Disciplinary hearings - May 2017

Read a summary of 2 recently completed disciplinary hearings conducted by the Board. They are hearings at which the conduct of an registered or licensed electrical worker is examined.

Electrician disciplinary hearing: practitioners approach taken into consideration

The Board recently gave a significant reduction in the penalty it ordered following a disciplinary hearing because the electrician, of his own choice, carried out remedial work to correct the issues. The Board noted that a significant fine would normally have been imposed for a charge of carrying out prescribed electrical work in a negligent or incompetent manner, however, in this case, the practitioner willingly undertook to repair the noncompliant work at his own cost and as such the penalty was reduced to a censure.

A practitioner’s approach and their manner in dealing with a complaint are matters the Board can take into consideration as mitigation when considering penalty. The Board can also take into account the practitioner’s approach to their work practices following a complaint and any changes they have made to ensure reoffending will not occur.

Electrician disciplinary hearing: multiple instances of non-compliance

If you are supervising an electrical worker, you are responsible for ensuring that their work is completed in a competent and compliant manner.

An electrician from Christchurch was found guilty of 2 disciplinary offences of intentionally or negligently creating a risk of serious harm to any person, or a risk of significant property damage in respect of 2 properties in Christchurch, one of which was a school.

There were multiple instances of noncompliant and electrically unsafe prescribed electrical work including at the school. He installed power sockets, heating circuits, wired lights back to a new distribution board all in a non-compliant manner leaving it electrically unsafe and that he failed to adequately test that installation. The noncompliant work was later discovered when alterations were carried out and wall linings were removed exposing the noncompliant work.

The Board ordered the electrician to attend a specified course of instruction and to pay a pay a fine of $2,000.00 and to pay the Board $1,000.00 towards the costs of the 2 hearings.

The prescribed electrical work was carried out under the electrician's supervision. He submitted that he had been let down by the persons under his supervision. The case highlighted the need for appropriate supervision. The District Court in Gallagher v Electrical Workers Registration Board noted:

As is made apparent by the definition of "supervision" in the Act that requires control and direction by the supervisor so as to ensure that the electrical work is performed competently, that appropriate safety measures are adopted, and that when completed the work complies with the requisite regulations. At the very least supervision in that context requires knowledge that work is being conducted, visual and other actual inspection of the work during its completion, assessment of safety measures undertaken by the person doing the work on the site itself, and, after completion of the work, a decision as to compliance of the work with the requisite regulations.

The Board has developed supervision guidelines for the supervision of trainees and for the supervision of persons other than trainees. View these guidelines on Teaching guidelines and resources.

Practitioners should familiarise themselves with their responsibilities as supervisors and should ensure that those they are supervising are also aware of their obligations.