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Electrical apprentices must be supervised during flood recovery work

During flood recovery activity in North Queensland, Electrical Safety Office inspectors have come across several instances where electrical apprentices are performing electrical work without adequate supervision.

This is an urgent reminder for employers that it is vital apprentices are supervised at all times by licensed and competent workers.

Employers must ensure that the supervision provided is appropriate, with consideration given to:

  • the type of work being performed
  • the skill and competence of each apprentice
  • the level of risk associated with the work
  • the supervisory experience of the supervisor.

Electrical work carried out on flood damaged electrical installations has additional risks including:

  • water damaged electrical equipment
  • exposed live parts as the result of removed wall sheets
  • temporary sources of supply in use such as generators and solar PV systems.

What may have been considered adequate supervision for normal electrical work may not be adequate for flood recovery work. Employers must fully assess the risks at each work site and ensure that apprentice supervision levels address those risks.

Remember—a licensed electrical worker supervising an apprentice is ultimately responsible for any testing of electrical work performed by the apprentice.