One of Scotland’s most historic universities, St Andrews, is reaping the benefits of a long-term relationship with Hawkesworth, the dedicated PAT testing company, to help fulfil its responsibilities for the safety of students in the halls of residence.
PAT testing is considered a vital element for ensuring a safer environment for staff and students by one of the UK’s most revered learning institutions. Halls of residence must comply with the government’s Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) regulations requiring frequent testing of electrical appliances - which is why, to meet its obligations, the university has been using Hawkesworth for almost a decade for PAT testing at its 40 residential buildings in Fife, including student-owned appliances.
External support, such as that offered by Hawkesworth, can help to overcome concerns and import good practice. Hawkesworth has built up an excellent rapport with staff and students alike at the seat of learning, which is crucial when electricians need to gain access to a student’s sanctuary - their accommodation - to carry out PAT maintenance.
Hawkesworth performs around 40,000 tests at varying intervals on electrical equipment at St Andrews - ranging from kettles, blenders and toasters to vacuum and floor cleaners, electric drills, extension leads, heaters, air conditioning units, laptops, televisions, and even musical instruments such as electric guitars. Static items such as photocopiers, printers, fax machines, and desktop computers are also checked.
During the comprehensive tests the technicians will identify the tell-tale signs of potentially hazardous faults such as physical damage, non-standard cable joints, loose connections, missing screws, overloading of sockets, or over-heating. They also provide a full check on appliances brought in by overseas students which may appear to be suitable for UK use but could be potentially deadly: foreign power leads and phone chargers are particularly high risk.
It is the advantages of a tailored package of efficient PAT maintenance, a reliable and systematic approach to testing and excellent communications which has underpinned the enduring working relationship between Hawkesworth and St Andrews, ensuring legislative compliance and providing a safer environment for students, visitors and staff at the world-renowned university.
St Andrews’ finance and project manager, Sylvie Fergus, said: “We can trust Hawkesworth to get on and do a thorough job to make sure that we comply with the regulations and ensure the safety of our students - which is of course our priority. Their technicians are sensitive to the environment and we have an excellent dialogue with them and the head office team. They are always on the ball.”