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When is portable equipment not portable?

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witsd
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When is portable equipment not portable?

Post by witsd » Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:52 pm

Can I justify designating a piece of equipment as non-portable (and therefore not subject to any form of PAT) if I am confident that it will never be moved / unplugged?

The equipment I am thinking about is fixed to a wall within a remote plant area with very strongly controlled access, but does have a flex & plug.

Would it be a reasonable approach to treat this as fixed equipment, and have it tested as part of the five-yearly FIT?
We often think that when we have completed our study of one we know all about two, because 'two' is 'one and one.' We forget that we still have to make a study of 'and.'

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Re: When is portable equipment not portable?

Post by bernicarey » Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:00 pm

Have you looked at https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg236.pdf for guidance?

For example P 4 gives some definitions:
A portable or movable electric appliance is any item that can be moved, either connected or disconnected from an electrical supply. Portable or movable items generally have a lead (cable) and a plug. Portable and movable equipment includes the following:
■electrical equipment that can be easily moved around, such as kettles, vacuum cleaners, floor polishers, portable heaters, fans, desk lamps, some TVs, radios, some small electric cookers, PC projectors, small appliances such as irons, hair dryers and kitchen equipment including food mixers, toasters etc;
■larger items that could be moved (but only rarely), eg water chillers, fridges, microwaves, photocopiers, vending machines, washing machines, electric cookers, fax machines, desktop computers, electric beds etc are considered to be movable items;
■hand-held items, such as hairdryers, that do not have a plug but have been wired in (or fixed) are still considered to be portable appliances, but large electrical items, such as water boilers that are wired in, are not portable appliances as they are not designed to be moved and would come under the scope of fixed installation maintenance;
■mobile phone and other battery-charging equipment that is plugged into the mains (but the phones themselves and any other battery-operated equipment would not be included); and
■extension leads, multi-way adaptors and connection leads.
Is it Class I or Class II equipment?

Class II, double insulated with the double square symbol, doesn't need testing, but should still have a visual at some periodicity....
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Re: When is portable equipment not portable?

Post by witsd » Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:07 pm

bernicarey wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:00 pm
Have you looked at https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg236.pdf for guidance?

For example P 4 gives some definitions:
A portable or movable electric appliance is any item that can be moved, either connected or disconnected from an electrical supply. Portable or movable items generally have a lead (cable) and a plug. Portable and movable equipment includes the following:
■electrical equipment that can be easily moved around, such as kettles, vacuum cleaners, floor polishers, portable heaters, fans, desk lamps, some TVs, radios, some small electric cookers, PC projectors, small appliances such as irons, hair dryers and kitchen equipment including food mixers, toasters etc;
■larger items that could be moved (but only rarely), eg water chillers, fridges, microwaves, photocopiers, vending machines, washing machines, electric cookers, fax machines, desktop computers, electric beds etc are considered to be movable items;
■hand-held items, such as hairdryers, that do not have a plug but have been wired in (or fixed) are still considered to be portable appliances, but large electrical items, such as water boilers that are wired in, are not portable appliances as they are not designed to be moved and would come under the scope of fixed installation maintenance;
■mobile phone and other battery-charging equipment that is plugged into the mains (but the phones themselves and any other battery-operated equipment would not be included); and
■extension leads, multi-way adaptors and connection leads.
Is it Class I or Class II equipment?

Class II, double insulated with the double square symbol, doesn't need testing, but should still have a visual at some periodicity....
Hi Berni, thanks for your response.

As things stand, I'm not sure what class the equipment is, and I'd rather not have to go back and double check unless absolutely necessary as it's not the most accessible location!

The issue is that under many of the definitions, this equipment is portable. It has plugs, and can in theory be disconnected.

In practice, it is screwed onto a wall and I'm fairly certain that it hasn't been touched (let alone moved) since it was installed, which could be anything up to a decade ago.

It's certainly not hand-held, so if the only thing that makes it 'portable' is the fact that it has a plug, does the presence of a plug on its own actually cause a greater risk than if it were wired in directly?

This is what I get for trying to be reasonable without leaving myself open to liability.
We often think that when we have completed our study of one we know all about two, because 'two' is 'one and one.' We forget that we still have to make a study of 'and.'

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Re: When is portable equipment not portable?

Post by bernicarey » Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:01 pm

Well, with the caveat that you haven't actually said what it is, and I haven't seen it, I would say that 'testing' would appear to be over the top.

You said:
witsd wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:52 pm
The equipment I am thinking about is fixed to a wall
The HSE say:
A portable or movable electric appliance is any item that can be moved, either connected or disconnected from an electrical supply.
So by that definition, if it's securely fixed to the wall and the power lead is suitably direct and out of harms way, I see no reason to treat it as 'portable'.
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Re: When is portable equipment not portable?

Post by witsd » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:19 pm

Thanks Berni, I think I'll go with that!

Being checked as part of the 5-yearly FIT seems perfectly adequate to me.
We often think that when we have completed our study of one we know all about two, because 'two' is 'one and one.' We forget that we still have to make a study of 'and.'


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Re: When is portable equipment not portable?

Post by DON » Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:48 am

To cut out any doubt,change the socket the appliance is plugged into,to a Fused Spur,remove the plug and wire the appliance into the spur with the correct fuse size etc.

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Re: When is portable equipment not portable?

Post by witsd » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:55 pm

Certainly that would be the ideal, but I don't think it falls into the 'reasonably practicable' realm, due to the awkward location and number of instances.

Ultimately, this is part of an FRA, and I don't think there's a significant risk to life (from fire) here.
We often think that when we have completed our study of one we know all about two, because 'two' is 'one and one.' We forget that we still have to make a study of 'and.'

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