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Electrical prosecutions and disciplinary actions

The consequences of unsafe or unlicensed electrical work can be tragic.The Electrical Safety Office (ESO) will prosecute and take disciplinary action against offenders who breach legislation.

Prosecutions

Information about successful prosecutions helps to deter unsafe work practices.The following case studies highlight the importance of having the correct knowledge and licence when doing electrical work in Queensland.

Case study 1: A business advertising air conditioning installation and repair was fined $10,000 after repeat offences. After being issued with an Electrical Safety Protection Notice (ESPN) and a $500 infringement notice in 2014 for installing a ceiling fan, air conditioning units and a TV point without an electrical contractor licence, the owner/operator of the business offended a further three times in the following six months. In addition to the $10,000 fine, he was ordered to pay professional costs of $750, and ordered to not further offend against the Act for a period of two years (or be penalised a further $1000 if convicted of an offence within this period).

Case study 2: In July 2016, a defendant pleaded guilty to having represented himself as a licensed electrical worker. He was fined $1100, ordered professional costs of $1500 and given a two year court ordered undertaking (with an order to pay $1100 if convicted of an offence within this period).

Although the defendant had completed an electrical apprenticeship in his birth country of Lebanon, he had not completed the Queensland electrical licence application forms as accurately and correctly as possible. When working (or applying to work) in the licensed electrical industry in Queensland, individuals must ensure that all documentary material, including qualifications are accurate and valid.

Disciplinary actions

If a licensed worker does unsafe, negligent or incompetent electrical work, the Electrical Licensing Committee can cancel or suspend their licence, impose fines, or order them to correct faults. Examples of disciplinary actions are published to electricalsafety.qld.gov.au as a deterrent to practising unsafe electrical work.

Example 1: A homeowner’s son received two minor electric shocks after an electrical worker performed non-compliant electrical work.The Electrical Licensing Committee’s disciplinary action resulted in the suspension of the worker’s electrical work licence until the completion of competency unit UEENEEG198A, and the six month disqualification of the electrical contractor’s QTP status.

Example 2: An apprentice received burns to 20 per cent of her body because two electrical workers were conducting unsafe electrical work. Both of the workers were prosecuted under the Act and fined $6000. They were also fined a further $400 by Electrical Licensing Committee, required to complete a competency unit UEENEEG198A, and had their electrical work licences amended for 12 months to state, ‘May only be used for the purpose of undertaking specific training requested by the Electrical Licensing Committee’.

Further information

For more information about prosecutions, disciplinary actions and electrical licensing in Queensland, visit electricalsafety.qld.gov.au.

Last updated
02 February 2017

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