Electron newsletter

Notable disciplinary hearings

Date published:

Notable disciplinary hearings

An electrical installer and an electrical inspector have appeared at disciplinary hearings recently.

CAS 1889 – Keith Goose – named

Mr Goose, an Electrical Installer from Wellington, was found by the Board to have negligently created a risk of serious harm to any person, or a risk of significant property damage, by failing to adequately connect mains cable to the isolator, failing to adequately terminate power points and by failing to have the high-risk work inspected. He was also found to have carried out prescribed electrical work that was outside the limits of his registration as an Electrical Installer and to have provided a false or misleading certificate of compliance.

The Board suspended Mr Goose’s license until such time as he successfully completed a course of instruction and it fined him $2,000. He was ordered to pay costs. The Board also ordered that the matter be published so as to ensure that other electrical workers were made aware that Mr Goose only holds registration and a licence as an Electrical Installer.

The case highlighted the need for electrical workers to be aware of the limits of their registration and to work strictly within them. The non-compliant work and the failure to have high-risk prescribed electrical work inspected, showed just what can happen when an electrical worker strays outside of their competence and capability.

The case is also a salient warning to other electrical workers to check the registration and licence status of other electrical workers. Working on assumptions and assurances can be a dangerous game, especially when a check of the public register of electrical workers is a simple task.

NB The public and electrical workers can now check an electrical workers registration and licensing status from the Report a Cowboy app.

CAS1901 – Raymond Parker – named

Mr Parker, an Electrical Inspector from Wellington, was found to have committed multiple disciplinary offences in relation to a new residential build where he carried out the wiring. The findings included that he had negligently created a risk of serious harm to any person, or a risk of significant property damage, by failing to ensure the legally required RCD protection of socket outlets was installed within damp zones and in leaving electrical terminations within the switchboard and at electrical fittings with excessive amounts of live exposed copper. Mr Parker was also found to have carried out other prescribed electrical work (PEW) negligently and to have carried out PEW in a manner contrary to an enactment. He was also found to have provided a false or misleading certificate of compliance.

The Board suspended Mr Parker’s license until such time as he successfully completed a course of instruction. He was ordered to pay costs. The Board also ordered that the matter be published so that other electrical workers could learn from the case.

Mr Parker noted at the hearing that he was under pressure to complete the work and that the owners moved in to the home before the work was complete and that the work was only temporary. Notwithstanding this, Mr Parker had certified the work as being safe. The Board did not accept that leaving work in a state where it posed risk of serious harm to any person, or a risk of significant property damage, even if it was only intended to be temporary, was acceptable. The property was occupied and had been certified. As such there was an obligation to ensure that the PEW was safe and compliant.

Caravan Warrants of Fitness

The electrical worker was found to have carried out prescribed electrical work (PEW) in a manner contrary to an enactment in relation to the certification of a caravan. The Board noted that it is important for electrical workers to understand the specific requirements when carrying out the certification of caravans which is:

Electrical Inspectors carrying out an Electrical Warrant of Fitness checks on such installations need to assess that the installation complies with Part 1 of AS/NZS 3000 Electrical installations before carrying out the usual inspection to AS/NZS 3001 Electrical Installations - Transportable structures and vehicles including their site supplies.

Failure to make safe

The electrical worker was found to have committed a disciplinary offence by carrying out prescribed electrical work (PEW) in a manner that was contrary to an enactment. The Board, however, decided not to take any disciplinary action. It is unusual for the Board not to take any action and not to impose a penalty but in this instance the overall circumstances of the case warranted that no action be taken. The Board was also impressed with certain aspects of the practitioner’s work and with the standard of the certification he provided which included notated electrical plans.

The case was one where, as a result of contractual issues, aspects of the PEW that were known to require remediation were left to accumulate and were not dealt with. This was notwithstanding that persons were residing in the dwelling and other contractors were working in and around it. The practitioner should have taken steps to deal with matters as and when they arose.

Electrical workers are reminded that if they find themselves in circumstances where the intended work cannot be completed and there are known aspects which are not safe or which are non-compliant then they need to take steps to at least bring this to the attention of the appropriate persons to ensure the PEW is made safe.