Electron Issue 116
Keeping you up to date with the latest regulatory changes, exam reports, technical issues, consultation results and other issues affecting electrical workers - published October 2022.
Deputy Presiding members update
The Board, as part of its June meeting, spent time engaging with stakeholders discussing the Boards Strategic plan. We received excellent feedback and input from our stakeholders, giving us lots to consider for the future.
One of the next focuses for the Board is Works Competencies. The Board is in the process of starting a project to review Works Competencies and have approached various stakeholders to participate. We hope to start this review early 2023 once we have established the working group. This will be similar to our review of electrical worker competency and our 55 Core Competencies.
As always, the Board encourages all workers to look after their mental health. With the silly season fast approaching, and the additional pressures this adds to an already stretched workforce, it is more important than ever to look out for your own and your co-workers mental and physical health. Remember, if things start going sideways, stop, step back, and re-evaluate.
Finally, the Board is currently looking for three new board members. If you are interested in a role on the Board, check the EWRB website in the coming weeks and months for details of the positions and how to apply.
Deputy Presiding Member
Kia ora koutou,
Welcome to the October 2022 edition and 116th publication of the Electron.
One of the featured articles contains a guide for employers that are considering employing overseas electrical workers (EW). This highlights the employer’s responsibility to ensure overseas workers have limited certificates and remain adequately supervised in accordance with Boards supervision procedures.
It is also a good opportunity for me to explain under what strict restrictions a trainee may issue an Electrical Safety Certificate (ESC), while also reiterating that under no circumstances can trainees issue a Certificate of Compliance (CoC).
All prescribed electrical work (PEW) completed by a trainee must be certified by the supervisor, noting that a trainee may conditionally issue an ESC for some (but not all) types of “low risk” PEW, as defined in Regulation 6A (1) of the Electrical (Safety) Regulations 2012 (ESR).
Regulation 6A (1)(external link) – New Zealand Legislation
Please note, this is only permitted if the supervisor agrees to allow the trainee to issue an ESC, and only under the following principal conditions:
- A trainee may not complete an ESC for any maintenance, repair, or replacement (low risk PEW) carried out on any types of work listed in Regulation 6A (2), and
Regulation 6A (2)(external link) – New Zealand Legislation
- Any ESC issued by the trainee must be countersigned and dated by the supervisor in accordance with Regulation 74 A (3) of the ESR.
Regulation 74 A (3)(external link) – New Zealand Legislation
For a more comprehensive coverage of conditions, please refer to the ‘Verification of Trainee’s Work’ (page 9) through the following link:
This should also be read in conjunction with the Supervision Companion Guide which sets out what good supervision looks like in a clear and user-friendly format.
The Board have asked me to bring attention to the provisions in Section 160 of the Electricity Act 1992 (the Act), relating to false declarations and/or representations for the purposes of obtaining registration or a practicing licence.
Section 160 of the Electricity Act 1992(external link) – New Zealand Legislation
Applicants or their referees that present misleading, false, or untrue documents, including certificates, work experience references or similar, will be subject to investigation and further action if they come to the attention of the Board. A retrospective investigation will be actioned irrespective of whether a registration or licence had already been granted. If it was subsequently found to have been wrongly granted because of false or misleading information this can result in the Board withdrawing or suspending a person’s registration or licence. I would advise all parties presenting such evidence to the Board to ensure it is true and accurate in all instances.
In the last Electron there was an article about EWs seeking authoritative answers to questions in relation to their work.
I wish to clarify that the Board provides authoritative information and resources with respect to their legislative purposes under Section 149 of the Act.
Section 149 of the Electricity Act 1992(external link) – New Zealand Legislation
These functions include, amongst others, setting electrical registration and licencing criteria; establishing limits of work; setting training and qualification requirements; setting competency programme standards; monitoring and reviewing EW competency; and carrying out complaint investigations and disciplinary hearings. If you have questions that are outside the Boards jurisdiction, I suggest reviewing the following article in the Board’s Toolbox which has some suggested avenues to approach:
Managing unfinished work.
One of the recurring themes during the Board’s investigations into complaints are safety issues that result when work is left incomplete. Unfinished work may be the result of any number of reasons which may or may not be within the control of the EW. Managing potential safety risks around unfinished work is important and having planned controls and appropriate work practices in place to offset these risks is recommended. If this is something you feel you need to know more about, I suggest reading the article, What happens if I can’t finish a job, how can I certify that work?, and the two linked articles within.
Please take the time to review these and all the other articles within this Electron, including the two safety articles supplied by Energy Safety. One of these emphasizes the importance of connection integrity and testing of electric vehicle (EV) charging units, and the other highlights the compliance risks associated with imported electrical equipment.
Finally, take care, work safely, and thank you for taking the time to read this edition of the Electron.
If you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know by emailing them to Registrations@ewrb.govt.nz.
Mā te wā
Registrar of Electrical Workers
Standard of the Month: AS/NZS 3000 (Australian /New Zealand Wiring Rules), Section 8 – Verification
Before any new work on an installation is bought into service, the commissioning electrical worker must ensure it is safe. Section 8 of AS/NZS 3000 sets out the minimum mandatory tests and standards that must be carried out and achieved to verify the work is safe to “enliven” and use.
Section 8 verification sets out the application and requirements, which includes: visual inspection with suggested checklist, notes on testing, mandatory tests, sequence of these tests, and compliant results of the testing.
AS/NZS 3000 is one of the over 90 other standards that are available for all licenced electrical workers to access from the Boards portal:
Safety verification of unfinished work
Unfinished or partially completed work may be a consequence of delay, dispute, decommissioning, handover, or other reason which may or may not be within the control of the EW. Dependent on the circumstances, incomplete work can pose higher safety risks and has the potential to create an unsafe situation.
It is important to note that applicable testing, safety verification, and visual inspection principles in Section 8 of AS/NZS 3000 can also be applied to unfinished work to ensure the installation is left in a safe state.
Further guidance on dealing with unfinished work is available from the following links, and the helpful tips included below:
- What happens if I can’t finish a job, how can I certify that work?
- Leaving a decommissioned area safe
If work is left unfinished, the workplace must remain or be left in a safe state. This can be achieved, for example, by:
- terminating/insulating any exposed conductors;
- physically securing any exposed conductors or surrounding metal work;
- tagging and isolating the electrical equipment and the workplace area;
- informing affected persons at the workplace the work is not complete and advising of potential hazards;
- taking any necessary precautions to ensure that electrical equipment cannot become inadvertently re-energised;
- ensuring that the status of switchboards and electrical equipment are clearly and correctly labelled; and/or
- handing over adequate information to workers taking up the unfinished work to allow them to continue the work safely.
Featured Content from Standards New Zealand
Current, cited, superseded, or withdrawn – which standard should you use?
Standards New Zealand provides access to over 140,000 international, joint Australian/New Zealand, and New Zealand Standards and related documents. This massive online collection is made up of current, superseded, and withdrawn versions of Standards, some of which may be cited. Please see the following article for more information:
Current, cited, superseded or withdrawn – which standard should you use?(external link) – Standards New Zealand
Corded and electric? Test it and tag it with AS/NZS 3760
AS/NZS 3760 – In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment and RCDs can help users keep themselves and their equipment safe while demonstrating compliance with electricity safety regulations. Please see the following article for more information:
Corded and electric? Test it and tag it with AS/NZS 3760(external link) – Standards New Zealand
Segregation of wiring systems in connectable installations
There are several vital considerations and provisions when installing and verifying the safety of electrical wiring within connectable installations, such as boats, caravans, motorhomes, and mobile medical facilities.
One of these is to ensure there is appropriate separation or segregation of wiring systems, which may be a combination of low and extra low voltage, or in grouping with alternating current (AC)and direct current (DC) supplies. All new work, or safety verification and testing of existing installations, prior to issuing a Warrant of Electrical Fitness (WoEF) should ensure the required segregation is in place in accordance with the appropriate Standards.
All connectable installations are subject to the requirements of AS/NZS 3000, and importantly, the additional provisions of the prescribed standard for the type of connectable installation.
Clause 184.108.40.206 of AS/NZS 3000 states cables of low and extra low voltage circuits may only be enclosed in the same wiring system if:
- The low voltage cables are the equivalent of double insulation
- Conductors in multicore cables are insulated to the highest voltage present
- Low voltage cables should be in a separate compartment with fixed continuous barriers
Additional provisions/variations to AS/NZS 3000 requirements
These additional requirements or variations are listed in the appropriate sections of the following Standards for the specific types of installations below. Care must be exercised, and suitable segregation should be in place for wiring systems with AC and DC circuits, or low and extra low voltage circuits, or potential combinations of all these circuit types.
- Boats/pleasure vessels are also subject to the additional provisions of AS/NZS 3004.2.
- Mobile medical facilities are also subject to the additional provisions of NZS 6115, AS/NZS 3001 and AS/NZS 3003.
- Caravans, motorhomes, food vending trucks, and similar are also subject to additional provisions of AS/NZS 3001.
Further information relating to electrical segregation is available from the following link:
Featured content from Energy Safety
We have reached the point where an electrical vehicle (EV) charging load will often exceed 40 amps, taking the maximum demand of most residential installations well beyond their design capacity. When installing an EV charger the rating of the main fuse or circuit breaker is an obvious thing to check, but it is also important to ensure that volt drop is not exceeded. Reduced voltage can cause motors of appliances to overheat.
While the demand of most appliances is not consistent, this is not the case for an EV charger which may draw a constant load for several hours. It is important therefore that the “tightness” of connections likely to carry the increased load are checked, and any connections showing signs of overheating replaced. This is especially true for the mains switch or Circuit Breaker.
Following the installation of an EV charger it is also important to test the earth fault loop impedance and the condition of the main earthing lead and the electrode.
Given the dangers associated with a failing main neutral it is good practice to remind the occupants that if they are receiving tingles from electrical equipment or plumbing fittings or have significant dimming of lights that they should swich off the EV charger and have their electrical installation checked by a licenced Electrician or Electrical Inspector.
Imported electrical equipment
Online shopping has become commonplace. Please note however, that while imported electrical equipment might appear to operate safely, not all electrical equipment available online will be safe to use in NZ.
As a very minimum, the voltage rating must be 230 volts, or a range including 230 volts. 220 volt or 240 volt markings are simply not “close enough”!
And remember, a plug that is not a New Zealand plug is a give-away of unsuitable equipment, so simply changing a plug for a client is not safe behaviour. Instructions for equipment purchased should also be in English, as they give advice on risks present and safe behaviour for users.
There are products that are sold on the basis of overseas compliance markings, including the European CE marking and the Chinese CCC marking. With the exception of the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM), i.e., the same marking required on a CoC, all other markings have no relevance in NZ.
Nor does testing a new appliance to AS/NZS 3760 verify the safety of the appliance. “Test and Tag” requirements will only provide an in-service test safety indication for an appliance that was originally manufactured for use in NZ.
Senior Technical Advisor
- Utilise your regulatory leadership skills and knowledge of the electrical workers industry
- Interesting, varied, and challenging role
- Permanent opportunity either based in Auckland or Wellington CBD
Occupational Regulation are currently looking for a Senior Technical Advisor to join the team. This role will have a specialised focus on the Electrical Workers Licensing Scheme. In this role you will be responsible for providing high quality technical advice, in support of Occupational Licensing/Registration functions, the Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB), to practitioners, stakeholders and the wider Occupation Regulation and making decisions under delegation and/or support to the appropriate person for making statutory decisions for licensing, assessments and examinations.
Nga pukenga me nga wheako e hiahiatia ana - Skills and experience required:
- Significant industry experience as a thought leader in the Electrical industry, this includes knowledge of current Electrical laws, policy, procedures, guidelines, and occupational licensing requirements;
- A demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the principles of occupational regulation, natural justice, and fairness;
- Capability to establish positive external relationships with a wide variety of organisations, groups, and individuals.
- Excellent writing skills, that is the ability to present ideas, information, and advice, in a way that is understandable and acceptable by a range of audiences;
- Strong analytical skills and a demonstrated ability to exercise sound, reasoned judgement and decision making.
You can read more about the role and apply online through the MBIE website here:
Senior Technical Advisor(external link) – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Employing overseas electrical workers
When New Zealand employers or companies are considering employing or engaging overseas electrical workers (EW) they should be aware of their legal obligations to comply with limited certificate (LC) conditions and supervision requirements. This will ensure those persons remain working legally and safely and will be supported to gain NZ electrical registration. This is a short guide to assist employers to understand the registration process and their legal responsibilities.
Overseas EW progress to registration overview
- Following an application for registration, the EW will be assessed for skills based on qualifications, training, and experience.
- Based on the assessment they may have to complete one or more of the following requirements: Practical Assessments, Theory and/or Regulatory examinations, and a specified amount of supervised prescribed electrical work (PEW) in a New Zealand environment.
- To work legally and have this New Zealand work experience recognized by the EWRB, the EW, with employer and/or supervisor support, must have applied for and be issued with a limited certificate (LC).
- Holding an LC gives the overseas EW the status of a trainee.
- A trainee is defined in the Electricity Act 1992 and means that a person who holds an LC issued by the Board is undergoing instruction or training in a class PEW for the purpose of obtaining registration.
- To be issued with an LC, the EW must have a declared and documented supervisor who is responsible for and certifies the PEW the EW carries out as a trainee.
- Any change in supervisor must be declared and documented to the EWRB.
- Once the EW has completed all their required examinations and work experience, they can apply for a practising licence to complete their registration.
- As part of the registration application, the EW is required to provide signed references from their employer and/or supervisor attesting to the PEW experience they have carried out.
This process is clearly set out on the EWRB website and can be accessed from the following link:
Guidance for the employer and/or company
- Always ensure the EW holds a current LC: This will enable them to work legally and have their work experience recognized for registration. Failure to do so can result in a Board investigation. LCs are issued for a set amount of time to give the trainee time to complete work experience and other registration requirements, such as examinations.
- Conditions of holding a LC: Within three months of issue, the EW must have completed an approved Safety Training course in safe working practices, testing, CPR and first aid. The Board’s expectation is that the employer or company will, as part of their supervision obligations, ensure this condition is complied with.
- Ensure the EW is appropriately supervised at all times: The employer has a legal responsibility to ensure trainees are adequately supervised under
Regulation 101 (4) of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 1992(external link) – New Zealand Legislation
- Update supervision details if they change: Notify the Board any time a trainee leaves your employment, or a supervisor leaves, requiring a change in supervisor for their trainees. This can be done either through the supervisor’s EW online portal, or by contacting the EWRB Service Centre:
- Use resources available: The Board has provided the following guidance to assist in applying appropriate supervision practices:
Interview with Ashlea Morris
Clinical Engineer for Te Whatu Ora Te Matau a Māui, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board (HBDHB)
Ashlea grew up in South Auckland as one of seven brothers and sisters. Her parents own their own security business that most of her siblings work for. Ashlea realised from a young age that her passion lay in the medical industry, wanting to make a difference to patients. Initially she was thinking of pursuing nursing, until she accidently found herself in a presentation after one of her lectures.
Ashlea’s role as a Clinical Engineer at Te Whatu Ora Te Matau a Māui, Hawke's Bay (formerly Hawke's Bay District Health Board), involves diagnosing and repairing medical equipment issues and assisting with the procurement of new medical equipment.
What encouraged you to become a Clinical Engineer?
I was always interested in engineering but didn’t know that Clinical Engineering even existed until I was attending a lecture and didn’t pack up quickly enough, so the following presentation started, and the presenter was talking about Clinical Engineering. The more I heard the more it became clear this was the career path for me as it combined my childhood passion to be involved in the medical field and engineering. From there I did my placement for my studies at Middlemore, and with assistance from Whatu Ora Te Matau a Māui, Hawke's Bay, I’ve completed all the Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB) requirements to gain my full registration as an Electrical Appliance Serviceperson (Endorsed to Disconnect and Connect).
What are some of your insights of the industry in relation to women working in it?
Clinical Engineering is a male dominated industry. I think that is because a lot of people when choosing what they want to study don’t even know such a field is an option. A lot of men decide to study Electrical Engineering and from there get introduced to the specialisation of Clinical Engineering. As a whole though, the industry needs more people as Clinical Engineering is an ageing work force.
Is there anything women specifically bring to the industry that benefits it?
Women tend to bring more empathy and are more comfortable engaging with patients. Often, I have had to come check on equipment in a ward while a patient is there. It obviously can be a scary time for a patient in hospital and I think women bring the empathy and bedside manner to reassure and comfort those patients.
What’s next for you?
For now, I’m very happy where I am. With technology changing all the time, it means there is always something more to learn. I am also lucky where I am at Hawke’s Bay Memorial Hospital as I get to work across all the departments and machines. In a couple of years, I would be really interested in travelling or spending some time working in another country. I have always wanted to go to Canada, I think it’s a beautiful country and I would love to live somewhere with a lot of snow.
Rafe Fannin, Electrician, E 283485, EW 144461 of Whangarei
Ross Brewster, Electrician, E 3316, EW 048626 of Auckland
The Board also dealt with three other matters in May and June where the Board decided that it would not name the electrical worker.