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A Cautionary Tale of Electrical Misdoings!

The following story – related to me by an electrician in Wales recently – only goes to highlight the fact that not all companies offering PAT testing are necessarily offering a good or thorough service. Indeed, in some cases it would appear that their testing consists of little more than attaching stickers to appliances!

The electrician told me that a colleague of his was carrying out some installation work at a company in London. By coincidence the company were having their PAT testing carried out by a company at the same time. Whether this company was local or nationwide was not mentioned.

The PAT test engineer was obviously pleased to find that in one particular room all appliances had been laid out on tables ready for testing. (This is not as unusual as it sounds – some of our clients do the same). Apparently he tested every item in record time and proceeded to the next room seemingly unaware that he was being watched by the electrician.

The room in question was actually being used for a training course.

In PAT testing!

Every appliance had a freshly applied pass sticker. In fact, every single item in that room purposely had a fault of one kind or another each of which would have constituted a fail. The trainer was apparently less than happy to discover that his practical session was delayed by the removal of dozens of incorrect stickers.

We can only assume that the outcome for the PAT tester and/or his company was less than favourable as the electrician relating the story finished his work before the conclusion of the day’s events.

Whether this story is true or not is actually irrelevant. It merely highlights the fact that where the responsibility of health and safety of a person is down to a tester’s work, that work must be carried out properly. 

As Gottlieb Daimler once said, ‘That will do, won’t do’.

About The Author: Tim Williams, ETS Test Engineer.

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