Court case prompts reminder to check electrical licences

WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
  • Pilbara tradesman falsely presented himself as a licensed electrical contractor
  • Signed off on electrical safety certificates without being authorised to do so
  • Home and business owners can do a fast online search to verify electrical licences
  • WA’s energy safety regulator is urging consumers to use its online licence search to verify that businesses they engage to carry out electrical installing work hold a valid electrical contractor’s licence.

    Building and Energy’s message follows its prosecution of a Pilbara tradesman for falsely presenting himself as a licensed electrical contractor and providing invalid safety certificates.

    At Perth Magistrates Court last month, the man was fined $5,000 and ordered to pay $1,224.80 in costs after pleading guilty to five charges under WA’s Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991.

    The man, who is not named because the court granted a spent conviction, has never held an electrical contractor’s licence.

    The court was advised that the man issued three invoices to commercial premises in 2020 for electrical installing work, while holding himself out to be a licensed electrical contractor.

    The other charges relate to the man’s unauthorised signing of two electrical safety certificates using the licence number of another WA electrical contractor.

    Magistrate Robert Young said the Regulations were in place for public safety and noted the need for general deterrence and a penalty to generate a culture of compliance.

    Under electrical safety legislation in WA, businesses that undertake electrical installing work must hold an electrical contractor’s licence. Licensed electrical workers can only carry out electrical installing work if they are working for an electrical contractor.

    Western Australia’s Director of Energy Safety, Saj Abdoolakhan, encouraged business and home owners to undertake a licence check at the Building and Energy website (dmirs.wa.gov.au/content/occupational-licence-search).

    “Only a licensed electrical contractor should be engaged to undertake electrical installing work at your business or home,” Mr Abdoolakhan said.

    “As well as having the appropriate skills and experience to do this work correctly and safely, a licensed electrical contractor is required to hold public liability insurance and lodge official notices for electrical work, which may then be inspected for compliance.

    “You will also have the reassurance of receiving an electrical safety certificate for any electrical installing work completed.”

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