Notable Disciplinary Hearings

CAS 1659 – Rakesh Kumaran; and CAS 1550 and 1621 – Pritesh Pritesh

The cases involved an employer, Mr Kumaran, and an employee, Mr Pritesh, carrying out prescribed electrical work which was beyond the limits of Mr Pritesh’s registration and licence. Mr Pritesh, an electrical service technician, carried out prescribed electrical work that required an electrician’s licence. He was found guilty of carrying out prescribed electrical work that he was not authorised to do. Mr Kumaran was found to have committed disciplinary offences in employing, directing and permitting Mr Pritesh to carry out the prescribed electrical work. The cases related to multiple properties over an extended period of time and some of the work carried out was done so in a substandard and non-compliant manner.

The cases highlight the need for all registered persons involved in prescribed electrical work to know the limits of their registration and licence and the limits of those who are in their employment. The prescribed electrical work that Mr Pritesh carried out showed that he was not only working outside of the limits of his registration and licence but also outside of his personal competence. The licensing regime exists to ensure those who carry out prescribed electrical work have been assessed as having the required knowledge, skills and experience to do the work that they are authorised to do. It is important for the safety of the public and of electrical workers that those limits are observed and complied with.

CAS 1969 – Pritesh Pritesh

Mr Pritesh appeared before the Board on similar charges to those in CAS 1550 and 1621 in that he was found to have worked outside of the limits of his licence and registration. An aggravating feature in the case was that he had continued to do so when the matters in CAS 1550 and 1621 were under investigation. Mr Pritesh was also found to have carried out prescribed electrical work in an incompetent manner and in a manner that negligently created a risk of serious harm and to have provided false or misleading returns. The Board noted with regard to the returns (certificates of compliance) that they were deliberate falsehoods.

The Board found that, as Mr Pritesh had been found to have been incompetent and as he had displayed a disregard for the licensing regime over an extended period, a cancellation of his registration was required. It should be noted that as Mr Pritesh’s registration has been cancelled, he will have to meet the Board’s fit and proper person requirements prior to being able to uplift a new registration.

Being clear about safety – Unnamed Electrical Worker

The prescribed electrical work involved maintenance work to ensure a power supply was maintained. The electrical worker joined two redundant phases (white and blue) to the live red phase. He placed lock-out tags at the switchboard for the white and blue phases. In doing so he created a situation where another electrical worker could assume that the circuits connected to those phases would not be live whereas they were. The result was that a person carrying out prescribed electrical work on a termination point on those circuits could legitimately expect them to not be live when, in fact, they were.

The case highlights the need for electrical workers to think about the safety requirements beyond the obvious ones and to consider the downstream effects of the actions they are taking. In this case, the electrical worker had intended to return in short order to carry out more permanent repairs but did not do so. It is always best, when thinking about electrical safety, to consider the worst-case scenario, not the best.

Supervision and quality assurance – Unnamed Electrical Worker

The case involved prescribed electrical work carried out under supervision. The work was carried out by a trainee but was not completed to the appropriate standards. A visual check of the work following its completion by the supervisor would have shown that it was sub-standard. The supervisor was held accountable for the work of the trainee.

Electrical workers are reminded that effective supervision 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.