“You PAT Test every piece of equipment every time it goes out on hire?”
Yes, absolutely we do.
We hear this statement at least once a week if not more, which is promising, as it shows how many people do care about the safety of the equipment they’re using. But for those who don’t know, we thought we’d explain exactly what PAT testing is and why you need it.
What is PAT testing?
PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing and is the routine inspection of an electrical appliance to make sure that it is safe to use. PAT testing is a common occurrence, and you might have noticed around your workplace or in community spaces that the microwave or the kettle has a label on it to say it’s passed its electrical safety test – and this is all that a PAT test is. The tests are done to keep people safe and to prevent electrical accidents.
A full PAT test includes an in-depth check using specialist PAT testing equipment as well as a visual check and the tests should be done on fixed appliances, stationary appliances, IT appliances, moveable appliances, portable appliances, cables and chargers and handheld appliances.
A PAT tester will usually begin by looking at the item and checking for any visual damages such as any tears or cuts in the wires or any damage or marks on the plug. The tester will then look at the fuse and the plug’s wiring. Then depending on the type of equipment that is being tested, it might then need to have an Earth testing, an insulation resistance test, a polarity test and an earth leakage test.
Once each piece of equipment has been tested and has passed, a PAT label will be placed on the appliance with a ‘PASS’ meaning that it is safe to use. Alternatively, if a product does not pass it will be marked with a ‘FAIL’ and should not be used. PAT testing labels will also show the date of the most recent PAT test and they are colour coded so that it’s obvious whether they’re safe to use. A green label is used if the item passed the test, a blue will be used if the equipment needs additional testing, and a red label shows that the product has failed.
Is PAT testing a legal requirement?
While PAT testing is not a legal requirement it does show that you’re maintaining your electrical equipment which is a legal obligation of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. It is also not legally required to apply the PAT testing stickers onto tested appliances; however, these can be useful for everyone using them.
Plato PAT test all equipment after each event
At Plato Catering Hire we clean, check, PAT test and prepare every piece of hire kit in accordance with the Event Hire Association (EHA) Code of Practices before every hire. The same as we check and test every gas appliance before it goes out the door.
Because of the nature of our business, we must be extra careful – we take our equipment out to places with uneven floors, trailing leads, wet grass, lots of people and changeable weather meaning that just testing the equipment every couple of months won’t cut it. The catering equipment we hire out includes everything from a twin ring electric hob to a handwashing unit and a beverage fridge, so testing it for safety is just as important, if not more important than cleaning our equipment after every use.
Look for the orange SafeHire logo
All SafeHire certified catering equipment hire, and event equipment hire companies will carry out Portable Appliance Testing before every hire. As members of the Hire Association Europe (HAE), we always prioritise safety, to ensure that you receive optimum levels of service.
Next time you are planning on using a catering equipment hire company ensure they are members of the Hire Association Europe (HAE) and Event Hire Association (EHA) and SafeHire© certified. Members of the HAE can be easily identified through the orange SafeHire logo.