PAT Testing News Round-Up - Issue 38
29th September 2014

This issue covers:

New PATMobile App now also available for iOS devices

A powerful new mobile app available for use on both iOS and Android devices, packed with special features to help convert manual PATs into semi-automatic testers.

The new PATMobile App from Seaward is specifically designed to extend the performance of the market leading PrimeTest 50 and PrimeTest 100 manual testers by providing easy access to a host of special test data handling options.

The dedicated app works with the testers to enable the digital input and storage of test records alongside barcode scanning, label printing, photo tagging and other complementary test functions.

The lightweight PrimeTest 50 and PrimeTest 100 testers incorporate extended long life battery power of up to 5,500 tests for the essential electrical safety testing of all electrical appliances – and will also check leads, socket wiring and mains voltages.

To support these PATs, and designed for low to mid-volume testing, the new Seaward PATMobile App enables downloaded test results to be kept in formal records, stored for future reference and distributed easily via e mail – eliminating the manual recording of results and paperwork normally associated with basic PAT testers.

Seaward’s PATMobile App is available from the Google Play and Apple App Stores.

Visit the PATMobile App page to find out more and to download the app.

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HSE Risk Assessment Advice Updated

With the importance of risk assessment now being emphasised in determining inspection and test intervals for portable appliances, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has updated its brief guide to controlling safety risks in the workplace.

The revised leaflet aims to help users identify, assess and control health and safety risks associated with workplace hazards, with the new guidance replacing ‘Five steps to risk assessment’.

The new document is aimed mainly at employers, managers and others with responsibility for health and safety, and will also be useful to employees and safety representatives – and those involved in the PAT sector. A copy of the new leaflet can be downloaded here

Trading Standards Issues Fake Charger Warning

Trading Standards officers have issued a warning about the dangers caused by fake chargers for mobile phones, tablets and electronic cigarettes and the associated risks of fire hazard and electric shock.

In a recent investigation, more than 50 per cent of chargers sampled by East Riding Council's trading standards officers proved to be unfit for sale. After recently removing 55 chargers from sale, the officers bought a sample of 11 from mobile phone accessories shops, discount shops, market stalls and e-cigarette shops across the East Riding.

Independent tests showed three had critical safety failures and another three had technical failures on the markings or instructions.

Colin Briggs, manager of the council's trading standards services, said: "Some of the chargers were so cheap, it was ridiculous. We are still carrying out our investigations as to where these chargers were made, but it looks like they came from the Far East.

"We are urging bargain-hunters to steer clear of cheap chargers and to only buy reputable brands that will meet the safety requirements.”

The main faults found in unsafe chargers across the UK include inadequate insulation between the input and output circuits, leading to a risk of fire and electric shock. Other faults include components not properly secured or poorly soldered, incorrect size and positioning of live and neutral pins and a lack of proper instructions for use. Full story here

PAT Productivity Increased With New Tester

A specialist electrical services company has increased its productivity with the latest portable appliance test technology from Seaward.

The Leeds-based S Barker Electrical Ltd. is using a new Apollo 600 tester to complete thousands of appliance safety tests for a wide and expanding range of customers throughout West Yorkshire and beyond. In doing so the company claims that test times have been significantly reduced, creating a near doubling in productivity without compromising the integrity of the testing undertaken.

The lightweight Apollo 600 includes all of the electrical safety tests required by the IET Code of Practice including, earth continuity, insulation resistance at 250V or 500V, protective conductor current, touch current, IEC lead polarity and RCD trip time.

An important factor in the company’s choice of the new tester is the fast test time and extended long life battery power of the unit which reduces the reliance on mains supply and substantially cuts the downtime between tests.

Business owner and fully qualified electrician, Simon Barker explains: “With some of our larger customers requiring the testing of thousands of electrical items across a single site, the ability to complete testing without constantly plugging-in and re-booting the instrument from one appliance to the next provides a substantial time saving.

“This means that contracts can be serviced with maximum efficiency – which benefits both the customer and my business.”

S Barker Electrical provides the full range of electrical wiring installation and inspection services, alongside alarms and CCTV installations. Portable appliance testing was an additional service to be introduced by the company and the improved productivity has enabled it to increase its customer base to include property landlords and musicians alongside universities, industrial sites and large commercial operations. Full story here


Focus on Product Safety

All aspects of product safety will be the focus of attention at this year’s Product Safety Conference, organised by Electrical Safety First.

This year the event, entitled Product Safety First – Time for Change, will be held on Wednesday 12th November, at Church House, Westminster.

Key themes will include the changing shape of product safety legislation, identifying trends and emerging issues, recall effectiveness and the issue of behavioural change in consumers. A highlight of the event will be the launch of Electrical Safety First’s research project on consumer behaviour – and how this impacts on traceability and product recall.

Previous research shows that consumer indifference and an underestimation of the danger of recalled products make a significant contribution to low recall rates. Nearly two million adults have knowingly ignored a recall notice, with a further million admitting to currently owning an electrical item that has been recalled.

The Conference has become a major forum for ideas and information around product safety, as it brings together key stakeholders from across the board – manufacturers, retailers, consumer safety professionals and government bodies – to ensure consumer protection benefits from the industry’s collaborative approach. Further details here.

Do you use Seaward PAT testing equipment? - If you think you may have a story for future e-news bulletins, please let us know by contacting us here.



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