In February 2021, the Electrical Licensing Committee took disciplinary action against five licence holders:
- An electrical worker and Qualified Technical Person (QTP) failed to provide adequate supervision to ensure workers followed the required testing and inspection procedures prior to energising work.
An unterminated live wire was not inspected, resulting in a person receiving an electric shock.
The QTP was disqualified from being the QTP for the holder of an electrical contractor licence for six months and he must complete competency units prior to the disqualification being lifted.
- An electrical contractor failed to take sufficient precautions to prevent de-energised equipment from being inadvertently re-energised. There was insufficient auditing of employees’ work in the field to ensure procedures, legislation and Australian Standards were being met and insufficient on-going training of testing procedures. An unterminated switch wire was not identified during testing, leaving an exposed live cable after circuit re-energisation, resulting in an electric shock to a worker.
The contractor’s licence was suspended, deferred for twelve months to participate in the LEAD Program. Staff and employees will complete a baseline safety culture survey, attend an approved frontline safety leadership course, and participate in an evaluation survey and program closeout before the suspension is lifted. The LEAD program is designed to create a large-scale change in safety culture in the electrical industry.
- An electrical worker failed to perform testing as part of an installation of a new main switchboard. He failed to install a sub-main neutral between two switchboards, and subsequently another worker received burns from an energised equipotential bond.
The worker’s licence was suspended for three months and he was disqualified from being a QTP for six months. He must complete competency units prior to the suspension and disqualification being lifted and provide the committee with evidence of specific safe systems of work.
The licence holder was issued with a $500 penalty which will be listed on the licensing public register for three years.
- An electrical worker created an immediate electrical risk when he connected a metal shed with reversed polarity to a generator. In doing so, he exposed himself, a tradesperson, two apprentices, homeowners and their two young children to a high risk of death or injury.
The non-compliances were identified by Ergon Energy when they attended the site for an initial connection request.
The worker’s licence was suspended and he was disqualified from being a QTP for six months. He must complete competency units prior to the suspension and disqualification being lifted. He was issued with a severe reprimand and fined $600 which will be listed on the licensing public register for three years.
- An electrical contractor failed to demonstrate competency in the AS 3000 Wiring Rules, electrical safety, electrical risk and working on electrical installations at a residential property. A reverse polarity on the submain to a metal shed and other non-compliances were identified, posing an immediate electrical risk to people and property.
His licence was suspended for six months in which time he must ensure all employed QTPs complete competency units. He must also complete two approved electrical safety system audits from an independent auditor prior to the suspension being lifted. The contractor was issued with a severe reprimand and fined $1,200 which will be listed on the licensing public register for three years.
The committee’s actions were in addition to fines and notices already issued by the Electrical Safety Office.