Legal Requirements

Portable Appliance Testing should be carried out by Employers, the Self-Employed, Landlords and Holiday Lets.

The Electricity Equipment (Safety) Requirements 1994

The Electricity Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 states that all electrical appliances supplied with rented accommodation intended for the use of the Tenant must be electrically safe independent of whether they are new or second-hand appliances. To ensure the safety of the appliances the items should be tested by a trained and competent person, using the appropriate calibrated portable appliance testing equipment.

Failure to comply with the Electrical Regulations may constitute a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 which may result in a fine and/or imprisonment.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states:

“Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.”

The PUWER 1998 covers most risks that can result from using work equipment. With respect to risks from electricity, compliance with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 is likely to achieve compliance with the PUWER 1998.

PUWER 1998 only applies to work equipment used by workers at work. This includes all work equipment (fixed, transportable or portable) connected to a source of electrical energy. PUWER does not apply to fixed installations in a building. The electrical safety of these installations is dealt with only by the Electricity at Work Regulations.

Insurance Requirements:

Generally Insurance companies assume that when giving insurance cover to a business the owners are complying with all the necessary regulations. An insurance company may reduce, delay or even refuse to pay on any claim for damage or injury if the portable appliance involved has not been PAT Tested.

H&S Requirements:

PAT Testing is widely considered a helpful way of ensuring a company is complying with the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 which puts the duty of care upon both the employer and the employee to ensure the safety of all persons using the work premises.

Electricity At Work Regulations 1989

Reg 4(2): ‘As may be necessary to prevent danger all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent so far as is reasonably practicable such danger’ . Regular Portable Appliance Testing demonstrates that employers recognise their responsibility to satisfy the requirements of the Electricity At Work Regulations to prevent harm to employees and to members of the public. If you have not implemented a systematic and regular programme of inspection and testing you are at risk from prosecution.