With PAT Testing equipment being as user friendly as never before, wholesalers have a great opportunity to upsell, says Steve Dunning, Managing Director of Martindale Electric.
In accordance with the Electricity at Work Regulations (1989), any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury must be maintained in a safe condition. Designed to help raise the standards of electrical safety in the workplace, Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) ensures that electrical appliances and equipment that have been classified as ‘portable’ are safe to use.
Although the requirements are clear in their intent, they do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently. Organisations that neglect the inspection and testing of appliances or fail to nominate a competent or appropriately trained individual risk invalidating their insurance policies and endangering lives. Should a fault arise in an appliance that is left unchecked or undetected by an under-qualified individual, the consequences could prove fatal.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, 25% of all reportable electrical accidents involve portable appliances. From these figures, it is clear that a large number of incidents and injuries could be prevented with proper electrical checks, inspections and safety tests.
Given the importance of PAT testing and the fact it is still a vital way to keep users of electrical appliances safe, there is a good opportunity for electrical wholesalers to advise on and even upsell PAT equipment to their customers.
Trade counter advice
A little bit of knowledge at the trade counter will help the customer choose the right tester for the job in hand. For instance, often overlooked but vitally important, is that the user covers all bases with the capability to test not only appliances, but mains extension leads too. Ideally, a unit will have a good range of readily available accessories for use across a wide range of applications.
A small, lightweight design is ideal for maximum portability and a backlit display is particularly handy for use in a wide range of locations. If you can, opt for equipment with easy-to-read help guides on the tester itself or on-screen.
One button operation makes testing incredibly easy and a unit with a clear pass / fail indication with test results on-screen makes light work of record keeping. A soft carry case allows the unit to be used without having to unpack and repack which speeds up the process for maximum efficiency. Furthermore, by selecting a rechargeable unit you can optimise efficiency and reduce running costs.
There is now an extensive range of portable appliance testers available to suit a wide range of applications including some which just offer a simple pass/fail result.
When it comes to testing portable appliances, the HPAT Series of portable appliance testers from Martindale Electric, one of the most trusted brands in electrical safety, enables both contractors and competent in-house personnel to quickly and safely verify the electrical safety of all types of appliances.
Light and bright
Designed to perform safety checks in accordance with the IET Code of Practice, the lightweight HPAT Series of rechargeable handheld testers are designed for ease of use, with one button automatic testing and clear connection details shown on the tester. The small lightweight design and one button operation make the HPATs ideal for testing in all locations, be it under a desk or behind a monitor. The bright backlit display provides a clear pass/fail indication.
For more demanding PAT applications, other more sophisticated testers are available which incorporate a greater range of tests and have the ability to store the test results for later recall on-screen, such as the HPAT600. For downloading results to a PC in order to manage assets and re-test requirements, Martindale offer the MPAT Plus with MPATSUITE software.
To keep running costs down and to ensure that no time is lost due to flat batteries, a good solution is to choose a battery powered rechargeable PAT tester which can also operate from a mains power supply such as the HPAT500 and 600. The capability to easily test mains leads and extension leads is essential and it’s useful to have connection instructions either on-screen or on the tester as a reminder of what to do when used infrequently.
Martindale has launched a dedicated ‘Essential Guide to PAT Testing’ area of its website crammed with useful information, hints, tips and an overview of its popular HPAT series of PAT Testers.
To access the Essential Guide, click here