Prison Pat Testing
As with any large institution, and particularly one that runs 24 hours and has permanent residents, a prison has a lot of electronic demands and there are a fair few portable electronic devices to be found within its walls too.
The offices that administrate the running of the prison will have a fair few computers, printers, photocopiers, shredders, lamps, kettles, microwaves etc just like any other office in a large organisation.
The cleaning of prisons involves lots of polishing, vacuuming and other equipment for cleaning floors, walls and other areas. Electronic washing equipment may also be required for some of the deeper cleaning jobs. Given that prisons run on tight budgets and with closely managed regimes, all equipment needs to be ready and fit for its purpose at the point when it is due to be used. Proper maintenance checks and tests will help ensure this. The communal grounds of a prison need to be maintained by either employees or possibly the prisoners themselves. Such items as electronic lawn mowers, strimmers, leaf blowers, electronic window cleaning equipment etc will all need to be PAT tested for safe outside use on a regular basis.
Naturally the prison kitchens will have all the usual equipment found in any large commercial kitchen. Food processors, mixers, blenders, microwaves, dishwashers etc within the kitchen itself and additionally in the areas where the food is served will be found water coolers, coffee machines and other drinks dispensers in addition to the heated and lit food displaying equipment required in serving buffet type meals. All of these items come in for a great deal of use during the day with the resultant wear and tear and will be subject to rigorous cleaning for hygiene reasons (with the resultant moving of the equipment), all of which can put pressure on the equipment and its wiring and plugs.
In a modern prison, there is an emphasis on rehabilitation of inmates and in the light of this there are many items of equipment which are required in the learning recourses unit. Library book issuing and retrieval equipment, computers, printers, photocopiers, laminators and other forms of office equipment for all types of desk based learning , as well as machinery which may be used to teach more hands on skills such as electronics and engineering type skills.
The prison’s health and safety officer can discuss with a PAT testing company a full list of items to be tested and how frequently in each case. This would be in addition to the prison’s own visual checks of equipment on a regular and frequent basis.
There are many good reasons to carry out pat testing:-
- Compliance with the very latest health and safety regulations
- Risk of fire and injury from portable appliances is minimised
- Compliance with ISO9000/1 and BS5750
- Satisfy the requirements of your insurers – if you’re not sure about this check the small print on your employer’s liability policy!
But probably the most compelling reason to have your equipment checked is to consider the likely consequences if you do not have the testing done and one of your staff were to be killed or injured!
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