Monday, February 25th, 2013
The peak Australian electrical industry body, the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), warned today that under no circumstances should electrical apprentices ever undertake live electrical work nor work without suitable supervision.

NECA, who is involved in the training of over 2000 electrical and communications apprentices through its group training companies across Australia, issued the warning following two separate incidents in the ACT recently where individual apprentices suffered electrical shocks while working unsupervised on metal ladders.

“Regardless of whether they are supervised or not under no circumstances 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 added that it is a legal requirement that apprentices are properly supervised.

“All electrical apprentices are under a contract of training which usually has a four year duration. During this time they need, by law, supervision which will vary depending on the experience and skills of the apprentice,” he said.

“Employers owe all employees a duty of care and those in training such as apprentices must be supervised as part of their training.”

It is reported that the ACT’s Work Safety Commissioner is conducting an investigation into the two incidents and is considering whether to refer them to the Director of Public Prosecutions which could result in severe penalties for the companies involved.


Contact Profile

Peter Scott - Media and Communications Manager

P: 02 9439 8523
M: 0457 767 328


NECA, National Electrical and Communications Association, apprentices, live electrical work, safety



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