Electrician leaves live wires at new home – Aiden Dunstan
- Exposed wiring in lounge room energised at a lethal voltage
- Electrician completed and signed a checklist for the electrical work
- $3,500 fine and almost $1,200 costs after prosecution by Building and Energy
A Joondalup magistrate has condemned the “egregious error” of an electrician who missed hazardous exposed wires while checking work at a Two Rocks home.
At Joondalup Magistrates Court on 9 June 2023, electrical worker Aiden Dunstan (EW168049) was fined $3,500 and ordered to pay $1,199.30 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching WA’s electricity licensing regulations.
According to facts presented by Building and Energy, Mr Dunstan was employed by ADCO Electrics Pty Ltd (EC7407) to inspect and test electrical work carried out at the newly constructed house, including lighting, power circuits and a switchboard.
Mr Dunstan completed and signed a checklist verifying he had visually inspected the electrical installation and certifying that the work complied with the required electrical safety standards.
However, a Western Power electrical inspector later noted a hole in the lounge room wall where a light switch cover should have been installed. Inside was a 240-volt exposed and energised cable connected to the lighting circuit. Contact with live electrical parts at this voltage could have caused a fatal electric shock.
Magistrate Evan Shackleton said Mr Dunstan’s failure to identify the hazard was an “egregious error” that could have had “devastating impacts”.
WA’s Director of Energy Safety, Saj Abdoolakhan, said the oversight breached many electrical safety requirements, including visual inspection of an electrical installation prior to it being energised.
“The property’s electrical plan clearly shows the position of the light switch, so there is no excuse for missing such an obvious hazard,” Mr Abdoolakhan said.
“Without the required light switch cover, someone could have easily touched the live conductors inside and been seriously injured or even killed. All electrical work must be thoroughly and methodically checked. There is no place for cutting corners when the stakes are so high.”
Media contact: BEmedia@dmirs.wa.gov.au