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Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

Purpose Statement

To ensure, so far is reasonably practicable that portable and transportable electrical equipment, supplied within University-owned Accommodation is maintained in a safe condition to minimise risk to persons or property.

Applicability and Scope

This policy applies to all portable appliances provided within University-owned Accommodation.

Portable appliance means electrical equipment that can or could be moved from place to place, eg kettle or toaster, that is intended to be connected to a generator or a fixed installation by means of a flexible cable and either a plug and socket or a spur box, or similar means.

Our Responsibilities

Legislation introduced under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty on the University to conduct its business in such a way as to ensure, that persons not in its employment are not exposed to risks to their health or safety. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition.

Each year, a trained member of residence staff, or a University approved contractor, will undertake PAT on the portable and transportable electrical equipment supplied in your accommodation. Where flat access is required during term time, advance notice will be provided. We will clearly label each appliance tested with the date and whether it has passed or failed the test. If an appliance has failed the test, we will remove the item and replace it.

Policy Restrictions

New equipment supplied by Accommodation Services will not receive a PAT. It will be given a visual inspection prior to being put in place. It will then be tested annually in line with this policy.

All University staff and students are required to report any portable appliance which they see within the accommodation which shows any sign of:

  • Damage (apart from light scuffing) to the supply cable, including fraying or cuts
  • Damage to the plug or connector, e.g. the casing is cracking or the pins are bent
  • Inadequate joints, including taped joints in the cable
  • The outer sheath of the cable is not effectively secured where it enters the plug or the equipment. Evidence would be if the coloured insulation of the internal cable cores were showing
  • The equipment has been subjected to conditions for which it is not suitable, e.g. it is wet or excessively contaminated
  • Damage to the external casing of the equipment
  • Loose parts or screws
  • Evidence of overheating (burn marks or discolouration)

Portable appliances that are reported should not be used until they are confirmed as safe.

If any equipment is found or reported with the above defects it will be removed and replaced if University owned. In the case of it being a student’s personal equipment it will be confiscated, and the student will be issued with a removal notice which they will be able to use to reclaim the equipment at the end of their stay, as outlined in the Confiscation policy.

Reviewed: March 2023
Review date: January 2024
Policy owner: Senior Management Team, Accommodation Services