixes or even harm to yourself or others. Please don’t ignore them. 


Property maintenance will be a lot easier for you if you stay on top of things. It’ll allow you to spot small problems before they get the chance to develop into much bigger ones. Each of the checks listed above will be vital to the smooth functioning of your commercial property, so don’t forget about them.

Our team is equipped to help you with any commercial property maintenance needs you might have so if you need any of the property checks mentioned above, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Kiasu Workforce on 0208 988 1662 or email us at