Disciplinary action for five licence holders


Tuesday, 19 January, 2021


Disciplinary action for five licence holders

The Electrical Licensing Committee took disciplinary action against five licence holders throughout November and December 2020, according to WorkSafe Queensland. These included:

1. An electrical worker who was also a qualified technical person (QTP) supervised multiple non-compliant electrical installations.

An inspection of a grid connect PV generating system revealed a number of non-compliances including:

  • cables lying on the roof
  • failure to maintain IP rating of electrical equipment
  • plastic cable ties used as primary means of support
  • failure to provide adequate overcurrent protection on consumer mains
  • failure to ensure DC isolators are suitably rated to interrupt the current.
     

Separate incidents saw further non-compliant grid connect solar installations, resulting in fires and significant property damage.

The worker’s licence was suspended for six months and he must complete competency units prior to the suspension being lifted. He was also disqualified from being a QTP for 12 months and fined $1000, which will be listed on the licensing public register for three years.

2. An electrical contractor failed to implement safe systems of work, resulting in workers and the public being exposed to the risk of electric shock and fire. The contractor and their QTP were involved in multiple non-compliant grid connect solar installations which resulted in a house fire and significant property damage.

The contractor’s licence was cancelled at the time of the hearing due to external administration, however he was disqualified from holding an electrical contractor licence for two years. He must ensure the QTP undertakes the QTP units of competency within six months and additional business competency units within 12 months. He was fined $2000 and was issued with a reprimand, both of which will be listed on the licensing public register for three years.

3. An electrical worker failed to perform adequate and compliant testing (including a complete visual inspection) on the electrical work he was connecting and energising. He was installing lighting points in a large commercial store when he failed to identify a missing light switch and left an unterminated cable.

Later that day, a worker from an air-conditioning company installed flexible conductive duct in the same location which contacted the energised unterminated light switch cable and gave the worker an electric shock.

The worker’s licence was suspended for six months and he must complete competency units prior to the suspension being lifted. He was also fined $500 and issued a severe reprimand, both of which will be listed on the licensing public register for three years.

4. An electrical worker who was also a QTP did not provide adequate supervision to an apprentice during an air-conditioning system upgrade.

He failed to ensure electrical equipment had not been inadvertently re-energised while work was being carried out after a worker cut off cables and refrigeration pipes to a three-phase ducted air-conditioning unit and placed electrical tape across the circuit breaker. The insulating tape was later removed, and there was no warning sign or device present at the circuit distribution board which prevented the circuit from being inadvertently energised.

As a result, an apprentice received an electric shock after contacting the uninsulated end of an energised TPS cable. The QTP returned to the site after the incident, placing a danger tag on the circuit breaker and PVC duct tape on the ends of the supply cables. He coiled the air conditioner supply cables and secured them to a ceiling truss with PVC duct tape.

The QTP’s work licence was suspended for six months and he was disqualified from being a QTP. He must complete competency units prior to the suspension and his disqualification being lifted. He was issued with a reprimand and fined $500, which will be listed on the licensing public register for three years.

5. An electrical contractor failed to implement safe systems of work, resulting in an apprentice receiving an electric shock. There was insufficient ongoing training of lock out tag out procedures, insufficient inspection and test procedures and auditing of employees’ work, which resulted in a worker and QTP leaving an exposed unterminated cable.

The contractor’s licence was suspended for six months, in which time he must ensure competency of all QTPs and qualified business persons (QBPs) employed. He must complete two approved electrical safety system audits from an independent auditor prior to the suspension being lifted. He was issued with a reprimand and fined $1000, 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.

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/isgaby

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