Disciplinary hearings

Disciplinary hearings

Date published:

Disciplinary hearings

For earlier disciplinary hearings results please refer to back issues of the Electron newsletter.

Electrician

An electrician from Auckland was found guilty of disciplinary offences under the Electricity Act 1992 in that, he created a risk of serious harm to any person, or a risk of significant property damage in that:

  • circuits and sockets were not provided with adequate Residual current device (RCD) protection and;
  • sockets did not have adequate isolation where required and were not labelled clearly and;
  • sockets in cardiac protected patient areas were not on separate circuits and did not meet the requirements for equipotential earthing points and;
  • cable terminations had been carried out poorly and excessively exposed copper conductor was present in one location and;
  • excessive basic insulation was exposed in the luminaire installations and;
  • he failed to provide a return. A copy of an existing Certificate of Compliance was requested and was not provided within 10 working days.

The above work was carried out in a medical facility including a cardiac protected patient area. It is important to note that special requirements such as sockets installed in such areas need to meet the requirements for equipotential earthing points. 

As a result of the above, the Board has ordered the practitioner:

  • to pay a fine of $500 (Section 147M(1)(f) of the Act) and;
  • pay the Board $250. A sum the Board considers just and reasonable towards the costs and expenses of, and incidental to the hearing of the complaint, by the Board (section 147N of the Act) and;
  • that the offence will be noted on the Register of Electrical Workers for a period of 3 years.

boxout help Limits of work

This case is an example of a practitioner working in specialist areas and not working within their levels of competence. Limits of work and levels of competence need to be observed to ensure electrical safety is maintained. The Board has no option but to penalise practitioners where such breaches of the Act are brought to their attention.

Electrican

Electrician An electrician from Auckland was found guilty of disciplinary offences under the Electricity Act 1992 in that, incorrect cables were terminated resulting in an electric shock.

The electrician was the project manager for a significant renovation at a property which included supervision of his trainee. The prescribed electrical work consisted of the connection and termination of cabling in a switchboard for air conditioning units to be connected. The work in question was carried out by a trainee under the supervision of the electrician.

Other electrical workers attended the site to work on the fit out and one of them received an electric shock when terminating one of the feeds to the unit. It was discovered that the entire circuit had been terminated and connected to the moulded circuit breakers (MCBs) and that one had been live. Further investigation determined that the trainee had terminated the incorrect cables into the isolated switchboard, and that in his role as supervisor, the electrician had failed to ensure that the correct circuits had been identified.

As a result of the above, the Board has ordered the practitioner:

  • to pay a fine of $500 (Section 147M(1)(f) of the Act) and;
  • pay the Board $100. A sum the Board considers just and reasonable towards the costs and expenses of, and incidental to the hearing of the complaint, by the Board (section 147N of the Act) and;
  • that the offence will be noted on the Register of Electrical Workers for a period of 3 years.

boxout help Supervision procedures

This case is an example of an electrician not providing the correct level of supervision to his trainee and not checking that the trainees work was safe and compliant. The primary responsibility of a supervisor when supervising a trainee is to take all practicable steps to ensure that:

  • the work is carried out competently;
  • while the work is being undertaken, appropriate safety measures are adopted;
  • the completed work complies with the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010.

Further information pertaining to supervision procedures are available on Teaching guidelines and resources.

The Board has no option but to penalise practitioners where their trainees work is not done to the required standard.

Thayalan Nalaraja Electrical Appliance Serviceperson

Mr Thayalan Nalaraja an electrical appliance serviceperson was found guilty of a disciplinary offence under Section 143(b)(ii) of the Act, in that he installed a light switch with electrical supply from two different distribution boards.

The Board also found Mr Thayalan Nalaraja was guilty of a disciplinary offence under Section 143(c) of the Act, in that, he failed to have complied with a term or condition of his registration or licence, in that, he:

  • installed lighting and power point circuits and;
  • installed sub-boards and;
  • installed circuits into the MEN system.

As a result of the above, the Board has ordered:

  • Thayalan Nalaraja registration be cancelled (Section 147(M) (1)(a)(i) of the Act) and he may not reapply for a period of 3 years (Section 147(M)(1)(a)(ii) of the Act).
  • Payment of $750 to the Board. A sum the Board considers just and reasonable towards the costs and expenses of, and incidental to the hearing of the complaint by the Board (section 147N of the Act)
  • In accordance with section 128 of the Act the disciplinary action taken under section 147M of the Act will be noted on the Register of Electrical Workers for a period of 3 years.

The reasons for the Board’s finding are:

  • the potential serious harm that could result from the non-compliant work;
  • Mr Nalaraja has not held a practising licence since being registered as an Electrical Appliance Serviceperson in New Zealand;
  • working outside of the limits of his registration and did not engage in the disciplinary process.