Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure that they are safe to use.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. 110v electrical appliances used on a construction site should be PAT tested every 3 months with the addition of a formal visual inspection every month. A 110v appliance is distinguished with an easy to see yellow cable and adaptor.
However, in low-risk environments the Regulations don’t make inspection or testing of electrical appliances a legal requirement, nor do they make it a legal requirement to undertake this annually or specify what needs to be done or by whom.
The frequency of inspection and testing depends upon the type of equipment and the environment it is used in. The person doing testing work needs to competent to do it. In many low-risk environments, a sensible (competent) member of staff can undertake visual inspections if they have enough knowledge and training. However, when undertaking combined inspection and testing, a greater level of knowledge and experience is needed.