Electron newsletter

Disciplinary hearings

Date published:

Disciplinary hearings

The Board held a hearing in which the Respondent was found to have committed a disciplinary offence by failing to provide a copy of a certificate of compliance to a homeowner within 10 days of one being requested. The conduct was a breach of Regulation 74E(4) of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010. The practitioner was censured and ordered to pay costs.

The case is a timely reminder that a person who issues a certificate of compliance must not only issue it within 20 days of completion but must also retain it for at least 7 years and must, on request, provide a copy of it within 10 working days to and of the following who request it:

  • WorkSafe
  • The Board
  • The Registrar
  • The territorial authority of the place where the prescribed electrical work was done
  • The person who contracted for the work, or
  • The owner or occupier of the place or thing in which the installation or part installation is located

Ensuring conductors are adequately buried
A practitioner was fined $1,500 and ordered to pay costs for carrying out prescribed electrical work in a negligent manner. The finding related to a failure to install cabling at an adequate depth or with mechanical protection or maker tape.

The practitioner had installed the cable and was relying on additional cover depth being added at a later point in time as part of proposed landscaping. The landscaping did not occur. No steps were taken to ensure that additional material was added.

Under regulation 66 of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 a certificate of compliance must contain a statement that the prescribed electrical work has been done lawfully and safely. It is a statement about the compliance of the prescribed electrical work at the time of the certificate – not at a future point in time.  In this instance the prescribed electrical work did not comply when it was certified. The practitioner relied on others to make the work safe and compliant, but this did not occur. The case highlights the risks for an electrical worker relying on others to achieve safety and compliance, especially when there are no systems or processes in place to ensure what has been promised is carried out.

Prosecution
The Board prosecuted Neville May in the Alexandra District Court for carrying out prescribed electrical work when not authorised to do so. Mr May was neither registered nor licensed.

Mr May completed wiring for a bathroom and toilet rebuild. After the home owner experienced issues with lighting, an electrical inspector attended and noted several issues with the wiring including cable faults, incorrectly sized cables and exposed wiring.

The Court fined Mr May $2,000 and ordered him to pay costs. The fine was reduced from a starting point of $4,000 as Mr May had pleaded guilty and was a superannuitant. The Court ordered that 90% of the fine be paid to the Board.

The Board takes any illegal prescribed electrical work seriously and will prosecute persons who carry out or employ persons to carry out work of this nature. If you know of persons who are carrying out prescribed electrical work, who are not registered and licensed, then please notify the Registrar or use the 'Report a Cowboy' app which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Android Play.