The report said money was being wasted on unnecessary tests – it didn’t say that testing wasn’t necessary.

What it was referring to was the number of low risk environments that get all appliances tested every year no matter what. In fact that is still considered best practice but it is possible to save some money by not getting all appliances tested every year; doing a risk assessment will help you with this.

If we’re honest about it, not only will it save you money, but it will save the PAT engineer time too, meaning he’ll be able to focus his attention more on other equipment or book in new jobs.

You can do a risk assessment of electrical equipment yourself if you have appropriate knowledge, or you can employ a health and safety or fire assessor to do it for you for a few hundred pounds. They’ll assess where you can reduce the intervals between tests which will save you a few pounds off your annual tests – it’s rare to find an environment where at least some equipment won’t need annual tests, so you’re going to continue to see the PAT company every year anyway.

You may find it better to employ a reputable PAT company that do the assessment whilst they’re operating; which rarely costs you anymore. They usually work off guidance from the IET and HSE and automatically put in place the appropriate frequencies and manage them for you – that’s generally the best way to operate.

But how do you find such a company, it’s unlikely you’ll find them by searching Google, so you’ll need a recommendation or just ask when you make an enquiry.

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