Safety is­sues spark change

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Street Watch -

THE big­gest elec­tri­cal in­dus­try shake-up in years will have lit­tle im­pact on work done at residential prop­er­ties, lo­cal elec­tri­cians say.

The State Gov­ern­ment an­nounced last week that it would in­tro­duce laws pro­hibit­ing live elec­tri­cal work and re­quir­ing that main power switches be turned off when­ever any work oc­curs in a roof space.

An­drew Pock­ling­ton, of Aptech Electrics, said forc­ing the power to be off would af­fect com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial work, which might now need to be done out of hours, on week­ends or at night.

Master Elec­tri­cians Aus­tralia ex­pects costs would rise as con­trac­tors passed on any ex­tra ex­pense for out-of-hours work, a point backed by both Mr Pock­ling­ton and Kyda Elec­tri­cal’s Daniel Hill.

Mr Hill, who lives in Tuart Hill, said the bans were a step in the right di­rec­tion for safety.

He was taught from his ap­pren­tice­ship that there was no rea­son to work with live power – ex­cept in ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances – and he al­ready op­er­ated that way.

That stance gen­er­ally res­onated with residential cus­tomers, with peo­ple oblig­ing if elec­tri­cians said they needed to switch off power sup­plies.

“There’s no rea­son to work live,” Mr Hill said.

Mr Pock­ling­ton, of Dawesville, said not work­ing live had been a re­quire­ment for elec­tri­cians for some time.

Com­merce Min­is­ter Michael Mischin said the Gov­ern­ment’s planned mea­sures were in re­sponse to the deaths of three elec­tri­cal work­ers in the past two years.

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