Disciplinary hearings - February 2023
The Board often hears cases involving prescribed electrical work that has been livened and certified but is not compliant because an expected or anticipated future event has not occurred.
An example of this is the first case reported below. A mains cable was installed with the expectation that it would be concreted over. That did not occur, and, as a result, the cable was buried too shallowly.
When prescribed electrical work is certified, it is a statement as to the compliance of the work at that point in time. The certification cannot rely on some future event that may or may not occur. Moreover, if it is livened, the work must be compliant and safe at that point in time. Electrical workers should not put themselves and others at risk by assuming that something over which they have no control will occur.
The Board found that the electrical worker had carried out prescribed electrical work in a manner that was contrary to an enactment and had provided a false or misleading return. He was fined $350 and ordered to pay costs of $250. The fine and costs were reduced on the basis that the electrical worker accepted his wrongdoing, and the matter was dealt with by way of an agreed statement of facts.
The complaint involved a failure to bury a mains cable to the correct depth and to install marker tape. Parts of the underground wiring were also exposed.
The Board heard that there was a future intention to concrete over the area where the cable was installed (which would have allowed for a shallower buried depth) but that this had not happened. The Board found that, at the time the cable was installed, livened and certified, it had not been concreted over. As such, the work was not completed in accordance with AS/NZS 3000, and the accompanying certification was false or misleading.
As noted above, the matter is a reminder to all electrical workers that prescribed electrical work has to be lawful at the time it is certified. Future intentions or intended actions are irrelevant.
The electrical worker had carried out prescribed electrical work in a negligent manner when he failed to have high-risk prescribed electrical work inspected and that he failed to provide a return. He was fined $500 and ordered to pay costs of $225. The electrical worker accepted the charges, and the matter was dealt with on the basis of an agreed statement of facts, which resulted in reduced fine and costs orders.
The case related to the installation of a builder’s temporary supply complete with socket outlets to provide a power supply to temporary accommodation units. The temporary supply was not inspected prior to it being connected, and neither a Certificate of Compliance nor an Electrical Safety Certificate was provided for the prescribed electrical work.
The electrical worker in this matter installed a new socket outlet without installing an RCD protection device. He accepted that he had carried out prescribed electrical work in a negligent manner and had provided a false or misleading return. He was fined $750 and ordered to pay costs of $225. The matter was heard by way of an agreed statement of facts.
The electrical worker carried out prescribed electrical work in a manner that was contrary to an enactment, and he provided certification that was false or misleading. The case related to the inspection of connectable installations and the issue of Warrants of Electrical Fitness. The connectable installation he had inspected and issued a warrant for did not contain a switchboard, a residual current device, or circuit breakers for overcurrent protection.
The Board disqualified the electrical worker from carrying out further warrants until he completed a course of instruction. He was also ordered to pay costs of $225. The electrical worker accepted the charges, and the matter was dealt with by way of an agreed statement of facts.