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Electrician fined $15,000 over faulty construction at Perth property

by xyonent
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An electrician was hit with a heavy fine after it was found he did not meet safety standards.

A Perth contractor has been fined $15,000 after it was found that parts of an electrical panel he installed at a Mount Lawley home were unprotected, putting occupants at risk of serious injury and electric shock.

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The Western Australian Building and Energy Department filed suit after defects were discovered during a routine inspection.

While inspecting the Mount Lawley premises, inspectors discovered that a metal enclosure attached to the switchboard, known as a DIN kit, was not properly earthed, resulting in a circuit protection device failing and putting exposed metal parts of the switchboard at risk of life-threatening voltages.

Gregory Craig Jason Briffa, who owns BMI Technologies with Claire Briffa, pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching Western Australia’s Electricity Licensing Regulations and was fined $12,500 for non-compliant works and $2,500 for submitting an inaccurate notice of completion. He was also ordered to pay $405.30 in costs.

Judge Richard Huston said at the hearing that Briffa had shown remorse, pleaded guilty early and had received additional training since the incident. However, he noted the fine was necessary to highlight the seriousness of the incident. Judge Huston said the community rightly expected electricians to work to the highest standards because fatalities could occur.

Speaking after Mr Briffa’s fine, Western Australia’s Energy Safety Commissioner Saji Abdulrakan said he hoped the incident would serve as a reminder to electricians of their responsibilities on the job.

“This facility is extremely fortunate to have been selected for inspection under our risk-based compliance inspection system and to have been able to remediate an unsafe and potentially life-threatening condition,” Abdulrakan noted.

He said professionals at all levels of their profession must take proper precautions to prevent dangerous accidents.

“No matter how many years you’ve worked in the industry, you can’t let your guard down and you have no excuse for not checking and testing your work,” he said.

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