Disciplinary hearings - June 2021

Yehui Zhai Electrical Engineer (EE 277651, EW 139246)

In June 2020, the Board held three hearings (complaint numbers CE22212, 222133 and 22214) about Mr Yehui Zhai, an electrical engineer from Auckland. The Board found Mr Zhai had, in all three matters, negligently created a risk of serious harm to persons and a risk of significant property damage through having carried out or caused to be carried out prescribed electrical work. The Board also made various other disciplinary findings in respect of the PEW.

The Board noted that the manner in which the PEW had been carried out by Mr Zhai, and the state it was left in by him, indicated he was taking on work he was not competent to do.

Electrical workers are reminded while the class of licence they hold may authorise them to carry out certain types of PEW, if they do not have the personal competencies, they should not do the work until they have obtained the knowledge and skills needed to complete it in a safe and compliant manner.

The Board decided that Mr Zhai’s licence should be suspended until he had completed the following training:

  • All of the year three on job units mandated by Skills;
  • The 1,2 and 3 Practical Assessment Course, as well as passing the Board’s Stage 1,2 and 3 Practical Assessments; and
  • The Regulations Course, as well as passing the Board’s Regulations Exam.

Mr Zhai was ordered to pay costs of $1,000 for each of the three matters. Mr Zhai had accepted the facts on which the Board made its decisions, but appealed the Board’s decisions to the District Court. Those appeals were dismissed.

February and March Disciplinary Hearings

The Board dealt with a disciplinary matter in February 2021, which involved an electrical worker finishing off the PEW of another electrical worker as a favour.

The electrical worker noted non-compliant work but did not take steps to rectify it before connecting and livening the installation. When he certified and connected the PEW, the electrical worker took responsibility for its compliance, and this led to the Board’s disciplinary finding.

This case is a reminder that it’s important for all electrical workers to take care when taking responsibility for another’s work. Before completing, connecting and certifying PEW undertaken by others, electrical workers must ensure it is safe and compliant. Failure to do so may result in a complaint and a disciplinary finding.

In another case, an electrical worker had let his personal competence slip over time. His regulatory knowledge had slipped, and he had not kept himself up to date.

Keeping up to date on regulatory changes and standards is fundamental to maintaining a licence. Electrical workers are encouraged to undertake their own training and to ensure they are informed about what is happening in their industry.

The Electron is one way of doing this - other ways include:

Electrical workers can also subscribe to Standards(external link) and Energy Safety updates(external link) or join a membership organisation to get additional training and resources.

February 2021 Finding Penalty
Practitioner 1 The Respondent was found to have carried out PEW in a negligent manner and to have provided a false or misleading return. The non-compliant work, which was originally carried out by another electrical worker, was not rectified prior to it being connected and livened. The Respondent, who was aware of the compliance issue, was negligent when he failed to deal with it. The Board adopted a starting point of $2,000. A reduction was granted as the matter was dealt with by way of an agreed statement of facts. Further reductions were granted in recognition of other mitigating factors that were present. The fine was set at $500. The Respondent was also ordered to pay costs of $250.
March 2021 Finding Penalty
Practitioner 1 The electrical worker carried out PEW in a manner that was contrary to an enactment. He also provided a false or misleading certificate of compliance and failed to provide an electrical safety certificate. The electrical worker was an electrical inspector. He was not working as an inspector and had no need for that class of licence. He lacked up to date knowledge as an inspector. He accepted a downgrade in his licence to that of an electrician. Costs of $250 were ordered. The matter was dealt with on the basis of an agreed statement of facts.
Practitioner 2 The Respondent, an electrical appliance serviceperson, carried out PEW outside of the limits of his licence and registration when he installed and connected conductors. The Board imposed a course of instruction that was to be completed at the Respondent’s cost. Given the expense to be incurred, the Respondent decided not to impose any costs.
Practitioner 3 The Respondent was found to have carried out PEW in a negligent manner and to have provided a false or misleading return. The negligent PEW related to poor and unreliable conductor connections. The certification incorrectly identified the work as low risk when it was general risk PEW. The offending was at the lower end of the scale. A starting point of $1,500 was adopted. After taking into account the mitigating factors, including that the matter was dealt with by way of an agreed statement of facts, the Board ordered a fine of $750. Costs of $250 were also ordered.