Advanced electrical testing technology is helping the UK’s leading college for those with sight loss maintain the highest standards of safety.
The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) is using the specialist Apollo 500 testers to verify the safety of all electrical equipment and appliances used by teaching staff and students at its Hereford campus.
RNC is the leading college for those aged 16 and over with visual impairments, helping over 120 students each year into further and higher education, the world of work and independent living.
As part of the residential college’s health and safety policies, an in-house technical support team uses a Seaward Apollo 500 tester as the focal point of a formal portable appliance testing and planned preventative maintenance programme.
The technical support team manages RNC’s IT network infrastructure including the provision of all laptops, PCs, monitors, printers, scanners, audio equipment and peripherals – and all associated cabling – used across the site’s teaching facilities.
The Seaward Apollo 500 is used to verify the safety of newly purchased electrical items before they are put into service and also on any equipment that is being returned to use after repair or maintenance.
In addition, regular periodic inspection and testing is carried out in the lecture rooms to identify any equipment showing signs of misuse, faults or damage, with test intervals being determined by the specific class of the electrical equipment being used and their patterns of use.
The Apollo 500 is a compact and lightweight unit and incorporates all the recommended safety tests for portable electrical appliances in line with the IET 4th Edition Code of Practice. These include point to point testing of fixed equipment and the testing of extension leads, power cords and RCDs.
At the College around 1,000 items of equipment are tested each year, with the results being stored in a central database for accurate record keeping and traceability of test histories for individual items of equipment.
The incorporation of a large internal memory in the Apollo 500 supports the data handling need, by allowing stored test records to be transferred via a USB link or downloaded directly to PCs or smartphones using Bluetooth connectivity.
Andy Powell, technical support manager at RNC explained: “With such a vast range of electrical equipment in use and many items which can be moved between rooms, offices and studios, our PAT testing programme forms a vital part of our ability to provide an electrically safe working environment for our students.
“We’ve always used Seaward testers and the Apollo 500 meets our in-house test needs completely; combining ease of use for our technical team, with fast and effective testing that ensures our safety obligations are met and our records are always up to date.”
The Apollo 500 tester forms part of Seaward’s comprehensive range of portable appliance test instrumentation, software and accessories that are used widely to ensure the safety of electrical equipment used in the workplace.
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