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HSE urges firms to scrap excess electrical safety tests

08 May 2012

In a press release dated May 2, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) said unnecessary electrical safety tests cost office-based businesses an estimated £30 million a year. Misleading advice and advertising, often by companies who offer the testing, is contributing to low-risk businesses such as offices, shops and hotels paying unnecessarily for over-the-top maintenance regimes.

HSE Chair Judith Hackitt was launching the revised guidance on portable appliance testing
HSE Chair Judith Hackitt was launching the revised guidance on portable appliance testing

Launching HSE's revised guidance on portable appliance testing (PAT), HSE Chair Judith Hackitt said:

"We know that low-risk companies are being mis-led over what the law requires when it comes to maintaining portable electrical appliances, and many are paying for testing that is not needed.

"Businesses are responsible for protecting their employees, but they shouldn't be wasting their money on unnecessary checks that have no real benefit.

"HSE has always advocated a proportionate, risk-based approach to maintenance. This new guidance is simple and clear to follow."

Nick Starling, Director of General Insurance at the Association of British Insurers, said:

"Insurers have never required policyholders to undertake unnecessary portable electrical appliance tests which are not proportionate to the risk.

"We welcome HSE's guidance, which will help businesses focus on what they do best, free from worries about health and safety myths."


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