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How do you do....it? Thread, PAT Testing iPad Chargers in Technical; We're about to give every teacher an iPad - does anyone know the rules regarding PAT testing the chargers? Will ...
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    enjay's Avatar
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    PAT Testing iPad Chargers

    We're about to give every teacher an iPad - does anyone know the rules regarding PAT testing the chargers? Will we have to try and get them all back in school to test?

    When our PAT testers last went round the school, they did test the charger which was on my desk, so they obviously feel they should be tested (even though it has the double square logo on it) which set me thinking about our responsibility to check the safety of the chargers which staff keep at home.

    On a mildly related topic, those of you who have gone 1:1, do you get much opposition from staff objecting to being asked/expected to charge their iPads at home?

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    Double insulated equipment (the double square) is exempt from PAT testing I'd say.

    Edit: To be clear it does not need to be tested by a PAT test device, but needs to be visually checked for faults.
    Last edited by Meldrew; 7th August 2014 at 04:40 PM.

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    speckytecky (8th August 2014)

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    jaminben's Avatar
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    Check this .pdf out from the HSE, it has a chart near the bottom if you don't fancy reading it all.
    Last edited by jaminben; 7th August 2014 at 11:50 PM.

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    speckytecky (8th August 2014)

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    The plug and cable need a visual check only.

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    speckytecky (8th August 2014)

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    Jawloms's Avatar
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    And of course there is no actual requirement to PAT test anything is there? They're about as reliable as an MOT or a CRB for my liking anyway; valid the day it was done and no more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    The plug and cable need a visual check only.
    The cable on an ipad charger though is 5v as it's a usb lead so that wouldn't need anything.

    The unit itself as it's double insulated would need a visual inspection.

    Ben

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    speckytecky (8th August 2014)

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    jaminben's Avatar
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    There is no legal requirement but there are regulations which require you to carry out maintenance. Not complying with the regulations can result in fines and/or imprisonment. As an employer you must ensure all equipment is in good working order and safe to use.

    Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
    The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989
    The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998
    The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999

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    With reference to repeated posts about not needing to PAT test:

    If you define a PAT test as an earth bond test, then no, not every bit of equipment needs it. Double insulated equipment does not require an earth bond test, only kit with exposed metal work that could come into contact with live mains wires, or extension cables.

    As stated above, all organisations (in the UK at least) have a legal obligation to make sure that all equipment is safe for use. This includes electrical equipment.

    In order to do that, you would need to follow a procedure that looks a lot like the recommended PAT test method. If you don't do a PAT test, how else can you be sure that its safe?

    Portable appliance testing includes more than the earth bond test. This includes checking for damage, checking fuses are in place and of correct value, checking wires are of suitable current rating/diameter, checking strain relief glands, checking any screw terminals have been done up and checking the wires are all the correct way round. The last ones are only for stuff that can be taken apart.

    Equipment purchased from a reputable supplier can be assumed to be safe for the first year. Stuff bought of ebay, or from abroad where legislation is different, possibly less so.

    For testing the earth bond, you need to check the bonds ability to pass current. A continuity check really isn't enough.

    You aren't just saying the equipment is safe, you are on the look out for anything that isn't safe. You will find dangerous equipment in many large organisations. Given reasonable use, equipment that passes a PAT test should be safe for use for a year. If damaged, then it needs a retest.

    Just because it might get damaged the next day isn't a good enough reason not to test. If you were going to jump out of a plane, you would check your parachute before you jump. You wouldn't skip that bit just because you might rip a hole in it tomorrow. Electricity can kill just as easily. It can also start fires.

    As always I would recommend checking the HSE advice, as it makes sense. Much of what you read on the internet is rubbish.

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    speckytecky (8th August 2014)

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    maniac's Avatar
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    It's simple, we don't allow the use of the chargers in school. The staff/students are issued their ipad with charger, but they charge the devices at home and there is no provision for device charging in school other than hooking their Ipad up to the USB port on the PC should they wish.

    If you do PAT test them, then a visual inspection should be sufficient on that sort of thing, they are sealed units and double insulated so unless there is serious physical damage to the unit, the risk of electric shock from them is pretty much nil. However, that visual inspection should still be logged and the device should still be stickerd in the same way as everything else, to prove it has been inspected.

    PAT testing is a right pain in the backside, we all know it is and we all hate the inconvenience of it, however it is a necessary evil that really should be done regularly and properly.

    Mike.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. So, to pick up part two of my question, how do you test/inspect iPad chargers which staff members have at home?

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    Thanks everyone. So, to pick up part two of my question, how do you test/inspect iPad chargers which staff members have at home?
    You insist they bring them into school to carry out a formal visual inspection.
    Last edited by jaminben; 8th August 2014 at 10:06 AM.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaminben View Post
    You insist they bring them into school to carry out a formal visual inspection.
    And if they don't?

    Presumably, that formal visual inspection would need to be done by someone who has been trained as a PAT tester - could be a challenge, as we outsource our testing...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Maybe the way to go is to not issue the mains adapter, just give them the USB cable. If they choose to go and buy an adapter, that's on them not the school...

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    jaminben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    And if they don't?
    I would either get that person to sign something and if they refuse send it up the management chain.

    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    Presumably, that formal visual inspection would need to be done by someone who has been trained as a PAT tester - could be a challenge, as we outsource our testing...
    Oddly enough no... the tester just has to be a 'Competent Person'. You may consider yourself to be 'Competent'.

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    We don't PAT test the iPad chargers the staff/students take home, we just state in our AUP that if the charger is damaged at all it must be returned to the Academy immediately and not used, and we make sure this message is pushed to the students and staff regularly.

    HSE says to take a 'Risk Based Approach' to these issues, the iPad chargers are a very low risk in my opinion and the only time they really pose a risk is if they are physically damaged. To try and get 600+ chargers to be brought in and inspected every year would be nigh on impossible to administer.



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