The Electrical Licensing Committee took disciplinary action against five licence holders this month:
- A qualified technical person (QTP) failed to ensure the competency standard required for electrical installation by the electrical workers, failing to adequately supervise the electrical workers on-site.
The QTP was to oversee the electrical installation on a TAFE Queensland outbuilding that was being refurbished as a nurse training facility. The installation involved several elements including general services (for example submains, hot water, air-conditioning, power outlets), lighting installation, emergency lighting, nurse call, PTZ cameras and more. The Electrical Safety Office (ESO) responded to concerns regarding the electrical installation and the inspector noted multiple contraventions.
The QTP was immediately disqualified from being a QTP on an electrical contractor licence for 10 years, issued with a severe reprimand and a $4,000 penalty.
- An electrical worker was discovered undertaking electrical work without a current electrical licence. ESO responded to reports from the property owner concerned about the workmanship being carried out on their property. Upon further investigation, the inspector determined the electrical cabling and equipment (socket outlets, fans, and lights) did not provide adequate support within the areas likely to be disturbed.
The inspector questioned the worker who admitted completing the work and accepting cash payments, and not issuing invoices for the completed works. It was also established that the electrical worker's licence had been suspended by the Electrical Licensing Committee in 2021 for not fulfilling the conditions placed on the licence for non-compliant work.
The worker's licence was immediately cancelled, and the worker disqualified from holding an electrical work licence and from being a QTP on an electrical contractor licence for 10 years. The electrical worker was issued with a severe reprimand and a $4,000 penalty.
- An electrical worker failed to ensure an apprentice ran appropriate tests to ensure circuits were isolated. The electrical worker and apprentice were replacing skirting ducting and power points in a control room at a treatment plant facility.
The pair identified three circuits needing to be isolated. Two were identified via the switchboard legends and locks and tags were applied. The protective device for the third circuit could not be located. While the tradesperson was resolving another issue on site, he instructed the apprentice to "make safe". The apprentice continued removing the power points and received an electric shock.
The worker's licence was suspended for three months, and the worker must complete competency units prior to the suspension being lifted. The licence holder was issued with a caution and a $300 penalty. This was in addition to receiving an infringement notice from the ESO totaling $200.
- An electrical contractor failed to implement safe systems of work and ensure all mandatory tests were completed when relocating a main switchboard from an existing pole adjacent to a new property pole.
After the work was completed by an electrical worker and an apprentice, the contractor was notified by tenants that they were receiving electrical shocks from metallic equipment. The QTP investigated the issue with an independent earth and found the mains were reversed polarity at the point of attachment.
While the contractor had policies and procedures in place, access to the documentation was limited. No hard copies or policies and procedures were carried in vehicles.
The contractor's licence was suspended for six months. The contractor must complete an approved electrical safety system audit from an independent auditor prior to the suspension being lifted. The contractor was issued with a caution and a $1,000 penalty.
- An electrical contractor failed to implement safe systems of work and procedures. The contractor was engaged by a Surf Lifesaving Club (SLSC) to install a 100kW grid connected crystalline PV system.
An electrical contractor who attended the SLSC to perform another job contacted ESO to report non-compliances associated with the install. ESO attended the site and the inspector confirmed multiple non-compliance issues in contravention of s71 of the ES Regulation. The contractor was required to return and install extra bracing for PV array modules and rectify issues covered in an improvement notice issued by ESO.
The contractor's licence was suspended for six months. The contractor must complete an approved electrical safety system audit from an independent auditor and their associated QTPs must complete competency units prior to the suspension being lifted. The contractor was issued with a caution and a $500 penalty. This was in addition to receiving an infringement notice from the ESO totaling $800.
The committee's actions were in addition to fines and notices already issued by the Electrical Safety Office.