Disciplinary hearings - February 2021
A common theme in matters that came before the Board in August, September and October was electrical workers relying on verbal assurances from others that the prescribed electrical work was safe, compliant and had been tested. Verbal assurances should not be relied upon, no matter how confident an electrical worker is with the capability of the person giving the assurance. Actual testing must be completed, and test results must be critically assessed and verified.
Another common theme in cases was a failure to adequately test. Electrical safety, and the safety of those who use electrical fittings and appliances, relies on robust testing. It is the principal way in which electrical safety is verified, and it is imperative that the electrical work is carried out in accordance with regulatory requirements. The Board has developed resources to assist electrical workers with testing. They can be viewed in the Toolbox.(external link)
|Practitioner 1||The electrical worker, who failed to install an RCD for socket outlets that he had installed, was found to have carried out prescribed electrical work (PEW) in a negligent manner. The electrical worker, an Electrical Service Technician, was also found to have carried out PEW that was outside of the limits of his registration as he had installed and connected new conductors in an installation.||The electrical worker accepted responsibility, and the matter was dealt with on the basis of an agreed statement of facts. The worker was censured and ordered to pay costs of $225. The Board took a lenient approach as the electrical worker had, in effect, self-reported the matter.|
|Practitioner 2||The electrical worker was found to have committed multiple disciplinary offences in relation to the installation of a generator including that he had negligently created a risk of serious harm to persons or significant property damage. The electrical worker had failed to apply AS/NZS 3010:2005 – Electrical installations – Generating sets, when carrying out the PEW. The case is a reminder for electrical workers to ensure all applicable standards are considered and applied when carrying out or supervising PEW and not to just rely on AS/NZS 3000:2017.||The electrical worker’s failures were serious, and they resulted in a line worker receiving an electric shock. The electrical worker accepted responsibility, and the matter was dealt with by way of an agreed statement of facts. Notwithstanding, the Board decided that the electrical worker’s licence should be suspended until such time as he had completed a specified training order. He was also ordered to pay costs of $450. Extenuating personal circumstances meant that the Board decided not to publish the electrical worker’s name.|
|Mr MacDonald negligently created a risk of serious harm, or a risk of significant property damage, when he failed to identify a transposition. The transposition was not identified for some eight months, and a person received an electric shock as a result.||Mr MacDonald cooperated with the investigation and accepted his failure to adequately test and identify the transposition. The Board accepted that Mr MacDonald had learnt from the matter. The Board decided to reduce the fine from a starting point of $5,000 to a fine of $2,000. It also ordered that he pay costs of $225.|
|Practitioner 1||The electrical worker negligently created a risk of serious harm or significant property damage by failing to ensure correct polarity and phase rotation in 11kv cables.||The electrical worker was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay costs of $750. The fine was reduced from a starting point of $2,500 on the basis that the electrical worker accepted his failings and that the actions of other electrical workers had contributed to what occurred.|
|Practitioner 2||The electrical worker negligently created a risk of serious harm to any person, or a risk of significant property damage when he failed to provide a reliable, electrically continuous connection on a main neutral conductor and when he failed to carry out adequate testing on the mains supply conductors to verify they were safe to use. A loop impedance test was not carried out as the electrical worker did not have the test equipment with him at the time the connection was made. A person received an electric shock as a result of the electrical worker’s negligence.||The Respondent was censured and fined $500 and ordered to pay costs of $225. The fine was reduced from a starting point of a fine of $5,000 on the basis of mitigating factors including a loss of employment as a result of the incident. Publication was not ordered due to the impact the offending had on the electrical worker.|