Frequently asked questions for electricians

Electrical apprentices

I am a fourth-year electrical apprentice, am I required to obtain any first aid qualifications when I get my electrician’s licence?

No. While there are no legislative requirements for electrical workers to hold any first aid qualifications, it is highly recommended, given you are working in an industry where electrical shocks and burns can occur. Therefore, you should be familiar with treatment of shocks, burns and resuscitation procedures.

Electrical contractors

Recently I sub-contracted another electrical contractor to carry out work at a hospital. I am currently involved in a financial dispute with this sub-contractor. The sub-contractor will not finish the work until this financial dispute has been resolved. What should I do about the submission of Notices and Electrical Safety Certificates?

Given that the resolution of financial disputes can be a long drawn out process, in this instance, it is recommended that the sub-contractor should submit a Notice of Completion for the portion of electrical work they have carried out thus far at the hospital as well as providing an Electrical Safety Certificate to the person who requested the work to be carried out.

Energised installations

Are the requirements which must be met prior to working near an energised installation different to those when working on an energised installation?

No. The requirements are the same for working on or near an energised installation. Section 5.1 of Building and Energy’s ‘Code of Practice for Persons Working on or Near Energised Electrical Installations’ states that as per Regulation 55(2) of the Electricity Licensing Regulation 1991, before electrical work is carried out on or near an energised part of an electrical installation, the following measures must be taken:

  1. A risk assessment is to be undertaken by a competent person familiar with the type of work to be carried out; and
  2.  The competent person is satisfied that the requirements of Regulation 55(2)(b) are met; and
  3. A safe work method statement (SWMS) for the work has been prepared in accordance with Regulation 3.143(4) of the OSHR; and
  4. Suitable personal protective equipment and safety equipment is used by the person carrying out the work.

At a job site, who is responsible for ensuring that “live work” isn’t carried out?

Building and Energy’s ‘Code of Practice for Persons Working on or Near Energised Electrical Installations’ states the following persons are responsible for ensuring electrical work is carried out under deenergised conditions except as permitted by Regulation 55:

  1. A person carrying out electrical work.
  2. An electrical contractor or in-house electrical installing work licence holder.
  3. A person who, at a workplace, is an employer, the main contractor, a self-employed person; a person having control of the workplace or a person having control of access to the workplace.

Nominees

If a nominee of the company has left, can any electrician take over and do the job of the nominee?

No. When a nominee of an electrical contractor has ceased employment, the electrical contractor’s licence is suspended if the company doesn’t have another nominee. The licence will remain suspended until a new nominee is appointed.  At no time can any notifiable electrical work be carried out without a nominee. As per the requirements of Regulation 38 of the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991, the licence holder must notify the Board when an employee ceases to be a nominee. If you are partially through a job when the nominee leaves, you must engage the services of another electrical contractor to carry out the work and submit the relevant Notices and Electrical Safety Certificate.

Restricted Electrical Licence (REL)

Would an REL allow me to remove and re-fit a socket outlet during the installation of a glass splashback?

No.  You would need to use a licensed electrician to isolate the electricity supply, test the installation to confirm it has been de-energised, remove the socket outlet and then refit it after the splashback has been installed. The scope of work you are authorised to carry out while holding an REL is detailed on your licence card.

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