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$20,000 fine for dangerous and substandard electrical work – Dryden Peter Adams

A Palmyra electrician has been fined $20,000 for a potentially deadly wiring error that caused objects at a Connolly home to become live with dangerous levels of electricity, resulting in $3,700 damage to appliances.

Licensed electrical worker Dryden Peter Adams (EW150729) was sentenced on 28 April 2020 at Joondalup Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to breaching WA’s electricity licensing regulations.

A Building and Energy investigation revealed that Mr Adams failed to reconnect the load neutral conductor at the three-phase supply tariff meter at the meter panel. This caused metallic parts connected to the property’s electrical earthing system to become potentially electrically live up to 230 volts. It also resulted in excessive voltage, which damaged several electrical appliances including swimming pool pumps and the garage door motor.

Magistrate Sandra De Maio ordered him to pay $891.40 in costs, noting that he had failed to follow a number of the 27 steps of the service connection test required for the meter replacement despite being an experienced electrician.

Her Honour stated that it was a “massive safety transgression” but also acknowledged that it was Mr Adams' first offence and he was genuinely remorseful.

Director of Energy Safety Saj Abdoolakhan said the penalty was appropriate for the seriousness of the breach.

“It was incredibly fortunate that only equipment was damaged in this case, as someone could have easily received a fatal electric shock from the dangerous conditions caused by this substandard work,” he said.

“Mr Adams' failure to follow the mandated checking and testing requirements before connection of the electricity supply to the premises was unacceptable.

“Network operators and Building and Energy conduct inspections of electrical work to ensure that installations are safe and comply with the relevant standards. While the vast majority of licensed electrical workers carry out their duties safely and diligently, we will continue to hold to account anyone who puts public safety at risk.”

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Media contact: BEmedia@dmirs.wa.gov.au

Building and Energy
Media release
07 May 2020

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