The Board found an electrical worker guilty of disciplinary offences under section 143(a)(i) and 143(f) of the Electricity Act 1992 and fined him $1,500 and ordered him to pay costs. The offending under section 143(a)(i) related to the failure of the Respondent to adequately supervise trainees who carried out the prescribed electrical work and a failure to have high risk prescribed electrical work inspected.
The Board noted that supervision of trainees is an important task and one that requires active participation from both the supervisor and the supervisee. The supervisor should assess the task and the abilities of the trainee prior to issuing instructions and should also be checking the quality and compliance of the prescribed electrical work whilst it is being carried out, as well as after its completion. Supervisors should remember that they are accountable for the work of the trainee or of any other person who is working under supervision. It is, for all intents and purposes, their work. The Board has comprehensive supervision guidelines available on its website and all those who undertake supervision should obtain and copy and become familiar with them.
With regard to the failure to obtain an inspection the Board found that the extent of the prescribed electrical work undertaken on a new switchboard took it beyond maintenance or replacement and that an inspection was therefore required. The Board noted that it is in an electrical worker’s best interests to take a cautionary approach to the assessment of whether prescribed electrical work is high risk or not and that if they are in doubt as to whether an inspection is required they should seek advice from an authoritative source.