Records of tests along with the results should be kept throughout the working life of an appliance. Without such records duty holders cannot be certain that the inspection and testing has actually been carried out. If an unfortunate incident should occur then records of test results could prove that you had done all “as far is reasonably practical” in preventing danger.
Records should include the following:
* A register of all equipment.
* A record of formal visual inspections and tests.
* A repair register.
* A register of faulty equipment.
It has been seen that it is a defence under Regulation 29 of the Electricity at Work Regulations to ‘prove that he took reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of that offence’. It seems clear that the most effective method by which a duty holder can prove this in court would be by producing records of the inspection and testing carried out. Without which it would be extremely difficult to convince the court that the defendant had acted within either the letter of or the spirit of the law. Records are essential if a proper and organised system of testing is to be established.
The keeping of suitable records then is essential. They provide evidence for the defence in the event of a prosecution; more practically, such records enable the close monitoring of the equipment highlighting potential faults or trends. They are also essential in forming accurate assessment of the necessary frequency of testing. For example, if over a number of consecutive test cycles few or no failures were recorded then the duty holder may consider reducing the frequency of tests, obviously the converse may also apply.