PAT testing when homeworking

After the first lockdown, you might have concluded that it’s more efficient for your business if some of your employees work remotely. Or if they returned to the workplace after you reopened your doors for the first time, they may have gone back to working from home due to the second lockdown coming into force.

We understand that managing your people remotely can be a challenge and you would have had to make many considerations from both a HR and Health & Safety perspective. Although there might be a lot on your shoulders, it’s important you’re also on top of your fire and electrical measures. In fact, ensuring the equipment your people take home with them is up to safe standards has never been more important and it all starts with PAT testing.

What is PAT testing?

Portable Appliance Testing, otherwise known as PAT testing, is a series of tests and inspections that determine whether a portable appliance is safe to use and fit for purpose. This is vital to the safety of your people and your premises.

In the current climate, you might have a substantial amount of people working from home which means PAT testing has never been more important.

What are your legal requirements for PAT testing?

If your people use portable electrical equipment like laptops, display screens, cameras etc., you’re responsible for checking each item to guarantee the safety of your employees. Periodic inspection and testing come under legal requirements which include;

  • Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
  • Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment regulations of 1998
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work regulations of 1999

With the increase in electrical equipment in your employees’ homes, they’ll likely need to use more extension leads and use sockets which may be overloaded with other family members’ devices. This then increases the risk of overheating and can lead to electrical shocks or potential fire. It’s your responsibility as their employer to keep them safe during work – be it for working from home on on-site.

Training your staff

With so much change at the minute, it’s important your people are fully trained and equipped to carry out their day-to-day roles. Here are a few questions you could ask yourself to make sure you’re on the right track.

  1. As you train your workforce for their roles and fire and electrical safety, have you made sure they’re also adequately trained on remote working fire and electrical safety?
  2. Are your employees clear on the arrangements in place and what is required of them and others?
  3. Do you have a plan in place to review and repeat the training where necessary to ensure people are up to date with the requirements on them?
  4. Have you ensured all training is brought up to date?

Additional points to consider for your homeworkers

Below is a list of questions you can ask your employees as a starting point to help with their fire and electrical safety settings at home. All of these questions should be answered with ‘no’ to keep your employees safe when working at home.

  • Extension leads – Are any leads coiled? Are any of the extensions leads fed from another extension lead?
  • Locating electrical items – Are the electrical items near any source of water or drinking vessel? Are the items near any source of heat?
  • Cable health – Is there excessive strain on the power cables? Do any cables or plugs have any physical damage?
  • Storage of paper – Is any paperwork stored next to electrical equipment that could cause a fire?

How we can help with PAT testing?

Conducting a PAT test on all your employees’ equipment can be a challenge, especially during a global pandemic but have you thought about arranging to test all of the equipment at one time and place?

If you know your electrical appliances are due a PAT test, our team can help you to arrange your staff to bring their equipment to the office or a central location to allow the PAT testing to be completed efficiently.

Our end goal is to make sure your on-site and homeworkers settings are safe places to work from and you’re meeting your legal obligations.

We pride ourselves on providing our clients with a 100% reliable service. We uphold rigorous standards, and our processes are continuously audited to make sure that you receive the same quality service every time. We know our stuff and we’re here to put your mind at ease from the very start.

To book a PAT test or for free advice, contact our service team here.