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What equipment needs to be tested?

Essentially, any equipment which requires electricity to power it, ending in a plug top.

An estimate of how many tests you need is approximately eight per standard office worker. This can typically consist of PC, monitor, phone AC adaptor, printer, fax-machine, power cables, extention leads, and any periphials. Don't forget things like toasters and fridges must also be tested.

Equipment types

Portable appliance
An appliance of less than 18 kg in mass that is intended to be moved while in operation or an appliance which can easily be moved from one place to another, e.g. toaster, food mixer, vacuum cleaner, fan heater.
Movable equipment (sometimes called transportable)
This is equipment which is either:
  • 18 kg or less in mass and not fixed, e.g. electric fire, or
  • equipment with wheels, castors or other means to facilitate movement by the operator as required to perform its intended use, e.g. air conditioning unit.
Hand-held appliances or equipment
This is portable equipment intended to be held in the hand during normal use, e.g. hair dryer, drill, soldering iron.
Stationary equipment or appliances
This equipment has a mass exceeding 18 kg and is not provided with a carrying handle, e.g. refrigerator, washing machine.
Fixed equipment/appliances
This is equipment or an appliance which is fastened to a support or otherwise secured in a specified location, e.g. bathroom heater, towel rail.
Appliances/equipment for building in
This equipment is intended to be installed in a prepared recess such as a cupboard or similar. In general, equipment for building in does not have an enclosure on all sides because on one or more of the sides, additional protection against electric shock is provided by the surroundings e.g. a built-in electric cooker.
Information technology equipment (business equipment)
Information technology equipment includes electrical business equipment such as computers and mains powered telecommunications equipment, and other equipment for general business use, such as mail processing machines, electric plotters, trimmers, VDUs, data terminal equipment, typewriters, telephones, printers, photo-copiers, power packs.
Extension leads
The use of extension leads should be avoided where possible. If used, they should be tested as portable appliances. It is recommended that 3-core leads (including a protective earthing conductor) be used.
A standard 13 A 3-pin extension socket-outlet with a 2-core cable should never be used even if the appliance to be used is Class IT, as it would not provide protection against electric shock if used at any time with an item of Class I equipment.
The length of an extension lead for general use should not exceed the following:
Core area maximum length 1.25 mm2 12 metres 1.5 mm2 15 metres 2.5 mm2 25 metres*
* 2.5 mm2 cables are too large for standard 13 A plugs, but they may be used with BS EN 60309 industrial plugs.
These maximum lengths are not applicable to the flex of an appliance, for guidance refer to paragraph 15.13.
If extension lead lengths do exceed the above, they shall be protected by a 30 mA RCD manufactured to BS 7071.


For more information, please see 'What are the equipment types?'
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