Disciplinary hearings - October 2020
The Board has started publishing all of its disciplinary decision on its website. They can be viewed here.
Publication of disciplinary decisions is common practice in New Zealand where there is a principle of open justice and open reporting. By publishing its decisions, the Board hopes they will educate electrical workers and assist them to become more familiar with the Board’s disciplinary process and findings.
The Board’s hearings and decisions over May and June highlighted a number of cases where electrical workers were working outside of their registration limits or their personal competence. Electrical workers are reminded that whilst their class of registration and licence might provide them with the authorisation to do a certain type of Prescribed Electrical Work (PEW), they also need to be competent to carry it out. Competence is considered to be, having the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out the PEW in a safe and compliant manner. A failure to do so can result in a complaint of negligence or incompetence being made to the Board.
If you do not consider you have the required competence to carry out a certain type of PEW, then there are steps that you can take. These include undertaking training, seeking the assistance or tutelage of someone who is competent or getting the work checked by a competent person before it is connected to a power supply.
|Francis Torres||Mr Torres negligently supervised PEW. Included in the Board’s findings were failures to install RCDs for socket outlets, one of which was in a damp zone. Mr Torres also provided false or misleading certification.||Mr Torres was fined $1,500 and ordered to pay costs of $450. The hearing was conducted on the papers, meaning that no one appeared at the hearing. The fine was reduced from a starting point of $2,000 on the basis that the matter was dealt with by way of an agreed statement of facts. The costs were also reduced on that basis.|
|Wayne Bennett||Mr Bennett carried out, and certified PEW without a practising licence . The matter was dealt with on the papers through the Board issuing a draft decision and inviting further evidence and submissions. Mr Bennett did not accept any wrongdoing or any responsibility for his failure to renew his licence.||The Board adopted a starting point of a fine of $1,500 as a deterrent to others. The fine was reduced to $750 on the basis that the matter was dealt with using a draft decision process. The Board ordered Mr Bennett to pay costs of $675.|
|Hayden Cullen||Mr Cullen was found to have negligently created a risk of serious harm or significant property damage by leaving an installation in a dangerous and electrically unsafe state. The PEW related to a solar photovoltaic installation and the manner in which it was left resulted in a fire from arcing. The Board also found that Mr Cullen had provided false or misleading certification.||The Board adopted a starting point of a fine of $5,000. The amount recognised the seriousness of the matter. The matter was dealt with on the basis of an agreed statement of facts, and Mr Cullen accepted his wrongdoing. On that basis, the fine was reduced to $4,000. Costs of $450 were ordered.|
|Practitioner 1||The electrical worker carried out PEW in a manner that was contrary to an enactment and provided false certification. The Board did not uphold one charge relating to the type of conductor used.||The electrical worker was censured for his conduct. He was also ordered to pay costs of $250. The matter was dealt with on the basis of an agreed statement of facts. The Board decided not to publish the electrical worker’s name on the basis that the offending was minor in nature.|
|Viliama Unga||Mr Unga, an Electrical Services Technician (EST), carried out work that was outside of his licence class, the installation of a switchboard, and in doing so failed to install RCD protection. He was found to have negligently created a risk of serious harm or significant property damage, to have carried out PEW outside of the limits of his registration and to have provided false or misleading certification.||Mr Unga was ordered, at his own cost, to undertake training and to pass a prescribed examination. He was also ordered to pay costs of $450. The matter was dealt with on the basis of an agreed statement of facts.|
|John Lodge||Mr Lodge committed a disciplinary offence by failing to have high risk PEW inspected prior to it being connected to a power supply. He was also found to have failed to provide certification.||The matter was dealt with on the papers. The respondent accepted his wrongdoing. He was fined $1,500 and ordered to pay costs of $450.|
|David Bovens||Mr Bovens negligently created a risk of serious harm or significant property damage when he, amongst other things, used incorrect conductor identification, left primary insulation exposed and installed a switch in a damp situation without IP protection. Mr Bovens also provided false or misleading certification.||Mr Bovens accepted he was working outside of his personal competence. The Board considered that a training order was appropriate. Mr Bovens was ordered, at his own costs, to complete and pass a practical course and to pass the Board’s regulations exam. He was ordered to pay costs of $450.|