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ME PAT Services Newsletter - October 2016

  • Posted on: 3 November 2016
  • By: Mike
Hi folks and welcome to our occasional monthly newsletter as we creep into the darker nights, and darker mornings for that matter as the clocks go back on Sunday the 30th of October because British summer time ends, [so does that mean it was summer last week – I think not!!].  Anyway it’s a time to make sure your torches work – and taking of which we will “shine a light” on Electrical Health & Safety and Portable Appliance Testing by revealing another horror story of where common sense has gone out of the window. We will also hopefully offer some safety tips along the way?

On a lighter note, I will give you a brief update on the progress of the book project “Newcastle Old and New the story so far…”. This “soft” launched in March 2016 and has reached another significant milestone. I will also give you an insight to the busy season we have in store marketing the book as an excellent Christmas pressie….

How not to extend cables...

This is an example of how not to extend cables, on a routine test of a client who had moved into a new unit, all of their equipment passed with flying colour’s except for a build in fridge that was kindly provided by the Business Centre. Now we don’t simply put on failed stickers and walk away, as part of our service we like to find out wherever possible why an item fails to hopefully save on replacement costs for the client. Once the fridge was pulled out of its false wall it turned out that the cable had been spliced about 3-4 times to extend the cable length, now when the wrapping of electrical tape was removed behind the fridge it revealed that the live, neutral and earth cables had been joined to the correct cables – but without any individual protection. Each cable was actually touching each other – a “very” dangerous condition and would prove fatal to whoever touches it!! The simple solution is to cut the original cable before the join and fit a plug, then connect to a passed extension lead, sorted and a lot safer!!

Do you recognise this situation – which cable goes where?
When anyone mentions PAT Testing [Portable Appliance Testing], there is an immediate cause for concern. Straight away business owners think about what the cost implication will be for their business; however there are some things that can be done to protect their business, premises, clients, staff and the equipment.

PAT testing has always been a means to an end; in this case the end is meeting with the Health and Safety at Work Act. More and more businesses are looking for ways in which they can reduce costs, however cutting back on the safety of your staff could end up being a dangerous, and even more expensive, outcome. Some of the things that you can do is to carry out a Visual Inspection on the appliance before it is used, I would check:

  1. The flexible cable – make sure there are no cuts in the sieving
  2. The socket outlet – make sure it is not broken or cracked
  3. The appliances – have a look at the casing; is there any visible damage?
  4. The plug – have a look at the plug itself; is it cracked or broken
  5. Cardboard wiring diagrams – make these have been removed from plug 
  6. Identify signs of overheating
  7. Check inside the plug to check the polarity and connections
  8. Correct size fuse fitted, BS marked, ASTA marked

This is where a PAT Tester and their knowledge and experience comes into play. We have to take into account the appliance’s suitability for the environment or the nature of the work being undertaken. We check the fuse rating is correct, the plug isn’t damaged and of course check to ensure the equipment is installed and is being operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions!

For further information and safety advice please follow this link ….

“And Finally” Newcastle Old and New the story so far…

Another special announcement…

As many will know throughout my circle of contacts and via social media and of course though these newsletters will know that I have achieved a long held dream to self-publish a school project book about Newcastle upon Tyne from 38 years ago called “Newcastle Old and New the Story So Far”. I had 200 books printed late February 2016 and soft launched in March, well not only have we reached another milestone with over 100 sales, but the book is now available to view before purchase at three outlets around the region.

TG Allen’s in Morpeth, the Morpeth Chantry Tourist Information shop and in the book sales department of the Newcastle City Library. As we speak Waterstones are evaluating a loan copy of the book for possible inclusion into their Newcastle stores!!

Needless to say these books will make excellent gifts for Christmas [of course I am naturally bias but there again 100 readers can’t be wrong?]. If you are interested in a copy for someone please check out the website for details on how to buy a copy, go to; for more information.
Just let me know in advance if you want it signed at no extra charge…

Planned Events and Talks

St James Park Christmas Fayre:
At the one and only footie ground at St James Park, Newcastle upon Tyne on Saturday the 12th of November 2016
Newcastle City Library “Books on Tyne”:
I haven’t had the time to organise a “full on” book launch but the Newcastle City Library has invited me to take part in its book festival on Friday the 25th of November – sooo this is as good a place as any to “officially” launch the book before Christmas don’t you think? I will be on at 3pm, update nearer the date…
Rotary Club Christmas Fair:
I have a table booked at the Christmas Fair on Saturday the 3rd of December 2016 at the Ponteland Community High School, Callerton Lane, Ponteland. NE20 9EY
West Denton Christmas Fair:
On Sunday the 4th of December 2016 we will be at the West Denton Christmas Fair at West Denton Community Centre, Hillhead Road, West Denton from 1pm to 4pm.
* If you would like to find out more about any of the events above just pop me a line...

Finally if there is any more information I can give about ME PAT Services Please email me on or phone me direct via 07865 923716, naturally I would be more than happy to help.. if you would like info on the book go to or to follow me on Facebook or Twitter go to;

Ta ta for now, Have a great day, a great week and a fab month!!

Yours Mike and Alison McCoy

ME PAT Services Ltd