The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Testing Portable Electrical Appliances

Graham Marshall - Thursday, June 28, 2012

Misleading advertising from dishonest companies offering electrical appliance testing are costing UK businesses an estimated thirty million GB pounds each year.

And the UK Health and Safety Executive (UK HSE) is keen to point out that it’s a myth that every portable electrical appliance in the workplace needs to be tested once a year.

The law in the UK merely requires an employer to ensure that electrical equipment is maintained in order to prevent danger.

The law does not state that each electrical item has to be tested or how often testing needs to be carried out.

New information from the UK HSE says that in low-risk environments, such as offices, shops and hotels, most defects can be found by the employer simply by checking the appliances for obvious signs of damage.

In response to the problem of rogue testing, the UK HSE Chairwomen - Judith Hackitt - has released new and revised guidance on portable appliance testing.

The recommendations are one of the results from the government-backed report on health and safety by Professor Ragnar Lofstedt (Reclaiming Health and Safety for All) to further clarify the requirement for portable appliance testing in order to stop over-compliance.

The revised HSE guidance can be found here.


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