Annual electrical safety tests 'unnecessary'

Health & Safety update 03/05/2012

Annual safety tests of all electrical equipment are unnecessary, Employment Minister Chris Grayling has stated.

The minister made the statement in an attempt to help businesses crack down on health and safety red tape. It is thought that calling an end to Portable Appliance Tests (PAT) on items like computers and kettles could save businesses around £30 million a year.

Last year Professor Ragnar Lofsted published an independent report into health and safety legislation, which found that while electricity does pose a rise, much time and money is wasted on checking smaller items.

Furthermore, these tests are not required by law. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 state that employers have to ensure that electrical equipment is safe, but they do not state how this should be done, or how often.

Mr Grayling clarified his reasoning: “If we want people to have jobs, we have to recognise just how different and competitive the world has become. And that means we have to change in response. We need lower taxes and less red tape for business, or jobs will go elsewhere.

"That's why we are cutting health-and-safety bureaucracy. We're making good progress and I am determined to cut the number of health-and-safety regulations in half.”

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