An appliance test is an important part of health and safety policies and there are both legal and technical requirements. It has been stated by the Health & Safety Executive that 25% of all reported electrical accidents are a result of a faulty appliance. The Electricity at Work Regulations applies legal responsibility on employers and employees in order to act accordingly with the provisions of the regulations and take reasonable steps to ensure that no hazards result from the use of an electrical appliance. An appliance test (PAT) should also be carried out in order to maintain the health and safety at work. An appliance test depends upon the risk of the appliance becoming faulty.
The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) define a portable appliance as “any electrical item which is intended to be moved whilst connected to an electrical supply”. The IEE Code of Practice highlights regulations on what type of test a certain appliance should go through because the type of test carried out varies depending on the size and usage of an appliance. An appliance which weighs less than 18kg goes through a test which ensures the appliance is able to move from one place to another whilst in use.
Different appliance types include:
• Hand – Held appliance test – these are appointed to be held during normal use, e.g. a hair dryer.
• Stationary appliance test – these are appliances which weigh over 18kg and are not provided with a carrier handle, e.g. a refrigerator.
• Fixed appliance test - equipment which is fastened or secured to a specific location, e.g. a bathroom heater.
• Appliances for building in – This is equipment which is to be installed in a prepared area, such as a cupboard.
• I.T appliance test – such as computers and mains powered photocopiers.