PAT Test

Most companies and organizations now have some form of PAT testing program in place, and PAT stickers, along with a test schedule log book or spreadsheet, are a convenient way to keep track of your program.  To order PAT labels online, visit the Label Bar website, where you’ll find ‘Passed’ and ‘Failed’ PAT testing stickers, labels for RF emissions checks and appliance ID tags, plus just about any other kind of label, tag or sticker you could imagine needing in the workplace or elsewhere.

For those new to the concept, ‘PAT’ stands for ‘Portable Appliance Test(ing)’ and is the process of ensuring any electrical device used in a work situation is not likely to pose a health and safety risk to the operator and others in the environment.  PAT testing stickers are used to record the date of the test, and most companies check all their resources once per year.  While such a program cannot guarantee that no device in the workplace will ever fail, PAT test labels can reassure staff that reasonable steps have been taken to protect them from faulty equipment.  Next time you are in your office, check your computer or photocopier for a PAT testing sticker.  If you can’t see one, or it has been several years since the appliance was tested, why not speak to your office manager or supervisor about how you can help the company keep up-to-date with its health and safety responsibilities.  (It is worth noting that while every company has the legal responsibility to protect its employees by maintaining equipment, PAT testing is not the only way to fulfil this obligation, and the absence of a PAT test sticker does not automatically mean the device is unsafe or that the company has been remiss).

If your company employs an electrician or other qualified person to perform PAT inspections, that person will usually bring their own supply of PAT labels with them.  On the other hand, if your PAT testing is performed in-house, at least two rolls of PAT test stickers should be kept to hand, to be affixed to devices which have ‘Passed’ or ‘Failed’ the inspection, as appropriate.

A PAT test usually begins with a visual inspection.  One of the most common reasons electrical devices break down or become dangerous is if they have been dropped, bumped, or otherwise physically damaged.  A quick visual check can often identify evidence of such an incident.  Particular attention should be paid to power leads or flexes, which are susceptible to damage due to trapping.  Cuts in the outer insulation of the flex, or visible inner wires, are enough to earn the item a ‘Failed’ PAT test sticker.  If the product looks to be in safe condition, it can then be tested mechanically and electrically.  A green PAT test label is only awarded to units which pass all these tests.  Both these kinds of PAT testing labels, along with all manner of other stickers and tags, are available from Label Bar.

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