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Electrical worker loses licence for five years

The Electrical Licensing Committee disqualified an electrical worker from holding an electrical work licence for five years. He repeatedly conducted defective electrical work across South East Queensland, posing serious risk to the safety of people and property.

The electrical worker installed a split system air conditioner unit at a residential property without the outdoor unit electrical service cover. The missing cover meant live parts were exposed and he failed to meet wiring rules requirements. The tenants of the home immediately installed a temporary fence to protect children from the exposed live parts.

In a separate incident, he was engaged to install downlights and relocate and replace socket outlets and light switches in a domestic dwelling. Our inspector found multiple wiring rule non-compliances, including:

  • an energised light circuit neutral conductor unterminated and floating inside the switchboard
  • an unsecured switchboard circuit breaker escutcheon panel
  • ten energised light switches left hanging off the wall
  • a socket outlet hanging out of the ceiling space with the rear cover missing, exposing energised terminals
  • three unterminated lighting cables in the ceiling space with electrical tape used as means of termination.

The non-compliances and exposed live parts were a serious risk to the safety of the home occupants.

More defective work by the licence holder resulted in Energex attending a property after the owner reported receiving an electric shock after having downlights, smoke alarms and light switches installed. A serious defect of a reverse polarity connection was identified at the mains connection box. As a result of the reverse connection, earthed conductive material within the dwelling became live.

The committee determined that grounds existed for disciplinary action because:

  • the work performed was not electrically safe
  • the person who performed the work was negligent or incompetent in performing the work
  • the work meant that people and property were not electrically safe.

The committee also considered it likely that further unsafe work resulting in electrical risks for people and property would continue if disciplinary action was not taken.

The workers licence was cancelled immediately and he was disqualified from holding an electrical work licence for five years. He was further disqualified from being the QTP for an electrical contractor for ten years and was fined $4000.

The committee’s actions were in addition to fines and notices already issued by the Electrical Safety Office.