All employers and employees (including the self-employed) have a duty to fulfil health and safety requirements in order to ensure the safety of all persons using the work premises.
It may be tempting to put electrical maintenance, such as Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) and Periodic Inspection Reports, on the back burner in order to spread company costs and save money.
However, delay of this sort is both unwise and uneconomic as electrical systems and equipment left unchecked are likely to degrade which could lead to your undoing – both financially and in terms of health and safety. By having a planned system of inspection, you are more likely to ‘nip potential electrical problems in the bud’.
PAT Testing, for example, should be carried out regularly, usually an annual inspection will suffice. If portable appliances (electrical items with a plug attached) are used in adverse environments, such as construction sites, more frequent testing would be suggested.
Discovering dangerous appliances or death-traps is always a spinetingling experience for PAT Technicians.
Decent company owners are also shocked when such appliances are found on their premises. It is therefore in the interest of organisations to ensure that sufficient funds are allocated to electrical safety testing.
In a nutshell, be safe rather than sorry! In addition, business insurance could be rendered invalid if it is proven that appropriate steps have not been taken to adhere to health and safety regulations.