Visual Inspection Labels for Portable Appliance Testing

To ensure the safety of people who use electrical appliances in residential, commercial, and industrial settings, there is a test that has been required by health and safety regulators in the United Kingdom. The test itself, which is completely known as in-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment, or a PAT test (Portable Appliance Testing), is performed by licensed individuals to test the safety of electrical appliances by observing several factors.

The testing of an electrical appliance, depending on what sort of electrical appliance it is, is divided up into three main parts, and once a decision has been made of how safe it is to use a visual inspection label will be affixed with the necessary information. First, the test consists of an inspection of the inner working of the main electrical components, as this aspect of the appliance’s use can potentially have the most grave consequences of there is a problem in its functioning. The second part is an observation any external power cord that the electrical appliance may have, to ensure there are no exposed wires or hazards that need to be fixed. The third and last part of the Portable Appliance Test is a general observation of the environment in which the appliance is used.

Once the required PAT test has been completed and a decision can be made denoting how safe or hazardous the electrical appliance is for potential users, a visual inspection label is affixed. Depending on what kind of appliance is tested there are different varieties of visual inspection labels that are available to accommodate size and type. There are Portable Appliance testing labels that are simply adhered to the surface of the electrical appliance and typically are the most commonly used testing labels. Another kind of inspection label is a type that wraps around the cable, which is exceedingly useful for smaller appliances that don’t have enough surface area to effectively place a standard sticker. Some PAT test labels fit perfectly on outlet plugs. There are even a newer kind of visual inspection label that utilize bar codes to hold a vast amount of information that otherwise couldn’t be contained on the limited surface of the label. Since its required to keep the history of all PAT tests throughout the life of a given electrical appliance, by storing this information on barcodes a lot of possible errors and hand writing can be avoided.

Visual inspection labels offer a valuable method of harm prevention in the usage of electrical appliances. After a PAT test, a visual inspection label is affixed to an appliance with information regarding the results of the test, when the test was performed, when the next test should be performed, and who performed the test. Sometimes these labels come in different colors, so the PAT test results can be identified from a distance away, thus making interaction with the electrical appliances that much more safe. These labels are a very important source of valuable information regarding PAT tests.

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