Electricity can kill! Each year 1000's of accidents at work, involving electric shock or burns are reported to the Health and Safety Executive. Many of these are fatal.
Make sure your appliances are SAFE! Make sure they are TESTED!
Pat testing or portable appliance testing is an important part of your Health & Safety policy.
The Health & Safety Executive states that 25% of all reportable electrical accidents involve portable appliances. The Electricity at Work Regulations place a legal responsibility on employers, employees and self-employed persons to comply with the provisions of the regulations and take reasonably practicable steps to ensure that no danger results from the use of such equipment. This in effect requires the implementation of a systematic and regular program of maintenance, inspection and testing.
If it is believed that the regulations are not being complied with, Health and Safety Inspectors are authorised to issue a 'prohibition notice' with immediate effect. This would prevent any further work being carried out on-site. An improvement notice would be issued and if the requirements of this were not complied with the case would become the subect of a prosectution.
Maximum fines of up to £5000and/or up to six months imprisonment are able to be imposed in the event of a successful prosecution under any Health & Safety statute.
The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 has allowed for penalties up to £20,000 fines since 1992.
Offences heard by the Crown Courts have unlimited fines with a possible two year prison sentence.
The surest way to enable yourself to demonstrate that you are taking the regulations seriously is to have in place a record-keeping system which is properly maintained.This may be electronic or paper based, and should show a history of all PAT Testing activity.
Remember that most PL(Public Liability) Insurance policies insist on you producing a PAT Testing Certificate when a claim is made in regards to any electrical accidents. Without an appropriate PAT Certificate, Insurance companies may decline any claim.