Electron Issue 092

Keeping you up to date with the latest regulatory changes, exam reports, technical issues, consultation results and other issues affecting electrical workers - published June 2018

Electron empowering today's electrical workers

Registrar update

Dr Simon Robb portraitIt’s getting cold out there, so I hope you are getting plenty of inside projects to undertake – arguably an advantage of having a desk job?!

Thanks to those who responded to the Board’s surveys conducted recently (one for electrical workers and the other for employers that bulk renew licences). The feedback received helped to inform our work regarding the practising licenses renewal process review. We appreciate it takes time to participate in surveys, however, we do value what you have to say – the Board believes it is important for it to engage industry.

I attended my first Board breakfast 'meet and greet' at its April 2018 meeting in Rotorua. Presiding Member, Mel Orange’s presentation promoted a lot of insightful discussion, including the importance of good supervision and completing legally required documentation (there is an article on documentation in this issue). 

The meet and greets provide a good opportunity to hear from you and are one of the Board’s routine means of engagement. If one is scheduled nearby, please come along; if Rotorua’s meeting is anything to go by, you will have a hearty breakfast waiting – and there is no charge to boot.

In the near future additional topics will be included in the Toolbox. These will include a practical guide to mains polarity testing, an example of a correctly completed certificate of compliance (with guidance notes), and images of non-compliant work.

The Toolbox was introduced by the Board as a practical way to provide easily understandable and relevant information to assist electrical workers. The Board is committed to the continued growth of this educational resource.

There is an emphasis on safety in this issue of Electron, and a summary of two disciplinary hearings and one prosecution. I trust you find the articles informative.

All the best,
Simon Robb

Presiding Member's update

Portrait of Mel Orange

The Board was recently updated on the Minister for Building and Construction’s priorities for the construction industry. One of the main focuses for the Minister, the Honourable Jenny Salesa, is a skills strategy to support Kiwi Build. The goal for the strategy is to deliver the right people at the right time with the right skills to meet New Zealand’s needs. The Minister will consult on any strategies that are developed. Make sure you take the opportunity to have your say when the consultation occurs.

The Board is also reviewing its own strategy and business plan. In developing its strategy, the Board is looking to focus on its functions as set out in the Electricity Act and to develop on past initiatives while also taking into account the impact of future technologies. The revised strategy and business plan will be set out in a future edition of Electron.

During May, the Registrar and the Deputy Presiding Member attended the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (ERAC) meeting. ERAC is a council made up of representatives of the regulatory authorities responsible for electrical safety, supply and energy efficiency in New Zealand and the Australian states, territories and commonwealth. ERAC meets twice a year and regularly corresponds both internally and with industry stakeholders on regulatory issues with a view to developing recommendations for consistent operational policy across jurisdictions. It is crucial to developing and maintaining the 55 core competencies that New Zealand electrical trainees are assessed on.

Mel Orange
Presiding Member

e-Learning modules

From the beginning of 2018, all electrical workers are required to complete two e-Learning modules before attending an approved Board competency programme. These modules are designed to provide them with a baseline of understanding before they undertake the programme.

Find out more about e-Learning modules

Managing safety on small construction sites

Did you know that WorkSafe (Energy Safety) has published a guide that provides information about electrical supply and safety on small construction sites? The guide is intended for a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) who manages or controls a small construction site.

Find out more about managing safety on small construction sites

Managing asbestos

Businesses must now take greater responsibility for managing asbestos in their workplaces.

If you are a person who conducts a business undertaking (PCBU) and you know, or can reasonably expect that there is a risk of exposure to respirable asbestos fibres in a workplace, then you must make sure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that all asbestos or material containing asbestos is identified.

Find out more about managing asbestos

Disciplinary hearings

The Board held a hearing in which the Respondent was found to have committed a disciplinary offence by failing to provide a copy of a certificate of compliance to a homeowner within 10 days of one being requested. The conduct was a breach of Regulation 74E(4) of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010. The practitioner was censured and ordered to pay costs.

Find out more about this and other hearings