There are three procedures to complete when PAT testing. The PAT testing procedures are:
• User check PAT testing procedures – advising users of any potential danger signs to call attention to the appliance by having it checked by a professional before it can bring potential danger to its user. For example, a frayed cable should not be touched/used. The necessary procedure in this case would be to contact a supervisor.
• Formal visual inspection PAT testing procedures –the appliance undergoes testing, in particular, the plug and cable are inspected for any signs of obvious problems and danger. According to the HSE these procedures of PAT testing can find more than 90% of faults, thus, it is most important out of all of the PAT testing procedures.
• Combined inspection and PAT testing procedures – Appliances need to undergo testing at periodic intervals to measure its degree of protection to ensure the appliance is safe.
During PAT testing procedures there are certain aspects to look for:
• Damage to power cable sheath.
• Damage to mains plug, for example cracking to the casing, or bent pins.
• Any taped joints to the cable.
• Inadequate strain relief.
• Signs that the equipment has been subject to conditions for which it is not suitable, e.g. wet or excessively rusty.
• Damage to external casing of the equipment, or loose parts or screws.
• Evidence of overheating.
Formal PAT testing procedures should also include removal of the plug cover and checking that:
• The correct value fuse is being used.
• The cord grip is holding the outer part of the cable tightly.
• Live, Neutral and earth wires are attached to the correct terminals.
• No bare wires are visible, other than at the terminals.
• Terminal screws are tight.
• There is no sign of internal damage, overheating or entry of liquid, dust or dirt.