Online assistance for electrical trade people Login  |  Register  |   Forgot Password
Assistance for electrical trade people




Click here to send Ron a pdf document for publication on this Topic

Documents must be less than 200k in pdf format

Posted By Topic: When does maintenance/replacement become HR work?

Jan 31 2018 16:45

But they don't tell us any details do they...

It's all very well sending us dire results of hearings - but without any details, there's nothing for us to learn from it.

Jan 31 2018 17:36

completely agree.

It's possible that the work done was installation / alteration; but without any sort of description it's impossible to learn any real lessons. If the Board is going to make determinations of this sort, and want the rest of us to learn from it,; they need to provide some facts and not just their interpretation of how the rules apply.

That said, and regardless of exactly what happened in this case; the points made about supervision and a precautionary approach to getting an inspection are valid.

Jan 31 2018 18:08

I wonder if these workers were supervised?

Jan 31 2018 21:45

The article contains this statement.

"Board noted that it is in an electrical worker’s best interests to take a cautionary approach to the assessment of whether prescribed electrical work is high risk or not and that if they are in doubt as to whether an inspection is required they should seek advice from an authoritative source."

Who would this source be then? And if the source said no inspection required would that then become a defense for the electrician when another source decides differently.

Feb 01 2018 08:23

When it gets to this stage, the only "source" that has real "authority" is the EWRB itself.
Everything else is just an opinion, though some such opinions may be more soundly based on the words of the "rules" than others. However even though the Board's interpretation is the one that carries the most weight, it can still be wrong.

Justice is supposed to be seen to be done, so a summary of the facts of any case is the least we should be entitled to. Otherwise no useful lessons can be learned by the rest of us.

Feb 01 2018 09:22

me too disappointed in lack of info .
I intend to replace my home switchboard . It is too crowded to add more circuits and rcb's.
Same place , different size . Don't intend to get it inspected . My Authoritative source ...... is this electrical forum .

I went to one of the EWRB road show morning meet and greets last year , and suggested to one of the board members that they should be running this forum or have their own .
Answer was it had been considered but the FAQ portion on their web site was considered adequate

Feb 01 2018 16:20

Can i suggest that a much better "authoritqative source" than this forum would be ESR 6A (1). ANYTHING that fits within that clause is classified as low risk. It does NOT matter how many fittings are replaced at same time, they are all 'replacements. And, i.a.w 6A(2) opening NOTHING that is classified low risk can ever be high risk.

When replacing an MSB, two aspects involve "mains work".
1 replacing main switch, which requires working on active conductor of mains.
2 replacing N& E bars, which invloves
- working on neutral conductor of mains
- working on MEC
- replacing MEN connection.
replacing the MEN link / connection is replacement of a fitting; = low risk.
All the other matters are covered under (b): the relocation or extension of a conductor to facilitate replacement of a fitting.

There will also be some "general" PEW, including installation of RCD. But this does NOT involve anything that could possibly be called "mains work".

Old Regulations used to require inspection for increasing the size / rating of a switchboard (would need to check the exact wording); but those Regs have been revoked and no longer apply.


Feb 02 2018 09:50

Liability might be limited by careful wording of COCs. With few exceptions, choosing the correct verb makes it easy to distinguish LOW from HIGH per ESR6A.

Replaced, Repaired, Adjusted

Take it beyond doubt by specifically mentioning the elements that might otherwise make it high risk. So an old MEN board replacement might look like.

"Replaced MEN switchboard in hallway without relocation. Replaced earth neutral bars. Replaced MEN link. Extend MEC to replacement earth bar. Replaced main switch. Replaced SERFs with MCBs. Install new RCCBs on socket and light circuits. Replace switchboard wiring. Reconnect incoming mains. Test to AS/NZS 3000."

It's a bit of a mouthful but with electronic forms and cut'n'paste it's easy to achieve. The example above would be classed GENERAL due to the RCCBs becoming mandatory when all protective devices are replaced.

Feb 02 2018 13:32

Agree careful wording of the "DoW" on CoC , RoI or ESC is crucial.

Unfortunately in the case the Board is publicising, we have NO facts about what PEW was done (beyond that it was on a "new" switchboard), so cannot usefully discuss what the correct risk classification is. We only have an unsupported assertion that the work done was "beyond maintenance or replacement"... which strongly suggests it wasn't a "new" switchboard at all, but rather a replacement switchboard.

We can also infer that at least some of it was undertaken by either trainee or a person under supervision, and that the Board believe there was (unspecified) shortcoming in the supervision of such person(s).

The report cannot serve any useful purpose as a warning to others.