The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #140458   Message #3229363
Posted By: Howard Jones
26-Sep-11 - 12:13 PM
Thread Name: Tech: PAT testing
Subject: RE: Tech: PAT testing
Bernard, are you suggesting that every venue should have a qualified electrician on duty at every gig, no matter how small, in order to decide which pieces of kit need a PAT certificate and which don't? That would be pointless and unnecessary, and would probably kill most folk gigs stone dead.

In practice, it is unusual in my experience for these things to be checked on the night. Usually you have to send the venue a copy of your PAT and insurance certificates in advacen, and perhaps a risk assessment and method statement, they tick the appropriate boxes and go away happy.

The guidance notes to the regulations don't specify a minimum voltage at which something may be considered dangerous and therefore need to be tested. On the contrary, they say that "it is appropriate for the Regulations to apply even at the very lowest end of the voltage or power spectrum because the Regulations are concerned with for example explosion risks which may be caused by very low levels of energy igniting flammable gases even though there may be no risk of electric shock or burn. Therefore no voltage limits appear in the Regulations. The criteria of application is the test as to whether 'danger' (as defined) may arise."

The guidance notes do however say that any conductor connected to an electrical system becomes part of that system, and the Regulations apply. That would suggest that mics and leads are part of the system, and should be tested - whether that test proves anything useful is perhaps a different matter!

Ultimately, it is up to the responsible person to decide what needs to be tested and how often. However the venue may impose whatever conditions it likes, however unreasonable they may appear, and it's up to the band whether to accept these or turn down the gig.

Like all regulations, these can be applied unthinkingly and excessively, but I don't see it as a significant issue for a band to comply. If you're putting yourself forward as a professional outfit, even if it's only at weekends, then you should be prepared to behave professionally in all aspects - this is just one of them.