Martyn Ingram of Norris Fisher Insurance writes…

We often have enquiries from committees asking how often insurers require their electronic items to be PAT tested.  This is a grey area and differs between insurers but often there are no strict requirements stipulated.

 

As you may be aware, the Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition.  However, the Regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently.

 

The law simply requires an employer (or a Hall Committee) to ensure that their electrical equipment is maintained to prevent danger.  Employers should take a risk-based approach, considering the type of equipment and what it is being used for.  If it is used regularly and moved a lot, e.g. a vacuum cleaner or a kettle, testing (along with visual checks) can be an important part of an effective maintenance regime giving employers confidence that they are doing what is necessary to help them meet their legal duties.  The Health & Safety Executive website (www.hse.gov.uk) provides guidance on how to maintain equipment including the use of PAT.

 

However, this does not mean that claims for injury arising from electronic items would automatically be paid.  Should a claim occur as a result of an electric shock, the policyholder would have to prove that they had taken all reasonable care in respect of their electrical items.  If they are checked annually then there is likely to be no problem.  However, if it is done spasmodically then they may have an issue defending a claim and insurers may question whether to continue to offer cover.

It is also worth remembering that community buildings have an obligation to provide a safe environment for their staff, volunteers and visitors.

 

 

Useful Information

You may be interested to know that we have recently expanded the Village Hall section of our website at http://www.norrisandfisher.com/village-halls/  We would direct you to our new blog which is full of useful information with regard to the insurance requirements and the safe running of community buildings.

 

Should you have any questions regarding insurance we are always happy to discuss them with you – even where the Hall is not insured via Norris & Fisher.

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