It is of great concern to the ETU that Endeavour Energy are advising employees that Powerline Workers are exempt from qualification requirements to complete electrical wiring work on customer installations.
The Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2004 and the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2006 state that “electrical wiring work” and “electrical installation work” which are not part of the distribution network, need to be carried out by a licensed electrician and safety and compliance checks need to be undertaken in the form of a CCEW (Certificate Compliance Electrical Work).
On top of that the Electricity Supply Amendment (Advanced Meters) Bill 2016 removes the responsibility for electricity meters from distribution businesses. This clearly means that meter installations no longer form part of the distributor’s network connection assets. This was reinforced by The Hon. Rick Colless (Parliamentary Secretary) in Parliament.
The exemption that Endeavour continually quote does not allow powerline workers to undertake electrical wiring and electrical installation work on customer installations. This includes diagnosing faulty meters, removing meter tails and bridging out or bypassing meters all of which require an electrical licence and compliance check on completion. The safety and compliance test requirements also fall under the Regulations and require the person conducting the test to be qualified.
Further to that the Regulations state that a licenced electrician must advise the consumer of any “electrical wiring work” performed on the customer’s installation and a licenced electrician must document the tests and provide the owner of the installation with advice of the tests together with the results of the tests.
I must make it clear this is not about the skills and ability of lineworkers, this notice is to ensure that members are not put in a position where they are breaching legislative requirements simply because Endeavour has directed them to undertake the work. Our biggest concern is that should there be some form of incident resulting from this work, members may be held to be liable a court of law for breaching legislative requirements.