Disciplinary hearings – March 2023
The Board dealt with 9 disciplinary matters in March. Three of them were not upheld.
When complaints come before the Board, the Investigator has to prove their case. To do that, the Investigator must present evidence to try and establish that, on the balance of probabilities, a disciplinary offence has been committed. If they are not able to, then the Board will find that the disciplinary offence has not been committed.
Most cases that come before the Board are decided on the basis of an agreed statement of facts. These summarise the facts that the Board should take into consideration when it makes its decision, and the use of them means that witnesses do not have to be called to give evidence. The process involves an electrical worker accepting that they have committed a disciplinary offence.
Because the process reduces the costs involved and the impact on the complainant and witnesses, the Board reduces the penalty and costs orders.
Graham Cloake, Electrician, E266871, EW128743
The Board found that Mr Cloake had carried out prescribed electrical work (PEW) in a negligent manner because he had failed to have high-risk PEW inspected prior to it being connected. He also provided a false or misleading return. The Board fined him $3,000. There were aggravating factors but not mitigating factors.
Mr Claokes disputed the allegations but did not engage in the hearing process. As a result, additional hearing costs were incurred. This was reflected in a higher-than-normal costs order of $2,250.
The Board makes costs orders so that the full burden of the costs of investigations and hearings does not fall on other licensed persons. The starting point is 50% of the actual costs incurred. However, when a practitioner does not engage in the complaint and disciplinary process or engages in a belligerent way, the Board will consider whether a higher costs order is warranted.
The electrical worker carried out PEW in a manner that was contrary to an enactment when he installed a new socket outlet without also installing a residual current device. They also provided a false or misleading return.
They were fined $350 and ordered to pay costs of $225. They cooperated and accepted that they had committed the disciplinary offence.
The electrical worker carried out PEW in a negligent manner because they had failed to have high-risk PEW inspected prior to it being connected. They also provided a false or misleading return.
They were fined $500 and ordered to pay costs of $225. They cooperated and accepted that they had committed the disciplinary offence. Other mitigating factors were present, which meant that a lower-than-normal fine was appropriate.
The electrical worker carried out PEW in a negligent manner when they failed to provide a physical barrier between a recessed downlight and insulation and placed a socket outlet in a prohibited zone. They also carried out PEW in a manner that was contrary to an enactment when they failed to install a warning sign at the ceiling access point, and they provided a false or misleading return.
The matter was dealt with on the basis of an agreed statement of facts. The Board fined them $1,000 and ordered them to pay costs of $225.
The Respondent carried out PEW in a negligent manner, and they provided a false or misleading return. The matter, which was dealt with by way of an agreed statement of facts, related to the installation of LED downlights. The electrical worker left terminals exposed, twisted wires together and left them loose and did not secure fittings.
They were fined $1,000 and ordered to pay costs of $225.