08:05 pm, Monday 25 February, 2013
The National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) issues a warning today reminding everyone that electrical apprentices should never undertake live electrical work nor work without suitable supervision.
The warning was issued following two incidents in the ACT where apprentices suffered electrical shocks while working unsupervised on metal ladders.
NECA is involved in training of more than 2000 electrical and communications apprentices across Australia.
“Regardless of whether they are supervised or not under no circumstance should apprentices carry out live work,” said NECA’s Chief Executive Officer James Tinslay.
“The only people who can carry out electrical work unsupervised are fully licensed electricians. Undertaking live electrical work is a serious decision taken when there are no other options and usually in the interests of personal safety or other high level risks to disconnection supply.”
Mr Tinslay also said it is legal requirement for apprentices to properly supervise apprentices.
“All electrical apprentices are under a contract of training which usually has four-year duration. During this time they need, by law, supervision which will vary depending on the experience and skills of the apprentice,” said Mr Tinslay.
“Employers owe all employees a duty of care and those in training such as apprentices must be supervised as part of their training.”
The ACT’s Work Safety Commissioner is conducting an investigation into the two incidents and is considering referring the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions which could mean severe penalties for the companies involved.