Electricity At Work Act 1989 - To meet the requirements of the 1989 "electricity at work regulations it is widely regarded to be necessary to
implement planned inspection and testing of portable appliances,
As may be necessary to prevent danger all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent so far as is reasonably practicable such danger.
Provisions & Use Of Work Equipment Regulations 1992 -
Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.
Provisions & Use Of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 -
Every employer shall ensure that the result of an inspection made under this regulation is recorded and kept until the next inspection is recorded.
Assuming that equipment passes the visual inspection, the equipment can now be tested. Brief descriptions of the tests are detailed below indicating appropriate tests for the different classes of equipment.
Earth Continuity This test ensures that an earth is present between the metalwork of an appliance and the earth pin of a plug top. This test is carried out on all Class 1 and some Class 3 equipment.
Insulation Resistance This test is to indicate any breakdown in the insulation protecting the conductors. This test is carried out on all classes of equipment. Electronic equipment is exempt.
Load Test This test checks that the equipment and fuses operate correctly and applies to all classes of equipment.
Earth Leakage This test measures the leakage current to earth during the operation of the appliance and once again applies to all classes of equipment.
All Portable Appliance testing is to be carried out using appropriate instrumentation that should be calibrated regularly.
It is best practise that all the results of inspection and testing should be collated to form a register. Using this information it is possible for employers to establish a safe frequency of testing based on the failure rates, age and condition of equipment and the environment in which it is used.
Each appliance/lead that passes inspection and test will be issued with it's own identification number. This number along with the retest due date and details of the test engineer should be affixed to each unit tested.
This service may be of special interest to the Self Employed who may need their electrical equipment safety checked and certified.