Disciplinary hearings

Disciplinary cases

Date published:

Disciplinary cases

The following is a summary of the hearings held by the Board over the period of April - June 2019.

Read on for detailed articles on cases the Board considers other electrical workers could learn from.
Most of the cases that came before the Board were dealt with by way of an agreed statement of facts which meant that witnesses did not have to be called to give evidence. An agreed statement of facts normally involves a practitioner accepting responsibility and this is taken into account when the Board considers the appropriate penalty to impose and the amount of costs to order.

A number of the cases involved a failure to have high risk work inspected. This was a subject that was discussed in the last issue of Electron but, for those who missed it, the Board noted that electrical workers should take care when carrying out prescribed electrical work to correctly assess the risk level of the work. Identifying the correct risk level – low, general or high – is important as there are flow-on requirements regarding certification, and in the case of high risk work, inspection. The Board’s Toolbox has an article that provides guidance here.

Another case involved a failure to apply AS/NZS 3003:2011 Electrical Installations—Patient Areas to prescribed electrical work that was carried out in a patient protected area. The practitioner only referred to and used AS/NZS 3000:2007 and whilst this was relevant it had to be used in conjunction with the Patient Areas standard. Again, there is an article in the Board’s Toolbox which helps you find the right standard for the job and remember that, in certain circumstances, more than one standard can apply.  Go to the Which standards apply and where I can find them web page for more information.

Other cases before the Board involved persons either working outside of their limits or permitting or directing unauthorised persons to carry out prescribed electrical work. You can review the limits of each class of licence here. It is important to understand not only your own limits but also the limits of those you work with and when an electrical worker needs to be supervised because they are not authorised to carry out the work themselves.

The Board often has cases before it where an electrical worker has presumed that the person they have instructed to carry out work is licensed. It pays to check the Register rather than assuming. If the worker is not licensed then the person who employed, directed or permitted the unlicensed person to do the prescribed electrical work can be disciplined. It is especially important to check a person’s licensing status at present as the relicensing has been completed and not all electrical workers have renewed their licences. You should also note that Trainee Limited Certificate can lapse and when they do the worker is then restricted in what they can do under supervision. Have a look at the differences in the exemptions in sections 76 of the Electricity Act 1992 which covers general supervision and 77 which covers Trainees.

Disciplinary Cases

Month

Finding

Penalty

April

Three electrical workers were disciplined.

Practitioner 1

The electrical worker was found to have committed multiple offences. The first related to a failure to adequately connect an earthing system. The Board found that this created a risk of serious harm and/or significant property damage. The second offence was that the worker had carried out prescribed electrical work in a negligent manner. He had failed to install RCDs, had left terminations loose and failed to adequately terminate neutral conductors. The Board also found that the electrical worker had provided a false or misleading combined certificate of compliance and electrical safety certificate and that he had worked outside of the limits of his licence.

The Respondent was fined $1,500. The Board had a starting point of $2,500 but it reduced the fine on the basis that the Respondent accepted his wrongdoing and that the matter was dealt with by way of an agreed statement of facts. He was ordered to pay costs of $500.

Practitioner 2

The electrical worker was found to have carried out prescribed electrical work in a negligent manner and to have provided a false or misleading combined certificate of compliance and electrical safety certificate. The negligence related to the installation of a three-core flexible cable over a metal edge without adequate protection and to fitting flexible cables which did not have any form of strain relief.

The Board noted that there were significant mitigating factors both in relation to the work and to the electrical worker himself. On the basis of that mitigation and the electrical worker accepting his wrongdoing the Board decided to censure him. A censure is a formal expression of disapproval. The electrical worker was ordered to pay $500 in costs.

Practitioner 3

The Board found that the electrical worker had carried out prescribed electrical work in a manner contrary to the provision of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 by failing to have high risk prescribed electrical work inspected. The Board noted the electrical worker was uncertain as to whether the work was low risk repair, maintenance or replacement and that the assessment of the risk level was not clear cut. Had it been then the Board would most likely have found the electrical worker had been negligent in not obtaining an inspection.

The Board censured the electrical worker. It noted there were no safety concerns with the prescribed electrical work and that there were surrounding circumstances that needed to be taken into consideration. The electrical worker was ordered to pay $500 in costs.

May

Four electrical workers were disciplined. One of the electrical workers, Mr Prem Singh was involved in two separate cases before Board. His licence and registration have been cancelled.

Practitioner 1

This was another case where the Board found that the electrical worker had carried out prescribed electrical work in a manner contrary to the provision of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 by failing to have high risk work inspected. Again, there were circumstances which meant that negligence was not considered to be the appropriate finding.

The electrical worker cooperated and regretted what had occurred. He took steps to ensure the failing would not be repeated. He agreed to the hearing be held on the basis of an agreed statement of facts. Based on those factors the Board decided to censure the electrical worker and to order him to pay costs of $500.

Practitioner 2

The electrical worker was found to have failed to have high risk prescribed electrical work inspected and that he failed to provide four certificates of compliances within 20 working days.

The Board adopted a starting point of a $2,000 fine. It reduced this to $1,000 on the basis that the electrical worker cooperated and that the matter was dealt with on the basis of an agreed statement of facts. Costs of $500 were imposed.
The Board noted a commercial dispute which may have impacted on the decisions made but observed that the certification and inspection systems are important for public safety and breaches of them are not to be taken lightly.

Practitioner 3

The case involved a transposition which arose as a result of a failure to test repair work that had been carried out under his supervision. The electrical worker was found to have negligently created a risk of serious harm to any person, or a risk of significant property damage. He was also found to have provided a false or misleading certificate of compliance.
The Investigator had made a number of other allegations that were not upheld.

The matter was dealt with by way of an agreed statement of facts. The Respondent accepted responsibility. He regretted the events which had a significant impact on him and his business. The electrical worker changed his business practices to prevent a reoccurrence.
The Board noted transpositions carry the risk of serious harm. It adopted a starting point of a fine of $2,000. On the basis of the mitigation it reduced the fine to $1,000 and ordered costs of $500.

Prem Singh
EW 087483
Electrician
CE21810

Mr Singh was found to have been negligent and to have provided a false or misleading certificate of compliance. The prescribed electrical work he carried out fell below acceptable standards. There were numerous contraventions. Mr Singh was also found to have engaged another unsupervised electrical worker to carry out work outside of his limits.

The Board cancelled Mr Singh’s licence and registration for one year. It noted that there was a pattern of substandard work and compliance issues. It considered that there was a high risk of reoffending and that there was a need to protect the public. The Board also imposed costs of $1,000 and ordered that the matter be published.

Prem Singh
EW 087483
Electrician
CE21809

Mr Singh was again found to have carried out prescribed electrical work in a negligent manner and to have provided a false or misleading certificate of compliance.

In conjunction with the above matter the Board cancelled Mr Singh’s licence and registration for one year and imposed costs of $1,000. It ordered that the matter be published.

June

Three electrical workers were disciplined. One, Mr Al Hakeem, has had his licence suspended until such time as he re-establishes his competence.

Practitioner 1

The electrical worker was found to have carried out prescribed electrical work in a negligent manner and to have failed to issue an electrical safety certificate and to have issued a false or misleading certificate of compliance. The negligence included a failure to carry out required tests.

The Board’s starting point was a fine of $2,000. It reduced this to $500 on the basis that the electrical worker undertook, at his own instigation, training to address matters raised in the complaint. He also cooperated and the matter was dealt with on an agreed statement of facts.

Practitioner 2

The case involved allowing an unauthorised person to carry out prescribed electrical work and providing a false or misleading certificate of compliance. The person who had carried out the work was a trainee whose limited certificate had lapsed meaning that the work he could do was restricted. 

The electrical worker was fined $500 and ordered to pay costs of $250. The Board took into account that the electrical worker had reviewed and changed his work practices and had accepted responsibility.  

Yasir Hameed also known as Yasser Al Hakeem
Electrical Service Technician
EST 241390

Mr Al Hakeem was found to have committed multiple disciplinary offences. These included negligently creating a risk of serious harm or significant property damage, carrying out work outside of his limits and providing a false or misleading certificate of compliance. The matter related to work in a body protected area. Mr Al Hakeem was unaware and did not apply requirements of standards that should have been used. He also displayed substandard and noncompliant workmanship.

The Board was concerned at the level of noncompliance and Mr Al Hakeem’s lack of knowledge in the area he worked in. Given this, the Board found that Mr Al Hakeem’s licence should be suspended until such time as he completes, at his own cost, the training courses specified for an EST and the satisfactory completion of the EST written examination and the EST practical assessment. Costs of $2,000 were ordered as was publication.