Electron newsletter

Disciplinary hearings held - March to June 2018

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Disciplinary hearings held - March to June 2018

The Board has held disciplinary hearings in various locations around the country. The following is a summary of the hearings held through to June. There are also some more detailed articles on cases the Board considers other electrical workers could learn from.

March

Four electrical workers were found to have committed disciplinary offences.

Practitioner 1

The electrical worker was found to have committed multiple disciplinary offences including creating a risk of serious harm through poor terminations including at the mains and by failing to have high risk PEW inspected. The practitioner was also found to have worked outside of his limits. 

Penalty: The Board ordered training and imposed a fine of $2,000. Costs of $250 were ordered. Costs were reduced as the matter was dealt with by way of an agreed statement of facts meaning witnesses did not have to be called.

Practitioner 2

The electrical worker was found to have been negligent in that a submain cable was left connected to the main switchboard and in an unsafe manner.

Penalty: The practitioner was fined $2,000 and ordered to pay costs of $500.

Practitioner 3

The electrical worker was found to have carried out PEW contrary to an enactment. 

Penalty: The practitioner was fined $500 and ordered to pay costs of $150. Costs were reduced as the matter was dealt with by way of an agreed statement of facts meaning witnesses did not have to be called.

Practitioner 4

The practitioner was found to have carried out PEW when not authorised to do so as he did not hold a current practicing licence.

Penalty: The practitioner was fined $500 and ordered to pay costs of $250. Costs were reduced as the matter was dealt with by way of an agreed statement of facts meaning witnesses did not have to be called.

April

Three electrical workers were found to have committed disciplinary offences.

Practitioner 1

The Board found that multiple disciplinary offences had been committed. The electrical worker created a serious risk through a failure to ensure RCD protection of socket outlets within damp zones and terminations with excessive live exposed copper.

Penalty: The electrical worker was suspended from carrying out PEW until he had completed Board directed training. Costs of $500 were ordered.

Practitioner 2

The electrical worker was found to have carried out PEW in a noncompliant manner. 

Penalty: The Board censured the electrical worker as he had accepted his wrongdoing and had taken steps to ensure it would not occur again.  Costs of $150 were ordered. The costs were reduced as the matter was dealt with by way of an agreed statement of facts.

Practitioner 3

The electrical worker was found to have carried out PEW in a noncompliant manner. 

Penalty: The offending was at a low level, the work was interrupted, and the electrical worker was prevented from attending to remediate. The Board was impressed with the electrical worker overall systems and processes and it decided not to make a disciplinary order. 

May

Five hearings were held. Four electrical workers were found to have committed disciplinary offences.

Practitioner 1

The Board found that multiple disciplinary offences had been committed. The electrical worker created a serious risk through poor terminations and the installation of a non-IP rated fitting in a wet zone. 

Penalty: The Board had a starting point of a fine of $4,000 but this was reduced to $2,500 on the basis of mitigating circumstances present. Costs of $1,000 were ordered. The costs reflected that a hearing was required.

Practitioner 2

The Board found that multiple disciplinary offences had been committed. The electrical worker created a serious risk by failing to isolate mains at a construction site and worked outside of his limits. 

Penalty: The Board ordered training to be undertaken. Costs of $1,000 were ordered. The costs reflected that a hearing was required and that a hearing had to be adjourned due to the electrical worker failing to appear. 

Practitioner 3

The electrical worker was found to be responsible for noncompliant PEW carried out under his supervision. His failure to adequately test resulted in the main neutral conductor being connected to the earth bar return rather than the neutral bar.

Penalty: The electrical worker was censured. He had expressed remorse, had learnt from the events and had taken steps to upskill himself and work procedures had been changed. Costs of $250 were ordered. The costs order was reduced as the matter was dealt with on the basis of an agreed statement of facts which meant witnesses did not have to be called.

Practitioner 4

The electrical worker installed electrical fittings in a noncompliant manner. The practitioner was not found to have been negligent. 

Penalty: The Board fined the electrical worker $300 and ordered him to pay $250 in costs. The Board reduced both the penalty and the costs on the basis that the practitioner had cooperated with the investigation and had accepted responsibility.

Practitioner 5

No evidence was offered by the Investigator. The charges against the electrical worker were not upheld.

June

Two electrical workers were found to have committed disciplinary offences.

Practitioner 1

The electrical worker carried out temporary repairs which resulted in live terminals being able to be accessed without the use of a tool. A person then received an electric shock. 

Penalty: The Board had a starting point of a fine of $5,000 due to the electric shock, but this was reduced to $2,500 as the practitioner accepted responsibility and there was other significant mitigating circumstances. Costs of $500 were ordered. The costs reflected that whilst the practitioner cooperated a hearing was required and witnesses had to be called.

Practitioner 2

The electrical worker installed a recessed downlight which posed a serious risk and failed to ensure high risk PEW was inspected. 

Penalty: The Board had a starting point of a fine of $3,000 but this was reduced to $1,500 as the practitioner accepted responsibility and remediated the noncompliant PEW. Costs of $250 were ordered. The costs order was reduced as the matter was dealt with on the basis of an agreed statement of facts which meant witnesses did not have to be called.