Energy Safe Magazine Issue 23 Summer/Autumn 2011
We refer you to the following pages:Page 6, ESV plans audit of the electrical industry with focus on certificate usage due to their concerns with a large number of defects being discovered.
“The LEW (licensed electrical worker) is required to test the electrical installation work they performed. One of the six mandated tests is a test to prove continuity of the earthing system. Had the certifying LEW performed this mandated test the defect/defects in the earthing system would have been identified. Paul said in the magazine article that the trade, as frequently stressed, has to realise that before connecting any electrical installation work to the electricity supply they are required to perform the tests as specified by Section 8 of AS/NZS 3000:2007. “By not performing these tests they are breaking the law – both the Electricity Safety Act 1998 and the Electricity Safety (Installations) Regulations 2009, and this could lead to prosecution in the courts.
But then on Page 25, Smart Meters – why are certificates not generated and who can install them? (see note below about the act of 1998 Certificates of Electrical Safety)
Question: Why does ESV not require the distribution businesses to generate a safety certificate for the installation of smart meters?
answer: ESV has strict safety requirements for the installation of smart meters. It is compulsory for licensed electricians to obtain a certificate of electrical safety from ESV for all work they carry out. The certificate regime is in place to ensure that the work done is safe and provides traceability of the work and electrician. Work carried out by a distribution business is regulated by a different regime that is both rigorous and appropriate
Page 22, Electrical Safety Alert: Failing to perform a polarity test can kill – Smart Meters. This can also be found on the Work Safe website http://www1.worksafe.vic.gov.au/ which states:
“The most recent reverse polarity connection was made during the replacement of an electricity meter at a residential property. It energized the meter box and metallic plumbing fittings (hot water unit. water taps, etc.. ) to 240 volts. A lady received an electric shock to her hand when turning a water tap at the rear of the property.”
then on Page 4, of the Magazine “ESV review of guidelines on colour blindness!!”
ESV propoes to review and consult with the Electrical trades on guidelines regarding colour confusion or colour blindness among workers.
Page 3, ESV is auditing the Smart meter installation program across Victoria to Ensure that correct and Safe procedures are being followed. (audit began back in Feb 2011)
Yesterdays Sydney morning Herald stated: A government spokesman said ESV reviewed the Smart Metering Program between February and April.
“The review concluded that the public should have confidence that the meters are being installed safely and by qualified and trained people,” he said. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/mfb-looks-into-smart-meter-link-to-fires-20111107-1n2vm.html
This completed review can be found here http://www.esv.vic.gov.au/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=xwL3BYAPSqg%3d&tabid=222&mid=2056
Of particular concern is the statement found in the safety review of the Advanced Metering Installation (AMI) published in the ESV Media release of 6 April, 2011
Which states – The review also found that:
• It is possible for meters to be installed safely and tested in 10 minutes but the actual time to complete depends significantly on location, access and a range of other external influences.
It goes on to state – Recommended enhancements to the program include:
• In a limited number of instances, there is a need to review written procedures (as distinct from practice) to ensure conformity to strict compliance with the Victorian Electricity Supply Industry (VESI) test procedures. (Is this not what the Certificate of Electrical Safety is for?)
• Checking specifically that installers hold a Certificate III in Electrotechnology rather than relying on an assumption that all categories of electrical licenses require a Certificate III. In a very small number of cases some installers who hold supervised electrical workers’ licences and who had been employed as installers did not have the Certificate III. (Is this evidence of unqualified installers?)
• Issuing an advice card to the customer and signed personally by the installer that the installation had passed all of the required tests and complied with the requirements of the Electricity Safety Act 1998 and regulations. Some businesses have adopted these cards to be left at premises when the new meters are installed. (Again: Is this not what the Certificate of Electrical Safety is for?) (Has anyone seen on of these cards?)
Perhaps a reason why the Certificates of Electrical safety are not generated by all installers is because only a fully qualified electrician can fill them in? Installation time would also no doubt increase to more than 10 minutes!!
Note: The Certificates of Electrical Safety (COES) Act states: The Electricity Safety Act 1998 and Electricity Safety (Installations) Regulations 2009 requires a certificate of electrical safety to be issued for all electrical installation work. Failure to comply with the certificate requirements is a criminal offence and licensed workers that fail to comply may be subject to disciplinary action which could result in the suspension or cancellation of their licence.http://www.esv.vic.gov.au/Electricity-Professionals/Certificates-Of-Electrical-Safety-COES