An unlicensed electrician who performed dangerous, substandard work on a series of properties around Whyalla and Port Augusta has been fined nearly $5,500 for working without a licence.
The Whyalla Magistrates Court heard 57 year old Leslie Durdin of Whyalla had not held an electrical contractor’s licence since 2010, yet he had been doing electrical work at properties around the Upper Spencer Gulf.
The court heard that in two instances, an independent audit of Durdin’s work revealed people in the properties were exposed to the risk of electric shock if they were in contact with either earthed electrical equipment or any metallic water pipes installed at the property.
Magistrate Rodney Oates was told that, in a subsequent interview with staff from the Office of the Technical Regulator, Durdin failed to demonstrate a basic understanding of things that a registered electrical worker would be expected to know – instead showing a lack of knowledge around important electrical safety standards and mandatory testing requirements.
Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said the case was a timely reminder for consumers to do their homework when hiring an electrical contractor – including ensuring that the contractor was licensed.
“When you’re hiring any sort of tradesperson, it’s essential you check whether they are licensed,” he said.
“It’s especially important when hiring someone to do electrical work around your property – because the consequences of poorly performed electrical work could be catastrophic.
“In this case, the work undertaken exposed Durdin’s clients to the risk of electrocution.”
Mr Oates fined Durdin $5,400, ordering him to repay the three consumers $6191.87 in compensation for rectification work that was needed following the OTR audits.
To check the public register of occupational licence holders, head to https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/business-and-trade/licensing/licence-check
If you have a concern about an electrical contractor, call CBS on 131-882.