Electron Issue 124

Keeping you up to date with the latest regulatory changes, exam reports, technical issues, consultation results and other issues affecting electrical workers - published 29 February

Presiding Member's update

Portrait of Presiding Member Russell KeysKia ora koutou

Welcome to the New Year 2024

I hope you all had a safe, relaxing Christmas Break and are looking forward to a busy, productive year ahead.

2024 looks to be a busy and exciting year for the board and wider industry with the adoption of Stepped Licencing happening in September. The board is working with MBIE and stakeholders to work through the systems that will need to be in place by September.

Finally, we have one vacancy currently advertised for a Board member if you or someone you know may be interested. You can find out more about the role and the role advertisement below. Applications close on Sunday 10 March 2024.

Electrical Workers Registration Board - Member - about the role(external link) – MBIE

Electrical Workers Registration Board - Member - job advertisement(external link) – MBIE

Russell Keys
Presiding Member

Registrar update

Photo of Duncan ConnorKia ora

Welcome to the first Electron for 2024.

I hope many of you managed to spend some time relaxing over the summer with whānau and friends, refreshing yourself for the year ahead. For those of you who worked through, I hope you have a decent break planned in the coming months.

I want to take the time to remind you about the MATES programme available to you as a worker in the construction industry. If you or someone you know in the industry is struggling or needs help, call 0800 111 315. You can find out more about the MATES programme on their website.

mates.net.nz(external link) – Mates in construction

When visiting our website you may notice a change in the navigation and structure. This has been done to make it easier for you to find the information you need. Keep an eye out because we will go into further detail on these changes in future editions of the Electron.

Take care, work safely, and thank you for taking the time to read this edition of the newsletter.

If you have any comments or suggestions for future editions, please let me know by emailing registrations@ewrb.govt.nz.

Duncan Connor
Registrar of Licensed Electrical Workers

Importance of following the Electric Vehicle Charging Safety Guidelines

WorkSafe – Energy Safety recently investigated an incident that involved electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) installed in a residential garage.

An electric vehicle was plugged in to charge for the first time after installation of the EVSE, and this resulted in the main MEN switchboard bursting into flames.

EVSE can draw a substantial load over a long period of time which places a large demand on the electrical installation. It is important that any kind of electrical work that is carried out on an existing installation be thoroughly checked before enlivening. AS/NZS 3000:2007 Section 8 specifically talks about existing installations and the need for verification.

The Electric Vehicle Charging Safety Guidelines contains guidance for adding EVSE to an existing installation. These Guidelines, including the addendums, are intended to be read in conjunction with AS/NZS 3000:2007 and the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010.

Electric Vehicle Charging Safety Guidelines(external link) – WorkSafe New Zealand

The investigation found that the final subcircuit that protected the EVSE was installed in a sub-distribution board in the garage, not the MEN switchboard.

This case is an example of a EVSE installation where the final subcircuit did not originate from the MEN switchboard as per the Guidelines and the MEN switchboard was not opened and checked to ensure the reliability of the existing fittings.

The installer was aware of the guidelines at the time of installation but nonetheless installed the protection in the sub-distribution board without verifying the electrical safety of the installation.

Energy Safety considered that by not following the Electric Vehicle Charging Safety Guidelines the electrical worker failed to meet the requirements of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 by not ensuring that the installation of the EVSE had not adversely affected the electrical safety of the rest of the installation.  An infringement fine of $1000 was issued to the electrical worker. 

Energy Safety advises electrical workers to take the time to check that the connections between conductors, and between conductors and other fittings, are secure and reliable. Ensure that the existing installation and fittings will be suitable and capable of carrying the additional load from the EVSE.

Photograph of the burnt main MEN switchboard.

Stepped Licensing Implementation Update

The Gazette notices outlining the new registration and competency requirements for the new Stepped Licensing framework come into force on 1 September 2024. We are busy working on the implementation of these changes. We will be putting out more information soon which will give you the information you need to get licensed in the endorsement classes.

Unsafe Serene Classic S2068 wall mounted bathroom heaters prohibited

WorkSafe have published a prohibition for the sale of Serene Classic S2068 wall mounted bathroom heaters. There have been several fires and overheating events associated with these heaters. Click the link to view the WorkSafe article.

Unsafe Serene Classic S2068 wall mounted bathroom heaters prohibited(external link) - WorkSafe New Zealand

Disciplinary hearings – February 2024

In this month’s disciplinary articles, there are several cases where electrical workers failed to apply specific electrical standards that applied to their prescribed electrical work.

Find out more about these hearings