PAT Testing is regulated by the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 in Ireland .
The primary focus of this Act is the prevention of deaths and injury in the workplace.
This legislation is implemented under Statutory Instrument S.I. No. 299 of 2007 which came into force in November 2007.
Companies, and their directors and managers, have a duty of care to ensure that their electrical appliances do not pose a threat to the health and safety of employees, customers, and to the public who may come into contact with those appliances.
This requirement is now covered by legislation effective November 2007 under Statutory Instrument S.I. 299 (2007). This is the General Application Regulation covering the new legislation under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act that came into force in September 2005 with the introduction of the Commencement Order S.I. 328 (2005).
Under this new legislation the obligations under that duty of care have been spelled out in more detail and the penalties for defaulting have become greater including substantial fines and prison sentences for directors and managers of offending companies.
In addition the Health and Safety Authority is now taking a more active role in the promotion of the requirements that this places on businesses and their directors/managers and a much more active role in compliance and enforcement.
Many companies in Ireland, even those with well established and operated Health and Safety Policies and well exercised Corporate Social Responsibility Policies have been slow to implement routine Portable Appliance Testing. This situation is now changing, not only for reasons of enforcement by the Health and Safety Authority, but also as part of the company’s own risk management procedures. This is being driven in some cases by best practice and also by the need to implement adequate systems for the attainment of quality marks and compliance with accepted standards and is now also becoming an issue for Insurance Companies in relation to their risk assessment and in determining premium levels.
Electrical failures are now the most common cause of fires both in the commercial and domestic arenas and some Fire Services are now actively promoting awarness of the part non-compliant and unsafe Portable Appliances regularly play in starting fires.
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