PAT Testing News Round-Up - Issue 50
30th September 2015
This issue covers:
- Apollo 500 helps Gentoo maintain safety standards
- Electrical safety in the news
- New Seaward tester provides quick & easy diagnosis of EV charging point problems
- PAT testing explained in popular online video
- The importance of electrical safety management
- Council checks out electrical safety in catering premises
- Safety by Design is electrical conference theme
An integrated electrical safety testing package from Seaward is helping social housing organisation Gentoo Group meet its portable appliance testing (PAT) requirements.
Gentoo Group is a registered housing provider with almost 30,000 homes and more than 70,000 customers. As part of the company’s preventative maintenance programme, Gentoo’s electrical section is responsible for the safety testing of all power tools and electrical appliances used by the company’s installation and maintenance teams.
In addition, a team of specialist PAT testers carry out safety testing of all electrical items across office premises, depots and all homes including sheltered accommodation and extra care facilities.
To meet this need, Seaward has been a long term supplier of appliance testing equipment for Gentoo and recently equipped the Group with hand held Apollo 500 testers.
The Apollo 500 is a compact and lightweight unit and incorporates all the recommended safety tests for portable electrical appliances in line with the IET 4th Edition Code of Practice. These include point to point testing of fixed equipment and the testing of extension leads, power cords and RCDs.
John Turner, Deputy Director of Gentoo Property said: “The safety of our customers and staff is of primary importance. Across the Group, we use a vast range of electrical equipment and as part of our health & safety and equipment maintenance policies, portable appliance testing is undertaken regularly and systematically.
“With such a large workload at a number of premises, the integration of testing with asset identification and the ability to maintain formal test records is essential in enabling us to work efficiently and effectively. The Apollo 500 is central to helping us achieve this and ensuring the safety of all electrical items used across the organisation.”
Find out more about the Apollo 500 here
Two unusual electrical safety stories dropped into our in box this month that highlight the wide range of potential problems that can be associated with electrical appliances and accessories.
In the first example, Verbatim, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi, recalled it’s Classic A 6W and 9W LED light bulbs after tests conducted by UK consumer group Which? revealed the bulbs were vulnerable to electric shock risks.
The tests revealed that Verbatim’s Classic GLS LED light bulbs failed an electrical strength test that comprises part of the European standard for electrical safety. The result suggests the bulbs might be slightly more vulnerable to electric shock risks under certain conditions.
The affected stock has been withdrawn and destroyed. The company also announced it was improving the design of the light bulb and would introduce more stringent quality control processes and conducting additional electrical strength testing.vIn the other story, a local authority issued public reminders about how to dispose of electrical appliances properly after a dustbin lorry caught fire in West Oxfordshire when a laptop was crushed during the compacting process.
The crew heard an explosion in the back of the vehicle and saw flames coming out, requiring the intervention of the local fire and rescue service.
Following the incident, Little Tew District Council urged householders not to put electrical items in normal household rubbish bins and to use official waste recycling sites for electrical and electronic equipment instead.
The growing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids puts even more emphasis on the ability of the power charging infrastructure to operate effectively and safely at all times.
To meet this need, a new easy to use specialist test and diagnostic tool has been introduced that is capable of carrying out comprehensive validation and fault finding on all types of AC electric vehicle charging and supply equipment (EVSE).
The Seaward hand held EV100 EV charging point tester carries out all of the tests to ensure that EVSE operates correctly and safely at the time of installation and as part of any ongoing periodic maintenance schedules, in accordance with IEC 61851.
As well as carrying out basic field tests, more detailed diagnostic data from the charge point is retained in the unit and can be transferred to a mobile Android app using NFC wireless communications. This comprehensive technical data can then be quickly sent to a specialist engineer or head office location for full remote fault diagnosis and records management purposes.
The lightweight and handheld EV100 simulates all of the commonly used charging cable ratings to quickly and easily verify the correct response from the EVSE.
An extensive set of tests and measurements are automatically carried out and displayed at the press of a button, including output voltage, maximum available charging current, earth loop impedance and RCD trip time. Insulation tests are also carried out on the EV charging cable to verify safety for users.
Importantly the new tester can confirm the presence of correct mains supply and earthing connections on single or three phase systems without the need for additional equipment or the dismantling of the charging point to access internal conductors.
For diagnostic testing, the dedicated EV100 tester also simulates a number of vehicle faults and measures the EVSE response, including disconnection time and the amplitude, frequency and duty cycle of the PWM signal.
The comprehensive simulation, test and diagnostic functions of the new EV100 means EVSE maintenance checks and fault finding can be undertaken quickly and cost effectively – helping to ensure that EV charging points remain operational and fit for purpose at all times.
More at www.seaward.co.uk/EV100
A You Tube video explaining the fundamentals of PAT testing has attracted over 89,000 views (at the time of writing) – and the number is growing each day.
‘An Introduction to PAT testing’ is the most watched video on the Seaward You Tube channel - and as well as attracting more views each day, has been used by many involved in the business as a link to explain what PAT means to customers and associates.
In a little over four minutes all the fundamental PAT tests are described in simple terms with instructional graphics showing test connections, current flows and pass/fail measurements.
Here is the video
An interesting piece in the latest edition of the IET’s Wiring Matters highlights the importance of electrical safety management.
Bill Bates, an electrical engineer with over 40 years of experience including many years as an HSE inspector, provides his personal answers and responses to a range of pointers on electrical safety management in the workplace.
For example, in answer to a question about some common elements that he has come across that have led to injury, Bill highlights poor maintenance as something that can have serious consequences. For example, he particularly mentions taped joints, broken plugs, socket-outlets and switchgear, loose connections, poor earthing, incorrect fusing and damaged or unsupported cables.
Of interest to all involved in periodic inspection and testing of electrical appliances, Bill also mentions that poor asset records or lack of testing play a part in inadequate maintenance.
The full article is here
North Lincolnshire Council has launched a new health and safety project to check that electrical equipment and systems in catering premises across the county are safe and being properly maintained.
After a number of recent incidents that led to employees being seriously injured from defective electrical systems and equipment, the council decided to take special action and its Food and Safety team will now be visiting catering premises throughout North Lincolnshire.
The council has reminded business owners that all premises should have a suitable maintenance programme for all electrical systems and equipment and ensure that employees are trained to use the equipment safely. As part of the maintenance programme, work must only be undertaken by a competent person.
During the inspection, the premises will be asked to provide an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) (if available) and their electrical appliances will be assessed to ensure that they have been maintained in a safe condition. Full story here
‘Safer by Design’ will be the theme of this year’s Product Safety Conference, to be held at Church House, Westminster, on 17th November.
Hosted by Electrical Safety First The Conference will offer presentations on topical issues, including methods of identifying foreseeable misuse, using relevant data and intelligence sources to improve recall effectiveness and the dramatic increase in the number of fake electrical products being sold online.
It will also consider the Government’s review of the UK recall system, which is due to report sometime this autumn.
The annual Product Safety Conference has grown year on year to reflect the complexity of the supply chain by attracting a wide range of delegates and speakers, from leading manufacturers and retailers, to trade bodies, enforcement agencies and non-governmental organisations.
Full details at the conference website.
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