1) What do we get when you do PAT Testing for us?
If you engage my services, then virtually all* of the electrical equipment at your site that has either a standard 240 volt three-pin plug or a ' building site' 110 volt plug attached will be formally visually inspected and instrument-tested for safety. Each item will then be labelled with either a PASS label or, very occasionally!, a red FAIL label. PASS labels identify the PAT Testing Appliance ID (unique for each item inspected/tested by me at the site), the Pass Date, the Next Test Due date, and my contact details. Instead of the Pass Date, FAIL labels provide the Fail Date and display a clear warning that the item of equipment is not safe to use.
Any item of equipment that fails either the formal visual inspection or the instrument tests will be identified with a red FAIL label and brought to the attention of the Responsible Person, this typically being the person that deals with Health and Safety, otherwise a manager or similar. It is then the responsibility of that person to take appropriate measures to either have the item repaired, disposed of, or otherwise appropriately and safely dealt with. In the case of inexpensive, easily replaceable items such as computer/printer power leads, extension leads, table lamps, etc., the item is normally rendered unusable and disposed of there and then (with your agreement, of course); no, I don't go around chopping off plugs left, right and centre! It is true to say that, whilst I have no authority over your organisation, if you have in commission any unsafe item of electrical equipment whether you know it or not, then you are committing a serious criminal offence, not to mention the risk to people, animals or property.
If an item passes the combined formal visual inspection and instrument tests, but I have concern over some other aspect of its safety, for example, its suitability for the job for which it is being used, or perhaps the cables placed in a dangerous manner, then a PASS label will be applied, but the item will be brought to the attention of the Responsible Person to deal with in an appropriate and safe manner.
I always remove the covers of rewireable plugs to check for fuse rating, wire condition, etc. I carry a supply of new standard three-pin plugs and fuses, all BS/ASTA certified, so if an item of equipment under inspection/test needs either a new plug, the plug rewired or the fuse replaced for it to pass the tests, then this work will be carried out free of charge there and then (most contractors that carry out PAT Testing charge additional for this, typically £4 per item). I also carry a supply of new, standard IEC (computer) power cords. If one of these needs to be replaced, then this can be supplied at cost for just a couple of pounds (you may already have a few spares so one of these could be used instead; after testing it though, of course!). I do not undertake any other electrical repairs.
I will then send you an invoice for the work, payment of which is expected within 14 days. I will also contact you about eleven months later to discuss another visit.
On receipt of your payment,you will receive via Email, signed and dated copies of the Test Results and also the PAT Testing Certificate, along with a signed and dated covering-letter providing you with my business details, etc. in Adobe PDF, you may print all the documents but electronic storage is now an accepted practice & saves on paper.
In the event of a visit from the Health and Safety Executive, for example, you can produce these documents to provide evidence that you are taking positive steps to making sure that your electrical equipmentmeets the legal requirement of being, in simple terms, 'safe, well-maintained and suitable for the purpose for which it is being used'. I keep copies of these files on your behalf; if you ever lose your copy of any of the files, then I will of course supply you with replacements, free of charge.
2) Disclaimer/Limitation of Liability
When 'PA Testing', I adhere strictly to the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment.
Like most technicians and test engineers working in the field, my insurance cover is limited to damage to client's equipment and to Public Liability, etc. Therefore, it is taken that The Client understands and accepts the following terms and conditions before engaging my services, for Portable Appliance Testing.
When engaged in PA Testing, in no event shall Caretaking Support Services be liable for any losses whatsoever (including, without limitation, indirect, consequential, or incidental losses) to business profits, business interruption, loss of business information (including computer data or similar data), or other pecuniary loss arising out of the use of its services, even if Caretaking Support Services, have been advised of the possibility of such damages.
When PA Testing, systems such as file servers, mail servers, network switches/hubs and telecommunications equipment will not be inspected/tested without the express permission of The Client. Furthermore, it is assumed that important computer data/information has been backed up securely by The Client before inspection/testing commences.
When PAT Testing, equipment such as video recorders, clocks, central heating system timers, burglar alarms, etc. that lose their programmed memory when disconnected from mains voltage, will (for this reason) only be unplugged and inspected/tested by me with the express permission of the client, and it is the responsibility of the client to arrange for reprogramming of this equipment, if necessary.
3) Practical limitations
In the workplace, I test all items that have either a standard 240 volt three-pin plug or a ' building site' 110 volt plug attached. However, in rented property I only test the items (with plugs) that are supplied by the landlord. Similarly, in residential care homes, etc., I test all items (with plugs) that are supplied by the care-home owner either for use by the residents or by the staff. This is because personal equipment owned by tenants or residents is not covered by legislation, and is therefore not tested.
Systems such as file servers, mail servers, network switches/hubs and telecommunications equipment will not be inspected/tested by me without the express permission of the client.
I do not unplug and test telephony equipment such as PABX or ISDN boxes, etc. that are supplied by the telephone company (much of this equipment, once installed, should really never be unplugged).
Equipment such as video recorders, clocks, central heating system timers, burglar alarms, etc. that lose their programmed memory when disconnected from mains voltage, will (for this reason) only be unplugged and inspected/tested by me with the express permission of the client, and it is the responsibility of the client to arrange for reprogramming of this equipment, if necessary.
Please make sure that the equipment that you want inspected/tested is on site when I arrive! This is particularly pertinent in the case of laptop computer chargers, projectors, power tools, mobile phone chargers, etc. NB. In the case of equipment that is powered by a rechargeable battery, such as battery hand-held power tools, mobile phones, laptop computers, etc., you only need to supply me with the charger; I do not need access to the equipment itself.
The equipment can only be tested if I have easy access to its plug. If the plug is inaccessible, for example, hidden behind heavy, awkward objects, then unfortunately the equipment will not be tested. Furthermore, I can only test items that have either a standard 240 volt three-pin plug or a 'building site' 110 volt plug attached; electric cookers, water heaters, large built-in radiators, electric heaters, etc. that are directly wired into a fused outlet cannot be tested as this would necessitate the switching off of the electricity at the mains (something which would inconvenience everyone) and also the dismantling of the fused outlet, something which, like most PA Testers, I am not qualified, insured or legally allowed to do.