Inspection Testing of Electrical Equipment (ITEE)
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is now called Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment
What is ITEE?
Portable Appliance Testing, or PAT Testing, involves the testing and inspection of electrical equipment to ensure it is fit for use. However, the name ‘Portable Appliance Testing’ can cause confusion surrounding which electrical items should be tested.
As the name suggests, many people assume that PAT Testing involves testing of only small items such as toasters, microwaves, and laptops. This is incorrect and PAT Testing actually involves inspection and testing of any equipment that is connected to a mains supply via a plug. This is why in 2020, the 5th Edition of the Institute of Engineering and Technology Code of Practice coined a new term, ‘Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment’ (ITEE) to replace ‘PAT Testing’. Despite this change in terminology, PAT Testing is still widely used however both terms refer to the examination of electrical appliances and electrical equipment.
Within the Code of Practice, electrical equipment is defined as “Any item for such purposes as generation, conversion, transmission, distribution or utilization of electrical energy, such as machines, transformers, equipment, measuring instruments, protective devices, wiring systems, accessories, appliances and luminaires.” The equipment’s ability to move or be relocated therefore does not affect the nature of the testing and inspection required.
Inspection Testing of Electrical Equipment therefore includes:
- Printers, photocopiers & IT equipment
- Washing machines & driers
- Industrial equipment
ITEE involves a visual inspection of the electrical equipment which involves opening each plug. This is to identify any damage such as cracked plugs, frayed flex/wires, cracked equipment casing, or equipment fitted with the incorrect rated fuse. If any damage is found at this point, TestSafe engineers can replace a plug or wiring before the next stage of testing.
Inspecting and fixing items prior to testing means equipment that may otherwise fail the testing can be easily fixed to pass. Overall, this saves the customer money by repairing rather than replacing equipment. The electrical testing involves earth continuity and insulation testing which determines whether the equipment is electrically safe to use and can be, accordingly, passed or failed.
Who can carry out Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment?
ITEE is carried out by trained TestSafe engineers who have completed the City & Guilds course 2377 Level 3 for the Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment and are regularly assessed by NAPIT to ensure competence and safety. Our engineers will label equipment with the date of testing as well as providing a certificate and a detailed record for each appliance including their pass/ fail status which can be used to assist with insurance claims if needed. Many insurance companies now require an up to date PAT Testing/ ITEE certificate which can reduce business insurance premiums.
Why is ITEE important?
UK law (including Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Electricity at Work 1989, and Management of Safety at Work Regulations 1999) requires that employers ensure “any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition” and “where appropriate, the equipment, devices, and systems shall be subject to a suitable system of maintenance”. ITEE is the best way to ensure that electrical equipment meets these requirements and is fit for purpose.
How often should IT be carried out?
Generally, ITEE should be carried out based on the level of risk, determined by the type of appliance and the environment it is being used in, however many companies recommend annual testing for all equipment which is often unnecessary and can even damage appliances. TestSafe offer a bespoke ‘risk-based assessment’ that is recommended by the Institute of Engineering & Technology to determine the frequency of ITEE.
The risk-based assessment involves determining the location and frequency of the equipment, as well as the type of equipment being tested. With this information and the wealth of experience, TestSafe engineers can determine when equipment should next be tested and our office staff will remind companies when retesting is required, making it as easy as possible for customers to comply with their duty of care. Overall, TestSafe aims to offer the highest quality ITEE at the most appropriate frequency for each individual customer.
TestSafe offers a comprehensive, fully managed inspection and testing service to cover inspection and testing of electrical equipment. To find out more call 01283 229873 or contact us.