+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 11 of 11
Hardware Thread, PAT Testing in Technical; Recently I have been involved with sorting out some power issues - we have too many extension strips here and ...
  1. #1

    witch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Dorset
    Posts
    10,405
    Thank Post
    1,106
    Thanked 2,094 Times in 1,474 Posts
    Rep Power
    651

    PAT Testing

    Recently I have been involved with sorting out some power issues - we have too many extension strips here and there and so I have been getting quotes for new power points etc.
    Whilst doing this I have come across various things about PAT testing and it occurs to me that in the 7 years I have been here, it has never been done. (well, I think the site manager started it once, but he didnt get to my IT suites).
    I have been looking at the regulations and it doesn't exactly state that we HAVE to PAT test, only that we have to make sure equipment is safe (and PAT testing is the obvious way, I suppose).

    I am concerned that things have not been PAT tested, and I know that staff bring in their own stuff which of course has also never been tested.
    I have been advised that this could affect the school's insurance in the case of an electrical fire - can anyone confirm this is true?

    I really think this needs to be sorted out and I don't quite know how to go about it. If I just'tell' the head he will agree and do nothing

  2. #2

    glennda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    7,714
    Thank Post
    269
    Thanked 1,116 Times in 1,012 Posts
    Rep Power
    345
    Pat testing is not a legal requirement - but is highly recommended as if somebody gets an electric shock off a piece of your equipment they can sue - if they machine has been pat tested you have taken reasonable measures to try and prevent it from happening. I cannot say about the Insurance aspect as i sure this probably varies between insurance companies.

    Toby

  3. #3

    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Alcester, Warwickshire
    Posts
    4,855
    Thank Post
    412
    Thanked 777 Times in 650 Posts
    Rep Power
    181
    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    I have been looking at the regulations and it doesn't exactly state that we HAVE to PAT test, only that we have to make sure equipment is safe (and PAT testing is the obvious way, I suppose).
    Appliance testing is common because it's the quickest and most economical way to demonstrate that you took reasonable care to ensure the safety of your equipment, which is what the law requires.

    I am concerned that things have not been PAT tested, and I know that staff bring in their own stuff which of course has also never been tested.
    I have been advised that this could affect the school's insurance in the case of an electrical fire - can anyone confirm this is true?
    No - it depends on your insurer and your specific policy, and you should ask them. (Of course if somebody is killed and you (the school) are found to be negligent, no insurance policy will save you).

  4. #4
    Mako's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    North Yorkshire
    Posts
    431
    Thank Post
    50
    Thanked 107 Times in 81 Posts
    Rep Power
    71
    We have a company contracted by our LEA that comes in every year around Februrary half-term and PAT tests the entire school.

    For the insurance, I'm not sure... but we don't allow any item brought in externally without it first being inspected or PAT tested in-house. If it fails, it goes out. I'm sure you could well be in a sticky situation if your building caught fire from someone bringing their microwave (for example) and it caught fire, and wasn't first approved.

    As Toby said, it's not a legal requirement. The legal requirement is for employers (and employees) to ensure that all equipment is of a safe working state and sufficiently maintained so as to reduce, as much as is possible, the risks of injury. PAT testing is merely a means of documenting this procedure, and if something is PAT tested it can stand up as evidence that the establishment has followed Health and Safety guidelines adequately and that the appliance met the standard of good working condition.

    PAT Testing or not, the legal H&S requirement means you should ensure that equipment is of a good state of repair. Conducting testing, whether in the capacity of a PAT tester or your obligatory role as an employee, items that need to be inspected are anything that is not permanently hardwired to the structure. In the case of computers/monitors or anything that has a detachable power lead, the chassis and lead need separate inspections. I'd highlight the above point to your headteacher and perhaps suggest getting a company in to PAT test the school for you. It could become nasty if a child gets a shock and it turns out your equipment has not been professionally documented as being safe for usage. You could attend a PAT Testing safety course and become a qualified tester for your school, but believe me it's a forsaken thing. You become inundated with testing appliances and cables.

    I think I'm making sense. I'm sure there are qualified PAT testers on the old geek that can shed more light.

  5. #5
    enjay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    4,456
    Thank Post
    279
    Thanked 196 Times in 167 Posts
    Rep Power
    75
    PAT testing "rules" are few and far between, as the potential risk of a plug varies according to what is connected to it. For example, no-one should go near the plugs on your printers or PCs, therefore a visual inspection every 5 (I think) years is sufficient, however this isn't appropriate for something like a loan-pool laptop or a kettle which gets plugged in and out all the time.

    The trick is keeping track of how old every power cable is, as I know that sometimes when installing replacement computers I use the existing power cable. Our site team often test things as soon as they arrive in school as that way they have an accurate date of purchase, as you can't (easily) identify which kettle or vacuum cleaner is which. I now make sure that power cables follow the PCs, as I can easily give the age of a PC and therefore its power cable.

    For the bulk of your IT equipment, a visual inspection is actually sufficient - you should record somewhere that you've carried these out, though.

  6. #6

    elsiegee40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    10,053
    Thank Post
    1,681
    Thanked 2,021 Times in 1,495 Posts
    Rep Power
    673
    This of any use to anyone?
    Attached Files Attached Files

  7. #7

    Andrew_C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Winchester
    Posts
    2,840
    Thank Post
    62
    Thanked 348 Times in 269 Posts
    Rep Power
    149
    For FACTS rather than inaccurate speculation, it would be worth getting a copy of the CoP. Code of Practice for Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment: Amazon.co.uk: Iee: Books

  8. #8

    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Alcester, Warwickshire
    Posts
    4,855
    Thank Post
    412
    Thanked 777 Times in 650 Posts
    Rep Power
    181
    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    PAT testing "rules" are few and far between, as the potential risk of a plug varies according to what is connected to it.
    Actually the rules are called a "Code of Practice", and the potential risk of a plug depends on the state of repair of the appliance, not what it is.


    edit: oh, actually, the electrical potential of a consumer plug in the UK doesn't vary at all, it's always 240V. That's probably not what you meant though. </pun>
    Last edited by powdarrmonkey; 28th April 2010 at 02:44 PM.

  9. #9
    enjay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    4,456
    Thank Post
    279
    Thanked 196 Times in 167 Posts
    Rep Power
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    the potential risk of a plug depends on the state of repair of the appliance, not what it is.
    Yes, but. A plug which is (un)plugged / a device which is moved around ten times every day is more likely to fall into a state of disrepair than one which is plugged in and then left for 3 years, therefore the type of device on the plug does matter, as those on portable devices need checking more frequently/thoroughly. Or so the course I went on said.

    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    edit: oh, actually, the electrical potential of a consumer plug in the UK doesn't vary at all, it's always 240V. That's probably not what you meant though. </pun>
    Very good!

  10. #10

    witch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Dorset
    Posts
    10,405
    Thank Post
    1,106
    Thanked 2,094 Times in 1,474 Posts
    Rep Power
    651
    Thanks all - I will speak to the SMT with all the points you have raised

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    418
    Thank Post
    41
    Thanked 64 Times in 62 Posts
    Rep Power
    25
    Hey Witch ... Ive a good and reliable company that does ours ........ if you are interested drop me a message and I'll send the details

    Cheers from Christchurch
    Brian Rumsey

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. PAT Testing training
    By BatchFile in forum General Chat
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 17th January 2011, 09:52 AM
  2. Psu and pat testing
    By chrbb in forum Hardware
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 27th January 2010, 09:21 AM
  3. PAT Testing
    By Digger88 in forum How do you do....it?
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 7th May 2009, 09:51 AM
  4. PAT Testing?????
    By gibboap in forum General Chat
    Replies: 52
    Last Post: 11th December 2007, 01:41 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •