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MAINTAINING PORTABLE ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT

HSE update on PAT frequencies and what legislation does/does not require 

The publication HSG107: Maintaining portable electrical equipment (third edition) contains revised guidance for managers, electricians, technicians and users and gives advice on maintaining portable electrical equipment to prevent danger.

The table of suggested frequencies has been updated. See below.

In addition the guidance clarifies what the legal requirement for maintenance of portable electrical equipment means in practice stating (bolding in the original):

“16. The legal requirements relating specifically to the use and maintenance of electrical equipment are contained in the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. These Regulations apply to all work activities involving electrical equipment. They place duties on employers, the self-employed and employees (subsequently referred to as ‘dutyholders’). These duties are intended to control risks arising from the use of electricity.

17. The Regulations require that electrical systems and equipment must be maintained, so far as reasonably practicable, to prevent danger. This requirement covers all items of electrical equipment including fixed or portable equipment. 

 18. The Regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently (for example, they do not make it a legal requirement to test all portable electrical appliances every year). This allows the dutyholder to select precautions appropriate to the risk rather than having precautions imposed that may not be relevant to a particular work activity. Note that even if a contractor is used to carry out maintenance procedures, the dutyholder still has overall responsibility for complying with the law. For more information see HSE publication HSR25 Memorandum of guidance on the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

19.There are also legal duties on manufacturers and suppliers covering the initial integrity (safety) of new work equipment. There are general duties covering the use and maintenance of work equipment, designed to ensure that it remains in a safe condition. For more information see Appendix 1.”

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