Electrician Fined $15,000 For Unearthed Installation

WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

A Perth electrician has been fined $15,000 after switchboard components at a Mt Lawley home were left unprotected, putting users at risk of serious injury or electrocution.

Gregory Craig Jason Briffa (EW125610) of partnership Gregory and Claire Briffa (EC5777), trading as BMI Technologies, pleaded guilty at Perth Magistrates Court to two offences under WA’s electricity licensing regulations following prosecution by Building and Energy.

The court was told Mr Briffa failed to earth a metal enclosure, known as a din kit, in the consumer’s switchboard. Without the earthing, circuit protection devices may not operate under fault conditions, presenting a risk of exposed metal parts of the switchboard becoming live with life-threatening voltages.

On 24 May 2024, Mr Briffa was fined $12,500 for the non-compliant work and a further $2,500 for an inaccurate notice of completion. Costs of $405.30 were also awarded.

Magistrate Richard Huston noted Mr Briffa’s early guilty plea, remorse and additional training since the incident, but emphasised the community’s rightful expectation that electricians work to the highest standards because fatalities could occur.

WA’s Director of Energy Safety, Saj Abdoolakhan, said the case should remind all electrical workers and contractors about their obligations.

“No matter how many years you have worked in the industry, there is no place for complacency and no excuse for not checking and testing your work,” he said.

“It is incredibly lucky that this installation was selected for an inspection under our risk-based compliance inspection system, allowing a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation to be rectified.”

/Public Release. View in full here.