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graham1945

PAT testing

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Hi, anyone have a ballpark cost of PAT testing a whole band's equipment, including main pa and monitors? Thanks in advance.
Graham

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You can buy the labels quite cheaply online :-)

Or about £3 a device.. (PS there is no legal reason to have kit PAT tested, just a bit of a scam IMHO..). See the HSE website for confirmation..

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[quote name='markstuk' timestamp='1485080030' post='3220882']
You can buy the labels quite cheaply online :-)

Or about £3 a device.. (PS there is no legal reason to have kit PAT tested, just a bit of a scam IMHO..). See the HSE website for confirmation..
[/quote]

Some venues, particularly hotels and other Wedding venues do insist on it however

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[quote name='Graham' timestamp='1485080226' post='3220885']


Some venues, particularly hotels and other Wedding venues do insist on it however
[/quote]

Sure.. Thus the two options above 😁

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And all power leads seperate from the device also need to be PAT tested if you're going to be thorough, this includes extension leads and RCD devices.

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Why not make a register of your gear, buy some specific 'visual inspection only' stickers and actually learn how to do the formal visual inspection yourself? That way you've not said something's been checked in a way that it hasn't and your gear's probably had a better going-over than a lot out there. That said, I'm trained to be 'competent' to fully PAT computer equipment in public use as part of my job, and when I tested my own moulded-plug mains leads with a calibrated tester I was amazed at how many either failed or were close to failing despite looking absolutely fine, so I'd advocate replacing those every so often irrespective.

[attachment=236410:patvisinsp.png]

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[quote name='Ed_S' timestamp='1485088750' post='3220981']
Why not make a register of your gear, buy some specific 'visual inspection only' stickers and actually learn how to do the formal visual inspection yourself? That way you've not said something's been checked in a way that it hasn't and your gear's probably had a better going-over than a lot out there. That said, I'm trained to be 'competent' to fully PAT computer equipment in public use as part of my job, and when I tested my own moulded-plug mains leads with a calibrated tester I was amazed at how many either failed or were close to failing despite looking absolutely fine, so I'd advocate replacing those every so often irrespective.

[attachment=236410:patvisinsp.png]
[/quote]
.Out of interest what were they failing on ? Earth continuity ?

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[quote name='markstuk' timestamp='1485089094' post='3220987']
.Out of interest what were they failing on ? Earth continuity ?
[/quote]

Yeah, if memory serves they failed or were close to failing earth bond for their length. I had a few Y-splitter cables that had absolutely no earth continuity at all on one branch, too - they went straight in the bin.

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[quote name='markstuk' timestamp='1485080030' post='3220882']
You can buy the labels quite cheaply online :-)

Or about £3 a device.. (PS there is no legal reason to have kit PAT tested, just a bit of a scam IMHO..). See the HSE website for confirmation..
[/quote]

also you could bet a months wages that if you were unfortunate enough to have an incident involving a third party there would probably be a firm of ambulance chasing lawyers chasing you down for your PAT and PLI certificates

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As I said there is no legal requirement to have one.. See the HSE advice..

If you can point me to an example where someone has been successfully sued for not having a PA tested device ( given that there appear to be no standards for doing so) I would be happy to cede the point to you..

This assumes there is no grossly negligent behaviour.

And what certificate? If it exists it's as valid as a Trump degree..Actually less valid...

Edited by markstuk

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£3 is a bit steep!

When we did our gear the guy charged an hour for his time and about 20p per device.

It's worth getting, ticks a box, in the event of a death or a fire it's not your insurance that gets sued, it's the venue's, and if they say you need it to play, then, you need it to play.

Don't do it yourself with labels from eBay, that's absolutely pointless.

Edited by TimR

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If you are going out and working and taking money in return for your services then it is wise to adopt a professional approach. That means ensuring your equipment is safe. Safe to use for you and your band members, and safe for the customer/public who may come into contact with it, e.g. hold a microphone.

I remember when PAT testing, (which has been around certainly since the 1960's), was brought to prominent attention in the workplace in the eighties. I won't recount the numerous horror stories that I and others found but suffice to say don't take chances, life is too precious.

The best way to comply with HS legislation is to regularly PAT test all your equipment and keep records.

I may sound like a boring old fart but I'm still alive after spending a life-time working on and with electrical/electronic equipment, and to my knowledge I haven't killed anyone through negligence. And none of my students should have either.

Accidental death by electrocution is preventable, so help prevent it.

Here endeth the sermon. Amen.

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I seem to remember that anyone can carry out PAT testing, the only 'qualificaton' being that they are deemed competent.

I don't mind paying if I'm getting something for it but the guy testing it could be less competent than me to do it.

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[quote name='Ed_S' timestamp='1485088750' post='3220981']
Why not make a register of your gear, buy some specific 'visual inspection only' stickers and actually learn how to do the formal visual inspection yourself? That way you've not said something's been checked in a way that it hasn't and your gear's probably had a better going-over than a lot out there. That said, I'm trained to be 'competent' to fully PAT computer equipment in public use as part of my job, and when I tested my own moulded-plug mains leads with a calibrated tester I was amazed at how many either failed or were close to failing despite looking absolutely fine, so I'd advocate replacing those every so often irrespective.

[attachment=236410:patvisinsp.png]
[/quote]

I've had the opposite experience, must have completed a few thousand PA tests in my time and only ever failed one item, a kettle. The lead was fine.

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[quote name='Maude' timestamp='1485120347' post='3221382']
I seem to remember that anyone can carry out PAT testing, the only 'qualificaton' being that they are deemed competent.

I don't mind paying if I'm getting something for it but the guy testing it could be less competent than me to do it.
[/quote]

And the best way to become competent is to do a training course and get a certificate to prove it.

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I've never understood the "buy some stickers" approach, I could type and print a car insurance certificate, wouldn't hold any value if anything went wrong would it?

You can go around the houses with the legalities all you like just like the public liability argument but if the venue wants it you need it or let another band do it, lying that they are done is one thing but making your own stickers up would be getting you is serious trouble if something did happen unless you can "prove that you are competent" and you have the appropriate paperwork to go with the stickers.

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[quote name='stingrayPete1977' timestamp='1485122010' post='3221410']
I've never understood the "buy some stickers" approach, I could type and print a car insurance certificate, wouldn't hold any value if anything went wrong would it?

You can go around the houses with the legalities all you like just like the public liability argument but if the venue wants it you need it or let another band do it, lying that they are done is one thing but making your own stickers up would be getting you is serious trouble if something did happen unless you can "prove that you are competent" and you have the appropriate paperwork to go with the stickers.
[/quote]

Is this instance there is no legal definition of PA testing and the stickers have no meaning in any legal sense.. it's nothing like a certificate of motor insurance..

No one is suggesting that electrcal equipment should not be safe, just deriding the whole concept of PA testing in this country.

Read the HSE notes linked above.

My somewhat cynical take on the PA testing "industry" comes from explaining to electrical contractors that it's not "the law".

Edited by markstuk

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[quote name='sprocketflup' timestamp='1485120596' post='3221386']
I've had the opposite experience, must have completed a few thousand PA tests in my time and only ever failed one item, a kettle. The lead was fine.
[/quote]

When PAT testing began to be seriously implemented in the workplace the number of failures was high. Kitchen equipment was found to be particularly suspect. Every year the number of failures fell as did the number of electrical accidents in the workplace. Nowadays the number of equipment failures should be low and I believe that the requirement to PAT test has contributed to those improving figures.

2 horror stories. The first was a food mixer that had the electrical connections exposed underneath, that is to say no bottom cover. Anyone lifting it up could touch live mains and this was sat in a college training kitchen used on a stainless steel work surface. The second I remember is a dentist's inspection light with no earth connection, the boom was stainless steel.

Extension leads are very susceptible to damage and should be visually inspected every time before use. I have even had brand new IEC mains leads fail due to no earth or reversed live-neutral.

When dedicated PAT testing equipment was first produced, rather than using just an AVO meter and Megger, they cost a couple of hundred pounds. Good quality testers now cost several hundred pounds and upwards. This outlay needs to be recovered. Labels, fuses, screwdrivers, pliers, cutters, plugs, labour, training, all cost.

A proper visual inspection and electrical test and recording takes time which costs. £3 an item doesn't sound a lot to me for a properly conducted test, labelled items, recording done, insurance conditions satisfied, customers/fans, yourself and band members safe. Your family safe if you use any equipment at home.

I retired from lecturing some years previous. I'll stop now.

Edited by grandad

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Before PAT testing people never bothered rechecking items after installation.
That led to items falling into disrepair.
The good thing about PAT testing is that it forces an inspection.

Dave

Edited by dmccombe7

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Pretty much. You're showing you've had it inspected by a competent person.

If something goes wrong then that competent person is going to have to answer some questions in court.

If you can't show you've inspected your equipment on 'a regular basis' then you'll be the one trying to explain why you haven't been negligent.

PAT testing isn't a legal requirement but not doing it is negligent.

.

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I am with Grandad and Ed.
If you are in the business off entertaining, Customer satisfaction should be your main focus, If you are playing for money you are by definition "professional" even if just that night. So you should collectively sound, look and present yourself professionally. On and off stage.
OK so you look and sound good on your web site, you now have one foot in the door to being booked :)
Do you then turn up like the cowboy builder with a smoking 25 year old transit van and gear with knotted leads and cables pulled out the terminals. Its like a cowboy plumber who puts his tool box down in your kitchen and says "cuppa tea would be nice love" Would you be happy with the builders bum ripped jeans and rusty tools <_< :angry: or would you rather pay the professional going rate for a Corgi registered guy trained and insured. ;) :D
Pat testing is about demonstrating you have a risk assessed approach to safety of electrical apparatus that can be damaged because it is portable. An extension lead under your computer desk is unlikely to get damaged so a competent person could judge it be tested 3 yearly. But an extension lead used on stage each week will work harden so the cores will stiffen and break over time. people will stand on it and it will be run over and pinched by heavy objects.
I have probably said enough, I am a spark i have bought my own PAT tester to do band kit, so i don't kill someone, I have public liability insurance so if a drunk at a wedding knocks the PA over on to someones Granny I'm covered.

Ain't aint cheap to run a gigging band that cares

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And i'm just saying having your stuff PA tested yearly does not make it safe.. HSE state that they assume new stuff does not need testing, even though we all know this is nonsense.

Safety comes from being proactive and assessing risks. The one thing that has contributed most to electrical safety is not PA testing, it's moulded sealed plugs

In the context of the OP I imagine he's perfectly happy with the electrical safety of his equipment and this is simply an admin hurdle to get over..

Edited by markstuk

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[quote name='markstuk' timestamp='1485124810' post='3221450']
And i'm just saying having your stuff PA tested yearly does not make it safe.. HSE state that they assume new stuff does not need testing, even though we all know this is nonsense.

Safety comes from being proactive and assessing risks. The one thing that has contributed most to electrical safety is not PA testing, it's moulded sealed plugs
[/quote]

I don't think anyone is disputing this.

Try working in a building with 10,000 people and then tell me that the only faults you get are from dodgily wired plugs. People try to smuggle in all sorts of gear from home, it's frightening the state some of it is in.

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