Portable Appliance Testing
The Health & Safety Executive states that 25% of all reportable electrical accidents involve portable appliances, these are classified as items such as kettles, heaters, computers and other items that are plugged into the mains. These should not be confused with Medical Devices that you may use in the clinic, any item that comes into contact or used to treat patients must be checked and maintained to a much higher standard than portable applicance testing to ensure you and your patient are fully protected.
The Electricity at Work Regulations place a legal responsibility on employers, employees and self-employed persons to comply with the provisions of the regulations and take reasonably practicable steps to ensure that no danger results from the use of such equipment. The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) places such an obligation in the following circumstances:
1. Where appliances are used by employees.
2. Where the public may use appliances in establishments such as hospitals, schools, hotels, shops etc.
3. Where appliances are supplied or hired.
4. Where appliances are repaired or serviced.
The level of inspection and testing required is dependant upon the risk of the appliance becoming faulty, which is in turn dependant upon the type of appliance, the nature of its use and the environment in which it is used, we are sure you are already asking how do I know the answers to these points, there are many guides available however they can be very hard to interpert, we have found that The Institution of Engineering and Technology (The IET) "Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment" (ISBN: 978-1849196260) to be very useful and this is guide forms the basis for portable appliance testing in the U.K.