Line Workers and Cable Jointers members are advised not to perform Ausgrid’s new test procedure for “Testing of connections to low voltage electricity networks” by removing the Neutral & Earth conductor from the Customers Neutral Link as this procedure is in Dispute.
All members are advised to use the existing test procedures to test the polarity and neutral integrity of new services while a Dispute exists. Ausgrid are in breach of the Dispute Procedure by asking employees to use the new test procedures.
Ausgrid’s new test procedure must be performed by a Licensed Electrician and a Safety and Compliance Test in the form of a CCEW provided to the Customer.
Ausgrid is currently rolling out training modules UETTDRRF11A Testing of connections to low voltage electricity networks and Earthing systems.
In August 2013 Ausgrid wrote to the ETU proposing Line Worker and Cable Jointers undertaking defined works on the customer switch boards to ensure the polarity and neutral integrity are correct when testing connections to low voltage networks in accordance with AS4741- Testing of connections to low voltage networks.
The ETU outlined a number of issues why this test could not be performed at the customer switch board by Line Workers & Cable Jointers including-
The tests Ausgrid propose include ‘electrical wiring work’ and ‘electrical installation work’ as defined by the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2004 and the Regulations of 2006. Ausgrid conceded this type of work is “electrical wiring work” and would need to be carried out by a Licensed Electrician.
The tests Ausgrid propose requires the removal of the consumers earth and consumers neutral from the consumers neutral link. This electrical installation does not form part of the network. In re instating the consumers earth and consumers neutral to the consumers neutral link there are requirements under the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2006 –Reg 33 to conduct of Safety and Compliance Test on the Consumers Earthing System and Consumers Neutral System. Reg 35 requires the person conducting the test to be qualified.
In re instating the customers Neutral and Earth system, Sub-clause 34(1) (a) of the Regulations requires the test to be documented and provided to the owner of the installation with advice of the tests together with the results of the tests.
AS4742- “Testing of connections to low voltage networks” does not define that these test need to be done in the Customers Switchboard on the customers installation. The tests can be carried out on the Network allowing Line Workers and Cable Jointers to perform them.
The ETU requested that Ausgrid provide the two training modules, UETTDRRF11A Testing of connections to low voltage electricity networks and Earthing Systems and demonstrate that they comply with the National Training Package Standards as required by AS4741-2006 Clause 1.6. Ausgrid proceeded to try and implement the new testing procedure in December 2013 and the ETU placed it in Dispute. Ausgrid has proceeded to roll out training but has failed to clearly communicate to employees that the test procedure is in dispute and should not be used.
If you have any questions please contact Justin Page - 0414 877 301 or Mark Buttigieg - 0417 208 447.