04:56 pm, Monday 20 May, 2013
Photo: SafetyCulture Australia
Master Electricians Australia has called on The Western Australian Government to take illegal electrical work seriously, and to direct more inspection resources to discourage unsafe do-it-yourself electrical works in homes.
MEA urges the Government to do the following actions:
- Conduct major media campaign by highlighting electrical safety and the dangers of unlicensed electrical work
- Increase safety switch protection to all circuits
- Require mandatory point-of-sale signage to use licensed electrical contractors for electrical installations and equipments
- Mandate electrical safety inspections when homes change hands
- Establish an electrical safety hotline for unsafe and unlicensed work to be reported.
Master Electricians Australia state manager, Anthony Mancini said the Government should channel their resources into further educating the WA public on the perils of illegal electrical work.
“Rather than spending all of their time checking and double checking the work of licensed contractors who are submitting the appropriate paper work and abiding by electrical regulations, they should be alerting the public to the dangers of DIY or illegal work and following up on reported instances,” said Mr Mancini.
“This can be achieved through a number of simple tactics such as a media campaign highlighting electrical safety.
“There needs to be continued education of the WA public into the values of a Safety Certificate being received for any electrical work that has been undertaken on their homes.
“Safety switches should be installed on all circuits to prevent the risk of an electric shock should an electrical incident occur.
“With growing public awareness, WA can greatly reduce the risk of an electrical safety incident. We should be aiming for zero electrical accidents, fatalities or fires in the state.”
He also emphasized the importance of conducting a review and re-allocation of the current inspection resources.
“The State Government seems to focus their inspection resources on new homes wired by licensed electrical contractors and existing installations where contractors had submitted notices for their work,” he said.
“We need to look out of the box and focus on high risk areas such as DIY electrical work where no notices are submitted.
“We urge the WA Government to put forth a requirement for mandatory signage in stores selling electrical equipment that a licensed electrical contractor must be used for any electrical installations.
“Under current legislation two safety switches are required in WA homes but internal checks are not mandatory. Creating a mandatory home point-of-sale electrical check by an electrical contractor would ensure no illegal wiring exists in the home.
“Safety checks into unapproved fittings would also ensure electrical compliance and prevent fires and the risk of an electric shock.
“Lastly, we ask that an electrical safety hotline with a dedicated advertised number be established where illegal wiring or electrical work can be reported and immediate advice and necessary steps can be taken to prevent a serious electrical safety injury.”