Frequently asked questions for electricians
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:
- A risk assessment is to be undertaken by a competent person familiar with the type of work to be carried out; and
- The competent person is satisfied that the requirements of Regulation 55(2)(b) are met; and
- A safe work method statement (SWMS) for the work has been prepared in accordance with Regulation 3.143(4) of the OSHR; and
- 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:
- A person carrying out electrical work.
- An electrical contractor or in-house electrical installing work licence holder.
- 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.
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.
What is notifiable work?
Notifiable work means all electrical installing work other than:
maintenance work, unless that work requires the disconnection and reconnection of the supply of electricity to the electrical installation concerned or the replacement of service apparatus;
the addition or alteration of one final sub-circuit including the addition or alteration of its protective device; or
the alteration of one or more final sub-circuits.
As a guide, the below table gives an indication of what is notifiable work.
|Notifiable||Not Notifiable||Electrical Safety Certificate|
|Addition of one single final sub-circuit including its protective device||Yes||Yes|
|Addition of two or more final sub-circuits including their protective devices||Yes||Yes|
|Addition of one (or more) socket outlets (or light points) to the same existing final sub-circuit||Yes||Yes|
|Addition of one (or more) socket outlets (or light points) to different final sub-circuits||Yes||Yes|
|Addition of one RCD to protect one existing final sub-circuit||Yes||Yes|
|Addition of one RCD to protect more than one existing final sub-circuit||Yes||Yes|
|Addition of two or more RCDs to protect two or more existing final sub-circuits||Yes||Yes|
|Addition of one smoke alarm to an existing final sub-circuit||Yes||Yes|
|Replace one fuse with a circuit breaker||Yes||Yes|
|Upgrading of one or more submains||Yes||Yes|
|Addition of one or more submains||Yes||Yes|
|Replace one circuit breaker with one RCBO (combination RCD/MCB)||Yes||Yes|
|Replace two or more circuit breakers with RCBOs (combination RCD/MCB)||Yes||Yes|
|Replace more than one fuse with circuit breakers||Yes||Yes|
|Installation of solar panels and inverter system||Yes||Yes|
|Replace a defective main switch, lighting switch, socket outlet or lighting point||Yes|
|Replace a defective hot water system, air conditioner, cook top or oven with an item of equivalent specification||Yes|
|Replace one or more socket outlets or lighting points on one or more final subcircuits||Yes|
Notices of Completion for temporary disconnections and reconnections
Who can submit a Notice of Completion after the notifiable work has been completed?
The nominee registered for the electrical contractor. In some cases electrical contractors may have several registered nominees.
How do I submit the Notice of Completion?
Nominees may lodge a Notice of Completion using the online eNotice system. This can be accessed using a mobile device, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. (See https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-and-energy/electrical-enotice)
How long do I have to submit the Notice of Completion after the work is complete?
Electrical contractors have 3 days to submit the Notice of Completion after the work is complete – no exceptions.
If the installation has been reconnected to supply by Western Power, is the work carried out regarded as complete?
Yes. Under the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991 regulation 52(2D) (4): Notifiable work is taken to be completed if the electrical installation on which the work was carried out:
(a) is in use; or
(b) is connected to transmission or distribution works or a private generating plant or can be connected to transmission or distribution works or a private generating plant without the use of tools; or
(c) is ready for connection to transmission or distribution works or a private generating plant.
Do I have to complete Western Power’s temporary disconnection tag to initiate the reconnection of supply?
Yes. All the tag fields must be completed in full by the electrician before the electrical installation can be reconnected to the electricity supply. The notice number must also be included on the tag.
Note: you do not have to submit the Notice of Completion to get the notice number. It can be located by saving a draft in eNotice and the notice number will be in the top left hand corner.
Do I have to submit a Notice of Completion for the reconnection of supply by Western Power?
Yes. Under the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991 you must submit a Notice of Completion within 3 days of completing the work. The completion date is the same date entered in the certification section on Western Power’s orange temporary disconnection tag.
Why do I have to fill out Western Power’s temporary disconnection tag as well as a Notice of Completion?
The temporary disconnection tag is used by Western Power to facilitate timely reconnection of supply to consumers. The certification provided by the electrical contractor on the temporary disconnection tag assures Western Power that the electrical installation is safe and ready to connect to the electricity network. The requirement to submit a Notice of Completion is mandated by regulation 52(1) of the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991.
What if I have additional work to complete after the reconnection of supply by Western Power?
If other work is required following the reconnection of supply then a separate notice is required for that portion of additional work.
What if I don’t lodge a Notice of Completion within the required 3 days?
Building and Energy have engaged with electrical contractors failing to submit Notices of Completion after reconnection of supply. Verbal and written warnings have been issued. Repeat offenders may be subject to further action, including infringement or prosecution. Submission of Notices is a legal requirement.
What if I don’t have phone signal or access to a computer to lodge a notice?
Ensure the Notice of Completion is lodged promptly when access to eNotice is next available. If outside the 3 day period, contact Building and Energy so the call can be recorded and a note can be made in the system.
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.
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.
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