Pat Testing – Who is responsible?

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) requires, every employer to ensure that work equipment is suitable for the purpose for which it is provided, only used in the place and under the provisions for which it is provided. It also requires every employer to ensure work equipment be efficiently maintained and kept fit and suitable for its intended purpose. It must not be allowed to deteriorate in function or performance to such a level that it puts people at risk. This means that regular, routine and planned maintenance regimes must be considered if hazardous problems can arise.

Regulation 3 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 recognises a responsibility that employers and many employees have for electrical systems.

“It shall be the duty of every employer and self employed person to comply with the provisions of the Regulations in as far as they relate to matters which are within his control.

It shall be the duty of every employee while at work:

(a) to co-operate with his employer so far as is necessary to enable and duty placed on that employer by the provision of the Regulations to be complied with: and
(b) to comply with the provision of these regulations in so far as they relate to matters which are within his control.”

In Ireland the draft guide to the safety, health and welfare at work (general application) regulations 2005 part VII : Electricity State that : Portable equipment supplied at a voltage exceeding 125 volts alternating current shall be inspected and where appropriate be tested by a competent person and a certificate of test shall be completed verifying that the portable equipment including cables and plug-tops, was on the day of inspection, as far as could reasonably be ascertained, safe and without risk to persons coming into direct or indirect contact with any live part of the equipment.