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Pat testing

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As per the above.  Do a lot of venues require this?  I presume pros have it? But what about amateurs? 

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11 minutes ago, aDx said:

As per the above.  Do a lot of venues require this?  I presume pros have it? But what about amateurs? 

Two venues we played last year required us to have it - they weren't proper venues, sports clubs etc and needed it for their insurance purposes. 

Fortunately, as an amatuer with a full time job I was able to get a colleague in our facilities team do the testing for me.  Quotes I got ran at about £75 to have all the equipment for the full band tested (suspect I could have got it cheaper if I kept looking).

Edited by PJ-Bassist

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Is it just amps /  PA desks that need testing, or do cabs ,  pedals,  mains supply extension boards, guitars etc also need it ?

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2 minutes ago, fleabag said:

Is it just amps /  PA desks that need testing, or do cabs ,  pedals,  mains supply extension boards, guitars etc also need it ?

Anything with a mains plug I’m afraid.🤨

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That figures , Pete  :)

Means if i get asked, then my amp, the zoom, the pedal supply, Boss vocalist .  Might have to buy some stickers

 

Edited by fleabag

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My tech guy said that when you get asked for your test certificates, always ask the venue  for their certificate proving the electric supply to the stage is tested and safe. You may be surprised at the outcome I think....😉

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3 minutes ago, casapete said:

You may be surprised at the outcome I think....😉

No repeat bookings?

Edited by PJ-Bassist
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1 minute ago, PJ-Bassist said:

No repeat bookings?

Just saying that any decent venue wanting full compliance with everything will have their side in order too. We have our gear tested every year at a rehearsal , get a local guy to do everything while it’s set up. Think he charges around £100, takes him 2 or 3 hours IIRC. We do theatres and they nearly always want evidence it’s been done, as do a lot of hotels now too.

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Stickers are  £4.50 for 100  :)

 

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7 minutes ago, casapete said:

Just saying that any decent venue wanting full compliance with everything will have their side in order too. We have our gear tested every year at a rehearsal , get a local guy to do everything while it’s set up. Think he charges around £100, takes him 2 or 3 hours IIRC. We do theatres and they nearly always want evidence it’s been done, as do a lot of hotels now too

I don't think it's an unreasonable ask for a venue to request that a band they've booked have the appropriate coverage; assuming it's a paid gig.  But I agree they should be able to demonstrate they meet the required standards too.

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The legal requirement is that the equipment is maintained in a safe state, so far as is reasonably practicable. If you are paid for the gig, you are at work, and it is your responsibility. If you are not 'at work', the organizer is, and it will be his/her responsibility. The easiest way to discharge that responsibility is to ensure that all mains powered equipment has been checked by a competent person, and looking for 'PAT tested' labels on everything is one option. However, there is no legal requirement to put a sticker on each item, and that option can be abused. Asking for a certificate itemizing the tested items is a more professional approach. Carrying that itemized list on your phone, so you can show it/email it to an organizer, is your easiest option.

Basic equipment to carry out portable appliance testing (pass/fail of equipment and mains leads) start at £150 [https://www.tester.co.uk/testsafe-minipat-appliance-tester], so it will pay for itself in 2-3 years, or sooner if you start charging for checking other local bands' gear.

David

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PA testing (‘PAT’ means portable appliance test) is actually only legally required as part of an employer’s duties to ensure equipment used by employees is safe. There is no specific legislation which requires it to be tested, but the onus is on an employer to ensure all equipment is safe, so you do that by PA testing. 

 

Therefore there is no legal obligation by which a venue can compel you to have equipment tested, but they can require it as a condition of allowing you to play there (in much the same way they can insist on public lability cover). 

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we've been asked a 2 or 3 of times in about 400 gigs, then they've never bothered checking when we got there, a lot of it is common sense, making sure the plugs and mains leads are in good condition mainly, I've got some blank stickers, I think the regs say they have to be tested by a competent person, well, that'll be me then :)

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I get asked 15ish times a year, mainly hotels, they always want the cert. emailed in advance and I've never had anyone look at the gear on the day so I'm not sure getting stickers would help

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I'd take a photo of the stickers and email that  :)

 

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9 hours ago, casapete said:

My tech guy said that when you get asked for your test certificates, always ask the venue  for their certificate proving the electric supply to the stage is tested and safe. You may be surprised at the outcome I think....😉

Most councils will demand PAT certs and can be pretty heavy about it. This request that Casapete suggests is something I'll have to remember!

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8 hours ago, fleabag said:

I'd take a photo of the stickers and email that  :)

 

Totally pointless, many venues are getting savvy, the certificate MUST include the contact details of the person responsible for the testing. 

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so I guess it depends on the type of gigs you do, sounds like function type bands will get asked but pub type bands won't

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2 hours ago, PaulWarning said:

so I guess it depends on the type of gigs you do, sounds like function type bands will get asked but pub type bands won't

yep, never been asked in 400+ gigs, all pubs.

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5 hours ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

Totally pointless, many venues are getting savvy, the certificate MUST include the contact details of the person responsible for the testing. 

Oh they will, no probs

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Guest subaudio
19 hours ago, Mottlefeeder said:

The legal requirement is that the equipment is maintained in a safe state, so far as is reasonably practicable. If you are paid for the gig, you are at work, and it is your responsibility. If you are not 'at work', the organizer is, and it will be his/her responsibility. The easiest way to discharge that responsibility is to ensure that all mains powered equipment has been checked by a competent person, and looking for 'PAT tested' labels on everything is one option. However, there is no legal requirement to put a sticker on each item, and that option can be abused. Asking for a certificate itemizing the tested items is a more professional approach. Carrying that itemized list on your phone, so you can show it/email it to an organizer, is your easiest option.

Basic equipment to carry out portable appliance testing (pass/fail of equipment and mains leads) start at £150 [https://www.tester.co.uk/testsafe-minipat-appliance-tester], so it will pay for itself in 2-3 years, or sooner if you start charging for checking other local bands' gear.

David

Good to know.

I thought the test machines need to be "calibrated" every year for quite a large fee payable to PAT?

Having done a bit of PAT testing myself a few years ago, it's just a visual inspection of the exterior of cables, plugs and casings and then plug the gear into the machine which probably just checks the earth and ensures the circuit is complete, I'm not an electrician so cant vouch for exactly what it tests.

I'm absolutely all for safety but my understanding of the PAT system is that its a bit of a rip off due to the calibration charge.

I'm sure they just PAT test the PAT test machine :)

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2 hours ago, subaudio said:

Good to know.

I thought the test machines need to be "calibrated" every year for quite a large fee payable to PAT?

Having done a bit of PAT testing myself a few years ago, it's just a visual inspection of the exterior of cables, plugs and casings and then plug the gear into the machine which probably just checks the earth and ensures the circuit is complete, I'm not an electrician so cant vouch for exactly what it tests.

I'm absolutely all for safety but my understanding of the PAT system is that its a bit of a rip off due to the calibration charge.

I'm sure they just PAT test the PAT test machine :)

In theory, yes all test equipment should be regularly checked to ensure that it is still within its specification. In practice, the chances that the test equipment still works, but fails to detect gear that is just bad enough to fail is pretty remote.

Given that one of HSE's surveys of electrical equipment found that over 90% of faults were visible and needed no test equipment (failed cable clamps, damaged cables etc) if I'm visually checking my gear every time I use it, and testing it to a schedule, I can live with that residual risk.

David

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