Numerous incidents occur every year, both in the home and at places of work because of faulty portable appliances. The process of carrying out PAT testing ensures that any portable appliances that will be used by human employees are designated as being safe to use.
Legally, PAT testing is not a requirement. However, it is often an essential testing procedure to ensure that an organisation adheres to the regulations of several governing bodies related to the workplace, as it is an organisations legal responsibility to ensure all electrical equipment used by their staff can be used safely, and are regularly maintained to promote safety.
Like any tool, portal appliances can degrade over time because of a number of contributing factors, and it is essential that they are regularly checked over to ensure that the appliance in question has not been damaged in some way due to the passage of time. Think of it as being part of a servicing schedule, as would occur with a vehicle, with the PAT test being similar to an MOT.
PAT testing first started as a means of companies complying with their obligations under the Electricity At Work Regulations 1989.