Unlicensed electrical contractor fined $16,000

Using Facebook to advertise an air-conditioning installation business over the summer of 2018/19 may have been the undoing for an unlicensed electrician who was recently fined $16,000 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court.

Between November 2018 and January 2019 the defendant installed air-conditioning units at two residential properties in Regents Park and Victoria Point.

He was charged with five charges under the Electrical Safety Act 2002 including one charge of unlicensed electrical contracting, two charges of unlicensed electrical work and two charges for failing to ensure that the electrical installation complied with the wiring rules.

He’d never held an electrical contractor licence authorising him to conduct a business nor held an electrical work licence authorising him to perform electrical work in Queensland.

Electrical Safety Office Inspectors investigated the worker’s installations and conducted inspections of the work performed. The Inspectors found that he was unlicensed to carry out the electrical work, and that the work carried out fell short of the standard required by the wiring rules.

But this was not the first time that the defendant had been visited by the Electrical Safety Office. In August 2016 he was fined $10,000 in relation to electrical work performed during 2014, and in early November 2018 he was issued with an improvement notice.

Magistrate Nolan referenced the previous improvement notice issued to him and observed that, within days after being issued with the notice, he again performed electrical work and contracting from 17 November.

His Honour also acknowledged that the requirements in the Electrical Safety legislation was all about preventing electrical risks in places where people live and work.

Head of Electrical Safety Office, Donna Heelan, said our Inspectors found that the installations did not comply with the requirements of Australian Standard 3000 – Electrical Installations (the wiring rules).

“The failures included a failure to ensure cables and conductors were free from undue mechanical stress, a failure to ensure conductors were adequately terminated, and a failure to ensure openings on isolation switches were properly glued or sealed to prevent the entry of water,” Ms Heelan said.

“Carrying out unlicensed electrical work is life threatening. Members of the public should be rightfully be protected by our electrical safety laws.”

Magistrate Nolan imposed a penalty of $16,000 and order costs of $1,099.70 against the defendant. A conviction was recorded.

More prosecutions are at owhsp.qld.gov.au

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