PATPLUS Risk Assessment/Work Instruction

Type of risk

Prevention or significant reduction of risk

Electric shock

Be aware that electricity cannot be seen – assume electrical equipment to be faulty and carry risk of electric shock unless proven otherwise. Even small or brief electric shock can be fatal. Follow printed PAT testing method statement. In particular, assess the safety of the immediate environment before approaching the electrical equipment to be tested – suspend testing if dangers exist such as moisture, combustible dust, members of the public less than 2 metres away. Ensure that power to the item is switched off at the wall socket (or if the socket is not switched, unplug the item). Then visually inspect the item for electrical danger such as damage to casing or flex, ingress of liquids or dust, suspending the testing if this is present. Avoid handling parts of the equipment that may move, turn or become hot or electrically charged while testing. Check that items are rated at 240v not lower. Be aware that non-interruptible power supplies are designed to dispense current even when the power source is removed – these may present danger of electric shock even when unplugged from the mains supply. Ensure that test equipment is modern and undamaged so offers protection against shocks from casing and leads.

Overall awareness of the existing location

PATPLUS engineers will ask about existing rules of the building or site (including written) and adhere to them, learning emergency procedures such as fire-escape routes, and will liaise where necessary to ensure that other personnel on site are aware of their presence and any associated risks.

Risks apparent

Installation or inspection can only take place if the location is safe – each engineer must assess likely risks every time they commence work or at the beginning of each day – the risks and level of risk may alter such as the presence of other contractors or equipment. An environment that is, or becomes, unsafe to Power Service personnel will prevent work continuing. Some sites are potentially unsafe due to their use such as manufacturing, so it is necessary to ensure that all safety measures are maintained.

High noise levels leading to possible hearing impairment

Sites or locations should carry instructions about the necessary safety measures to be taken – these must be followed. If they do not and PATPLUS engineer judges noise levels to be high enough to affect hearing, protection must be worn. In absence, work must not commence.

Work at height

As a default, PATPLUS engineers should not use any method of working at height – this can include specially designed equipment such as ladders, towers or cherry-pickers, or available items such as climbing on furniture or boxes. These are inherently unsafe, especially when testing items involving electricity. However in certain circumstances engineers may apply for permission to their line-manager or the management of PATPLUS Ltd so that work at height can occur, if the work cannot be carried out in another way. In this case due precautions must be taken, including that equipment is marked CE “Class 1 Industrial” grade. This equipment must also be checked for signs of damage and to ensure correct assembly before use.

Manual Handling Muscular/skeletal/cuts

Unless an object is light enough in weight that, with assessment, one engineer can readily lift it having first assumed a comfortable and correct posture, lifting or moving must not be attempted. Help from a second person, or if necessary, special equipment, must be arranged. Correct posture includes the bending of knees instead of using back muscles, and avoiding the need to reach or stretch while lifting. Refer to manual handling guide. Wear clothing that protects from damage, such as safety-boots if in buildings where construction-work is being carried out or if lifting heavy objects. Be aware of sharp edges or risk of sharp edges if an object is dropped (e.g. moving a glass-fronted cabinet). Gloves and knee-pads must be carried as standard, and used where necessary. Safety goggles must be used where flying debris or particles likely (e.g. drilling).

Working without assistance or alone

Whilst it may be reasonable to carry out certain non-construction tasks without assistance (such as visual inspection not involving touching equipment) a means of summoning immediate help is still necessary such as via the home-owner or client. Work in empty buildings must be carried out in pairs maintaining contact. First aid kit to be carried in vehicle or brought onto site if more than a short distance away. Refer to manager for solution if assistance not available when working, for instance, out of office hours.


Some environments carry obvious threats, such as mould, syringes or infestation, but some carry likely threats such as infection. Assess the risk – wear protective waterproof gloves/mask if suspicious. Example is working in poorly maintained building where smell/mould growth leads to concern.