How often should the workplace be PAT tested?

How often should the workplace be PAT tested?


Portable Appliance Testing, also known as PAT testing, involves the examination of fixed and portable electrical appliances and equipment to ensure that they are safe for everyday use. Most electrical safety defects can be seen, but some defects can only be discovered with testing, which should be carried out by a competent person with the right level of training and knowledge.


Employers, landlords and those who are self-employed are all required to have PAT testing carried out on their electrical appliances for both their own safety and for the benefit of others who are using the equipment.


It may all sound obvious but it’s often overlooked. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 state that any electrical equipment with the potential to cause injury must be maintained in a safe condition. However, Health and Safety Executive does not provide a set rule on how frequently PAT testing should be carried out, which means that it up to the business or individual to determine when testing should be carried out.


There is lots of free guidance available on the HSE website. HSE Leaflet ING236 provides guidance on testing equipment in low risk environments such as offices, shops, etc. There is also a Code of Practice published by The Institution of Engineering & Technology for in-service inspection & testing of electrical equipment (4th edition).



As a general guide here are some typical testing frequencies:


Construction sites – All 110v equipment should be PAT tested every three months due to the high level of usage of products and machinery.

Industrial factories and commercial kitchens – Portable and hand held equipment (E.g. vacuum cleaners, kitchen appliances and hairdryers) should be PAT tested every 12 months.

Hotels, offices, shops and schools – IT equipment should be tested every two to four years, while moveable equipment such as extension leads and portable equipment should be tested every six to 12 months and handheld equipment such as kettles, irons, kitchen equipment, desk fans, etc. should be tested every year.



For more information on your potential requirements, or to arrange PAT testing of your electrical equipment, email Drewlec Electrical Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01202 575757 today.