PAT Testing in High Wycombe

What Is PAT Testing?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no legal requirement for PAT testing of electrical equipment either in the workplace or, in the case of any landlord or company-supplied electrical equipment, in rented accommodation, or residential care homes, etc*. However, as we shall see, it is indeed a legal requirement that such electrical equipment, and in particular the items being used in the workplace are, in simple terms, 'safe, well-maintained and suitable for the purpose for which it is being used', at all times.


Electrical Equipment Safety

As a business owner or facilities manager, you need to think about how you would prove this. It should be pointed out that most business premises are also workplaces, therefore the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA) applies. HASAWA even applies in a private home, where employees such as care workers are being sent to fulfill a contract. HASAWA is one of the few pieces of legislation that carries 'reverse onus of proof'. This means that in the event of an accident or incident, the business owner is guilty until proven innocent. The onus is on the business owner to prove that all reasonably practicable steps were taken to ensure the safety of employees and all other persons using the premises, and inspection and testing records are one way of proving this.

Electrical equipment must at all times be 'safe, well-maintained and suitable for the purpose for which it is being used'. And the penalties for non-compliance can be severe: in certain cases, unlimited fines and imprisonment, not to mention private prosecution when someone has suffered a serious electric shock, or the damage done to property in the case of a fire. More than 2,500 people are either killed or injured as a result of electrical fires in the UK each year, and more than thirty people are directly killed by electric shock. A well organised electrical testing regime is not 'health and safety gone mad'. It is a sensible business decision, and should be given the same priority as business insurance.

PAT Testing

The only way to determine whether electrical equipment is 'safe, well-maintained and suitable for the purpose for which it is being used' (the legal requirement), is if it is routinely, formally visually-inspected and instrument-tested ('PAT Tested'). And records of these inspections should be retained as evidence of a structured inspection regime. Therefore, PAT Testing is the best way to ensure that such equipment, at the time of the service inspection and testing at least, is indeed 'safe, well-maintained and suitable for the purpose for which it is being used'.

Look across the room now at a piece of electrical equipment, perhaps a computer, water cooler, toaster, fridge, etc. Can you tell if its earth wire is internally in contact with the exposed metal work? How good is the insulation? What is the condition of the wires inside the plug? Are the live and neutral wires reversed at either the plug end or inside the appliance? (the appliance would still function with 'reversed polarity', but it is potentially very dangerous). Is that slight shock that you and your colleagues get from that fridge several times a week really just static? Without formal visual inspection and testing, how can we know if equipment is safe, whether it needs to be repaired or disposed of, or otherwise appropriately dealt with? In other words, whether it is compliant with legislation.

Electrical Safety Regulations

Finally, there is specific legislation for certain more hazardous workplaces, such as construction sites. The Construction and Design Management Regulation 2015 (CDM) are European regulations that are imposed in addition to HASAWA to control risk on building sites. Previously only for very large construction projects, the 2015 update of the CDM Regs brought all domestic refurbishment work into scope, requiring all 240V tools and cables to be inspected every 12 months, and all 110V tools and cables to be inspected every 90 days. If your employees work on site, or in a domestic setting, power tools should be inspected at these intervals, and records kept as evidence in case of inspection by the Health and Safety Executive, or in the event of an accident or incident.

*NB. There is just one exception to this: Regulation 6 of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) requires that equipment has to be 'inspected' in work situations where the safety of the equipment depends specifically on the installation conditions, and, in particular, where conditions are liable to lead to deterioration. This is a very specific requirement, for a very specific situation, and yet even here, there is no mention of the word 'testing'.

Importance and Benefits

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is essential for the safety and compliance of electrical equipment and appliances. Regular PAT testing helps detect potential electrical faults that could lead to fires or injuries, reducing workplace risks. A formal visual inspection and various electrical tests ensure all devices meet health and safety standards.

PAT testers conduct an insulation test and check for insulation resistance, ensuring thorough evaluations. Adhering to a routine PAT test schedule aids in legal compliance and satisfies insurance requirements, providing peace of mind for employers.

Cost savings are another advantage, as consistent PAT testing prevents expensive repairs and minimizes downtime from malfunctioning equipment. Obtaining a PAT test certificate after each check provides documented proof of compliance.

Overall, PAT testing enhances operational efficiency while promoting a safer working environment through diligent risk assessment and electrical safety measures.

Common Issues and Solutions

Regular PAT testing is essential for identifying and addressing common issues that can compromise the safety and functionality of electrical equipment. By understanding these common problems and implementing effective solutions, organizations can enhance workplace safety and efficiency. During a PAT test, portable appliance testers (PAT) help in diagnosing faults in electrical appliances.

Common issues encountered during the PAT testing process include damaged cables, faulty plugs, and inadequate insulation. These defects can pose serious risks such as electric shock or fire hazards. For accurate diagnosis, a thorough PAT inspection is crucial using reliable portable appliance testers.

Effective solutions involve promptly repairing or replacing defective components to ensure compliance with safety standards. Regularly scheduled PAT inspections contribute to maintaining the reliability of portable appliances across various settings. Adopting a proactive approach in resolving these issues promotes workplace safety and operational efficiency.

In conclusion, consistent PAT testing of portable equipment safeguards both personnel and property by addressing potential hazards swiftly. With vigilant maintenance practices facilitated by skilled PAT testers, organizations can uphold high standards of electrical safety.

Common Issues:

  • Frayed or Damaged Cables: Worn out insulation or exposed wires can lead to electrical hazards.
  • Faulty Plugs and Connectors: Loose or damaged plugs can cause poor connections and overheating.
  • Inadequate Insulation Resistance: This can result in electrical leaks that pose a safety risk.
  • Overloaded Circuits: Using equipment beyond its rated capacity can lead to overheating and potential fires.
  • Inconsistent Equipment Testing: Irregular or incomplete testing schedules can leave potential issues undetected.


  • Regular Inspections: Conduct frequent visual and formal inspections to identify and replace damaged cables and connectors.
  • Proper Training: Ensure that duty holders and employees are trained to recognize and report potential electrical issues.
  • Compliance with Standards: Follow IEE guidelines and regulatory standards to maintain consistent and thorough testing routines.
  • Scheduled Maintenance: Implement a systematic maintenance schedule to prevent overloading and ensure all equipment operates within its capacity.
  • Comprehensive Record Keeping: Maintain detailed records of all tests and inspections to ensure ongoing compliance and facilitate future testing.

Our Process

Portable appliance testing (PAT) at Kingsmead Testing begins with scheduling an inspection. This is followed by a thorough examination of all portable electrical equipment. Each piece of machinery undergoes a visual inspection and is tested for safety using advanced PAT testing equipment.

Skilled PAT testers meticulously record the results, identifying and addressing any issues. Detailed PAT test certificates are then issued, documenting all findings to ensure compliance with regulatory standards. The PAT testing process not only guarantees the safety of your electrical appliances but also offers peace of mind through documented proof.

Our professional service includes competitive PAT test costs, making it accessible for businesses of all sizes. Choose Kingsmead Testing for reliable and comprehensive portable appliance testing that prioritizes your safety and compliance needs.


At KTS, your compliance is our business. You can rest easy, knowing that we have taken care of everything; from your report, to reminding you about your next test.




If you would like us to provide your with a quotation, please contact us or complete our online form.

We take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to provide details you have requested.


1 Chapman Lane
Flackwell Heath
High Wycombe, HP10 9AZ

TEL: 01628 850650


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