Oct 20 20120 comments
IET Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment – 4th Edition
This article was published the PAT TESTERS INFO DIRECTORY
The new 4th Edition of the Code of Practice is due to be published in November 2012. This new edition has been written to take account of the Löfstedt report. As part of the Government's plans to reform the health and safety system, an independent review of the health and safety legislation was carried out by Professor Löfstedt. His report, published in November 2011, highlighted an over compliance by industry and recommended that the requirement for portable appliance testing should be further clarified.
The required frequency of portable appliance testing is often misunderstood, leading many to assume that all equipment should be tested annually. Annual testing has never been a requirement of the Code of Practice and this latest edition now emphasises this and also expands on the need to carry out risk assessments to determine the correct maintenance of electrical equipment.
The new CoP also includes clarification of which equipment is covered, additional explanation of the term ‘competent person’ and inclusion of the substitute/alternative test method. In addition there is explanation on the use of test leads and RCD adaptors and extension leads are now covered. New appendices also give a series of pictures to illustrate commonly found faults found on plugs and cables.
There are significant changes to the advice on 'PASS' labels. The CoP now recommends that the PASS label should not include the 'next test due'. The new labels should only include the equipment ID number, test date and inspectors initials.
Electrical equipment supplied in rented accommodation is now covered in the fourth edition, as well as guidance on hired and second-hand equipment.
Guidance on the inspection and testing fixed equipment is now given. The microwave radiation leakage testing section has now been removed from the Code of Practice.
The 4th Edition of the IET Code of Practice is available on pre-order from Amazon. Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment 4th Edition (4th Edt)
So what does this meani to the industry Mr N. Murray From Northants PAT had this statement of his views on this change to the industry.
The HSE recently released a new guidance document for PAT testing, and it states that electrical appliances do need a formal inspection and/or a PAT Test at regular intervals. This includes all Class 1 items such as computers, kettles, floor cleaners, electric tools, etc.
Some equipment should be PAT Tested every 3 months (on Construction sites) and some equipment only every 5 years – whichever applies to you.
We at team McCallum UK Ltd has the same theory that PAT is something that should not be over looked we have seen the consequences of poorly maintained portable appliances plugs with overheated pins, bunt out cables, cut/split cables wrong polarity, loose connections, all of these and more can create a real risk to the safety of people and building the risk of fire is high not to mention the state that bad PAT items can do to the existing fixed hard wire installation so for the recommend test times to go higher is stupid and careless we are not saying that you need to get a professional PAT company but you do need do regular checks on the pat items in your premises.
The thing you have to remember is that it's not going to be the HSE in court for a law suite it will be you. WHY
The fact of the matter is that The code of practice is just that its not LAW it's a set of good practices that we in the industry follow and the test periods is what thay say recommended and not LAW so you and only you can make the correct choice for you company and this can be done by a good risk assessment.
Remember the term reasonably practicable?
What is meant by reasonably practicable?
You may come across it as SFAIRP (“so far as is reasonably practicable”) or ALARP (“as low as reasonably practicable”). SFAIRP is the term most often used in the Health and Safety at Work etc Act and in Regulations. ALARP is the term used by risk specialists, and duty-holders are more likely to know it. We use ALARP in this guidance. In HSE’s view, the two terms are interchangeable except if you are drafting formal legal documents when you must use the correct legal phrase.
So what does this mean well if some one on your premises gets a electric shock or worse was having a PAT test reasonably practicable can you put a price on someone's life?
This is what you need to take care at all time as its NOT the HSE in court it's YOU.
The complete outcome will only be found out when the HSE cuts the red tape and the new code of practice comes out.