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Electrical licensing disciplinary actions

electrical licensing disciplinary action

The Queensland Electrical Safety committee has instituted a range of electrical licensing disciplinary procedures on seven electricians for failing to manage a range of safety related actions at Queensland workplaces. The disciplinary actions have reportedly come after a range of fines and notices have been issued by the Queensland Electrical Safety Office.

Under the provisions of Queensland legislation, electrician’s may receive disciplinary action if they performing unsafe, negligent or incompetent electrical work, supply incorrect or misleading information to obtain an electrical licence, no longer complying with the eligibility requirements for the licence, and commit an offence under the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld).

According to the requirements for electrical licensing, the Electrical Licensing Committee may take a range of disciplinary action including cancelling or amending the licence, suspending the licence, putting conditions on the licence, imposing fines or ordering electrical contractors to correct faults or defects.

Case details for electrical licensing disciplinary action

Failure to test and isolate

An electrical worker received a shock and burns after he failed to test and isolate before an installation on a live circuit breaker. He also exposed an electrical apprentice with less than six months experience to energised equipment. His licence was suspended for three months and he must complete competency units prior to the suspension being lifted. He was also fined $800 which will be listed on the licensing public register for three years.

Failure to adequately supervise and implement safe systems for electrical works

An electrical work licence holder responsible for supervising electrical work, failed to adequately supervise an electrical worker and implement safe systems of work. The supervisor tasked an electrical worker and an apprentice with testing and energising a switchboard but failed to take precautions to prevent de-energised equipment being inadvertently re-energised. As a result, the worker received a shock and the apprentice was exposed to the risk of shock. The supervisor’s licence was suspended for three months and he must complete competency units prior to the suspension being lifted. He was also fined $800 which will be listed on the licensing public register for three years.

Inadequate supervision of electrical workers by QTP

The qualified technical person (QTP) for an electrical contractor failed to adequately supervise electrical workers on-site and identify electrical hazards and risks. Failure to ensure safe systems of work and adequate testing procedures resulted in a worker conducting an electrical installation on energised equipment and receiving a shock and burns to his hands. The QTP’s electrical work licence was suspended for three months and he must complete competency units prior to the suspension being lifted. The QTP was also fined $400 which will be listed on the licensing public register for three years.

Failure to verify competence and safe systems of electrical work

An electrical contractor failed to implement and enforce appropriate safe systems of work and procedures and to verify the competency of workers.  An electrical worker received a shock and burns and an apprentice was exposed to energised equipment. The contractor’s licence was suspended, deferred for nine months to allow participation in the Safety Leadership at Work LEAD program. Employees will be required to complete a baseline safety culture survey, attend a Frontline Safety leadership course and participate in an evaluation survey and program closeout before the suspension is lifted. The LEAD program aims to create large-scale change in safety culture in the electrical industry.

Competency when connecting a current transformer meter to a source

An electrical worker failed to demonstrate competency in electrical safety and electrical risk when connecting a current transformer meter to a source of electricity without circuit protection and testing to ensure it was electrically safe. When operating the main isolator, an internal short within the electrical meter occurred, resulting in a catastrophic failure of the meter. The worker received an arc flash and was treated for burns. His licence was suspended for three months and he must complete competency units prior to the suspension being lifted. He was also fined $300.

Safe work methods resulting in arc flash

An electrical worker failed to implement a safe work method, assess risks and test for dead before undertaking an electrical installation. He failed to ensure the electrical equipment was isolated and safe to work on. He was performing electrical work on a main switchboard as part of a solar PV system installation while it was energised. As a result, he received an arc flash and burns. His licence was suspended for three months and he must complete competency units prior to the suspension being lifted. He was also fined $400 which will be listed on the licensing public register for three years.

Inadequate implementation of safe systems of electrical work results in suspension

An electrical contractor failed to implement safe systems of work, procedures and audit systems when an electrical worker did not demonstrate adequate testing knowledge and completed an electrical installation on energised equipment. As a result, the worker sustained an arc flash and was treated for burns. The contractor’s licence was suspended for six months, with a requirement for all QTPs to complete competency units and for the contractor to provide two approved electrical safety systems audits from an independent auditor before the suspension is lifted.

Future actions

The above electrical licensing cases, while not directly mining related, highlight the requirements to ensure electrical safety systems of work are adequately implemented and assessed by competent personnel. Mining electrical compliance requirements can be found on the NSW Regulator’s Website here, links to Queensland Government Resources can be found here, Western Australian links can be found here

The Mine Electrical Safety Association Conference is another point for gaining more information.

Read more Mining Safety Articles

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AMSJ Nov 2021