Firstly, what is electrical work? According section 18 of the Electrical Safety Act 2002, electrical work includes “the manufacturing, constructing, installing, testing, maintaining, repairing, altering, removing, or replacing of electrical equipment”. DIY has no place in electrical work, so if you need any of the above tasks done you MUST engage a professional electrician.

Finding the right electrician

Ok, so you have found someone who carries out the type of electrical work you require, what is next? Unfortunately, there are people out there who are not always who they say they are, so for your safety and the safety of those around you, make sure they hold the appropriate licences.

Check their licence

When you are seeking electrical services, you should always check their credentials so don’t hesitate to ask to see their licence. There are a few different types of licences that are issued in Queensland – for workers and for companies, such as:

The worker

The person performing the work needs to hold an Electrical Work licence, which is blue in colour, and will specify their personal details and list the classes of electrical work they are qualified to carry out.

A green Electrical Work licence is restricted, and the holder is not permitted to carry out the installation of electrical equipment. For more information on licences see Worksafe Qld.

The company

In Queensland, a business that provides electrical work services for others must also have an electrical contractor licence. The business can maintain this licence by having at least one qualified technical person and/or at least one qualified business person. However, not all electrical contractors can provide all types of electrical work. The two types in Queensland are:

  • A gold contractor licences holder can perform all types of electrical work.
  • A silver contractor licence holder is restricted to testing, maintenance and repair work.

Additional information regarding the specifics of the work that can be undertaken is on the reverse of the licence.

Why should you make sure your contractor is licenced?

Whilst the penalties for performing unlicenced electrical work are for the company (up to $3 million) and the worker ($300,000 plus jail time), if you engage an unlicenced electrician you are potentially risking the lives of those around you. Whether you are having the work completed in your home or your workplace, you are putting your family/staff/customers at risk of electric shock or electrical fire. A licenced electrical contractor has a duty to ensure electrical work is performed in accordance with legislative requirements and adheres to codes of practice and technical standards

It doesn’t matter if you are getting new light switches put in, or a self-repairing high speed door installed, the bottom line is, ALL electrical work must be performed by a licenced electrician.