Master Electrician Magazine Winter 2015

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inside Gas projects going green First aid: what you need to know Networking in the 21st century



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table of contents Average Net Distribution 31 901 CAB Audited as of March 2015

first aid: what you need to know


recent power board recalls are just the tip of the iceberg


the buzz


gas projects going green


your top 3 tech questions


benefit spotlight


networking in the 21st century


meet a master electrician


in your state


letter of the law


the interview – Aaron Anderson


gadget guide


techno biz


tech talk


workplace relations


all about ME


test drive


events calendar


shocking photograph


the last word


Like us on facebook

General Enquiries Master Electricians Australia PO Box 2438, Fortitude Valley BC Queensland 4006 PHONE 1300 889 198 FAX 1800 622 914 EMAIL WEB


Editorial Contacts & Contributors EDITOR Malcolm Richards ASSOCIATE EDITOR Katherine Hornbuckle ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Janelle MacDonald PHONE 07 3252 4860 EMAIL DESIGN AND PRINT POMO 1300 762 865

Welcome to the WINTER edition of the Master Electrician magazine




46 Follow us @MasterElectrics on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook masterelectricians or call 1300 889 198 The Master Electrician is printed on environmentally responsible paper sourced from FSC® certified forestry plantations. The paper is made with Elemental Chlorine Free pulps (ECF). Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this publication are offered solely in pursuance of the objects of the Electrical Contractors Association and Master Electricians Australia to provide an informative service to contractors in the electrical industry on legal, commercial and other issues and problems related to the industry. The Electrical Contractors Association and Master Electricians Australia are not aware that any person intends to act or rely upon such statements and opinions contained in this publication or the manner in which it might be possible to do so. The Electrical Contractors Association and Master Electricians Australia issues no invitation to any member or other persons to act or rely upon such statements or opinions or any of them and it accepts no responsibility for any of them. It intends by this provision to exclude, to the extent permitted by law, all liability for any such statements and opinions. The Master Electrician Magazine can be viewed online at

The blankets, scarves and boots are officially out of hibernation for another year, so we have upped the heat on a number of industry issues for our winter edition. From challenges surrounding keeping your younger staff on point, to the latest news on the product safety recalls, as well as life-saving first aid tips – inside, you’ll find a swathe of useful information you can apply to your business. Many of you will know industry lawyer Aaron Anderson for his advocacy work during the HIP issue. However, he’s just as passionate about mental health, and shares his top tips for businesses facing an associated Work Health and Safety challenge. We introduce you to our hard-working tech team who share your top three electrical questions and the answers! And BigWave surfer Ryan Hipwood gives us the lowdown on the latest Isuzu D-Max in this edition’s test drive. Plus, we’ll give you all the inside knowledge on how to adapt your traditional networking methods to the newer, sometimes more challenging channels – most of which are right there at the end of your fingertips! We hope you enjoy…

The Master Electrician

Winter 2015



First aid: the best line of defence against serious workplace injury Almost five in every 100 workers experience an injury or illness in the workplace each year, and 153 Aussies suffer a heart attack each day – that’s one every nine minutes! These frightening statistics got us thinking, how many of your workers know CPR? Or even basic first aid?

The electrical industry in Australia can boast having one of the lowest fatality rates in the world through its innovation, risk identification, use of meaningful safety indicators and influencing information-sharing channels. However, electrical injury is one of the top five causes of traumatic deaths in our workplaces. As we all know, electricity is dangerous stuff!

St John Ambulance (Qld) First Aid Expert Darryl Clare says when electrical injury occurs, every second counts. In those moments, it is critical to know what to do before more definitive aid arrives. “Electrical injury is unique in that it typically results in low mortality rates, but extremely high rates of short and long-term morbidity, so having effective first aid available immediately can help reduce the ongoing severity of these types of injuries,” Darryl says.


The “one man drag” technique taught in St John’s first aid classes specific to the electrical industry.

“The immediate effects of electrical injury are usually obvious and include burns, cardiac arrhythmias (and possible cardiac arrest), paraesthesia, seizures, and sensory and motor deficits. “Effective first aid is not just about injury, but also about recognising and responding to illness and medical conditions. Cardiovascular disease (heart, stroke and blood vessel diseases) alone kills one Australian every 12 minutes – making up about 30 per cent of the national death rate. “Recognising the symptoms and signs of medical emergencies such as cardiovascular disease, asthma, anaphylaxis, diabetes, epilepsy and stroke, and being able to respond appropriately and quickly, can save lives. “The most important skill electrical industry workers can learn is how to respond and prioritise during an emergency situation. Implementing the DRSABCD action plan and Chain of Survival, and making time for all workers in the industry to attend a basic CPR course, is a great place to start.” When faced with an emergency situation, you should first check for Danger, as live wires could create more casualties if not addressed properly. Secondly, you should check for Responses, then Send for help, make sure the Airway is open, check Breathing, provide CPR and complete the chain of survival with Defibrillation (if required). “Keeping the Chain of Survival intact is the single most important step in survival from cardiac arrest,” Darryl says. “The Chain of Survival requires first aiders to recognise a cardiac arrest, deliver effective CPR to maintain the heart in a shockable rhythm, deliver early defibrillation (if available) to restart the heart, and then handover to paramedics to initiate advanced life support.”

“The most important skill electrical industry workers can learn is how to respond and prioritise during an emergency situation. Implementing the DRSABCD action plan and Chain of Survival, and making time for all workers in the industry to attend a basic CPR course, is a great place to start.” Managing burns and other injuries associated with electrical injuries Burns commonly accompany electrical injuries, and can be present at both the entry and exit points of the shock, and along the path the electricity has taken. Darryl says burns can not only cause high levels of pain, but also extensive skin and tissue damage. “The complications of increased infection rates and mental health issues surrounding severe disfigurement and disability make the quick treatment of burns paramount,” Darryl says. “An important first step in the recovery process is the immediate cooling of burns using cold towels or water to reduce the severity of tissue damage and minimise the impact of pain.” Once the injured person has been stabilised, it is important to conduct a detailed secondary assessment to identify other injuries. “A systematic head-to-toe scan will help first aiders identify if there are any other injuries that must be immediately addressed,” Darryl says. The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


“Musculoskeletal injuries are also common with electrical injuries. Fractures and dislocations can result either from trauma, when a casualty falls, or from tetanic muscle contractions caused by the electrical current passing through the body,” he says.

• Face: Check the person’s face. Has their mouth drooped?

Bleeding wounds are less common with electrical injuries, but when they do occur they can have significant effect on a casualty.

• Time: Time is critical. If any of the signs are observed, call triple zero ‘000’ for an ambulance immediately.

“The average adult has between six to eight litres of blood circulating through their body. A loss of as little as 500ml can cause shock which, if left untreated, can lead to death,” Darryl says. “The simple steps of applying pressure and elevating the wound can control bleeding and buy time.” Management of medical emergencies Effective risk management strategies and safety systems are critical in the workplace, as a knowledge of first aid is necessary to deal with every day medical emergencies. Darryl says the initial first aid management of medical emergencies in many cases relates to correct positioning of a casualty, early recognition of life-threating conditions and early referral to more definitive medical aid. An example of this is the initial first aid management of stroke, the second biggest killer after coronary heart disease in Australia. The FAST test can help you recognise a stroke earlier, leading to a better outcome:

• Arm: Can they lift both arms? • Speech: Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?

Early recognition, first response, positioning and quick referral to medical aid can also be lifesaving in the event of asthma, anaphylaxis, epilepsy and diabetes. First aid training – benefits beyond initial management of incidents Research indicates there is a strong correlation between repetitive first aid training and lower injury rates, and that first aid training combined with safety training is more beneficial than first aid training alone. “Evidence that first aid training can change both attitudes and safety behaviours highlights the importance of having competent, trained first aiders available to respond to an electrical injury,” Darryl says. “The key is remembering that simple skills save lives. Looking at your risks and providing trained staff suitable to respond will ensure a safer workplace.” St John Ambulance Australia runs a wide range of first aid courses, including Low Voltage Rescue and basic Provide CPR, across the country. Courses can be conducted at St John venues or in-house at your workplace. Visit or call 1300 ST JOHN (78 5228) to book your course today.


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Recent power board recalls are just the tip of the iceberg Those who follow the recall of electrical appliances and products will have noticed that the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission has issued a spate of recall notices for power boards and double adapters over the last 12 months.

In fact, there have been eight recalls of power boards and three covering double adapters since August last year. The recalls have applied to a range of hardware chains, supermarkets and department stores. And while there has been no significant fanfare about the list of activities, it represents a very welcome (and arguably long overdue) shift to proactive testing of products under the Electrical Equipment

Safety System (EESS). Under this system, products are tested at random for the first time for compliance with the relevant safety standard, and this is the reason we have witnessed a spike in recalls. Master Electricians welcomes this activity, and supports any efforts to proactively enforce the safety standard. CEO Malcolm Richards says the organisation believes there is a need for a more comprehensive strategy to support product


recalls, particularly in light of the widespread use of sub-standard cable products in recent years. “While national recalls of faulty products are very welcome, it can be difficult to find and replace all the affected items,” Mr Richards says. “We’ve seen this with the Infinity and Olsent-branded cables recall, where many homeowners were not even aware of the brand of cable installed in their premises, and there was no established procedure to ensure all purchasers of these products were informed of the electrical safety risks present in their homes and businesses.” Master Electricians Australia has called for a system of product tracking and a register of electrical product sales, so faulty goods can be traced in the event of a recall. MEA also believes manufacturers, importers and suppliers of electrical goods should be required to carry recall insurance, so consumers can be certain that any faulty or non-compliant electrical products purchased are removed and replaced without delay. The organisation will continue lobbying state and federal governments to have these proposals implemented, in order to protect both consumers and contractors in the case of recalls.

“We’ve seen this with the Infinity and Olsentbranded cables recall, where many homeowners were not even aware of the brand of cable installed in their premises, and there was no established procedure to ensure all purchasers of these products were informed of the electrical safety risks present in their homes and businesses.” The recalls also point to the importance of choosing quality products, and the reason that reliable and trusted brands can cost more. HPM Legrand Australia CEO Tony Berland says a strong brand name is not just an excuse for charging contractors higher prices. “Rather, a strong brand has the ability to offer a commitment of quality and safety for contractors and their customers, which some inferior imported products from unknown brands may not consistently provide,” Mr Berland says. HPM Legrand has been in operation for more than 80 years. The company has 20 experienced local research and development

The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


The HPM Legrand team are all about their brand.

“For example, following the recall of the aforementioned faulty cables, the importer went into liquidation, passing responsibility for the breach further down the supply chain. It will be some time before a verdict is reached on who is liable for the estimated $80 million in damages. “HPM Legrand strongly believes that compliance with appropriate safety standards is beneficial for the whole industry, providing all players with the confidence to purchase, install and use products without worry.

HPM Legrand Australia CEO Tony Berland

engineers, two NATA-accredited labs and observes stringent compliance with Australian standards and regulations. “Not all brands can promise this same level of commitment to Australian contractors and the industry as a whole,” Mr Berland says.

“For that reason, we actively support regulators in their task to crack down on the sale of low quality and dangerous products, along with industry bodies such as Master Electricians Australia which lobby government for stronger laws and better consumer protections. “Our ongoing responsibility is to prioritise safe, innovative, customisable and locally relevant products for electrical contractors and their customers. “Purchasing products from a reputable and established brand will provide important peace of mind, knowing these products have been appropriately tested and quality assured to meet Australian standards.”


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+61 2 8850 3333


the buzz

Partnership connects all facets of industry A recent partnership between Master Electricians Australia (MEA) and Hunter TAFE is providing enhanced opportunities for industry representatives, apprentices and leaders in the electrotechnology space to connect and exchange ideas. Earlier this year, MEA and Hunter TAFE signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which has brought together different sections of the industry to improve the overall quality, safety and sustainability of the profession. As part of the partnership, Hunter TAFE hosts MEA Hunter’s quarterly forums at the Newcastle Campus, which are used to inform electrical industry personnel with up-to-date knowledge and skills of current electrotechnology practices. Since the forum has moved onto campus, the attendance has broadened and it has enabled industry partners to meet and discuss on a more regular basis. Hunter TAFE Head Teacher of Electrotechnology Aidan McCann says that although it is still early in the partnership, both organisations have already experienced great benefits.

‘business world’ of electrical contracting and associated industries that our students gain a holistic picture of the electrotechnology profession,” he says. MEA’s NSW State Manager Jody McGann says working with Hunter TAFE has added new dimensions to engagement with the electrotechnology sector in the Hunter. “The Hunter Region is an important area for Master Electricians in NSW and this partnership provides us with a fantastic opportunity to reach electrical contractors, apprentices and industry partners that we may not normally have access to through our traditional communication channels,” Ms McGann says.

“There are great synergies between our two organisations and the partnership is a terrific way to better engage with industry,” Mr McCann says.

“Our forums are designed to provide the latest information on safety, legislation, technology, and business practices in order to raise the bar within industry. They are also a great networking opportunity for everyone involved.”

“While in its infancy, the response from attendees has been positive and I like to think that by introducing our apprentices to the

The next Hunter Industry Forum will be held at Hunter TAFE Newcastle campus on Tuesday July 21, 2015.


(From left to right) Danny Finnerty from Onsite Electrical being shown how to use a defibrillator by Ryan Paterson and Greg Delehunt from St Johns Ambulance NSW.

Parramatta Industry Forum kicks off first of many MEA events for the year The first industry forum for 2015 was recently held at the Rydges Hotel in Parramatta. Master Electricians members enjoyed a day of networking and learning new skills from some of the best experts in the field. From mastering the use of a life-saving Automated External Defibrillator,

to getting the latest advice on how to ensure you are compliant with current regulations – the event had it all to keep members up to date on relevant industry issues. To check when the next forum will be held in your state, jump on

Digital Business Kit Part 2 is ready for you to download now The second half of Master Electricians Australia’s (MEA) Digital Business Kit is up and running, following the highly successful first edition released earlier this year. It’s only been a matter of weeks, but MEA’s been overwhelmed with positive feedback from members already taking advantage of the opportunity to expand their digital toolbox (including tackling social media), via the interactive Electricians Digital Business Kit website. Part 2 includes 10 new topics, from mastering job management and internet security, through to eCommerce and digital advertising. Each topic contains a How-To Guide with tips specific to the electrical industry, where you’ll learn inside tips from other electricians.

The newly designed website also tailors a package to suit your business needs, including new video case studies and action plan checklists. Simply take our short, three-question quiz to find out where to start. Don’t let the digital world pass you by, take advantage of this offer and grow your business today. Visit to access the free website. The Electricians Digital Business is an Australian government funded initiative under the Digital Business Kits Program.

The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


WA Attorney-General sparks an important question: What’s the price of a life? Master Electricians Australia (MEA) was not impressed over comments made recently by WA Consumer Protection Minister Michael Mischin that the installation of safety switches on older homes would be too expensive for homeowners, and too costly for regulators to monitor. MEA is supporting Greg Zapelli in his campaign to mandate the installation of RCDs on all circuits within a suitable timeframe, following the tragic electrocution of his 18-year-old son, Jayden, while working on electrical wiring at a home in East Bunbury more than two years ago. MEA WA State Manager Tony Mancini says the comments were ill-informed and disappointing. “This young man’s death is by no means an isolated incident – there are 15 electrical deaths nationally every year which could be prevented by the installation of RCDs. So Mr Mischin’s dismissal of our initiative as being too expensive is incomprehensible,” Mr Mancini says.

Mr Zapelli’s initiative comes on the back of MEA supporting Kevin Fuller, whose son Matthew was one of four young men who died while working on the former Federal Government’s flawed Home Insulation Program (HIP). Master Electricians Australia has been campaigning for more than five years to get all states and territories to take action to mandate safety switches, which can be installed for as little as $500. Mr Mancini says the life-saving devices could have prevented the deaths of Matthew Fuller, Reuben Barnes and Mitchell Sweeney during the botched Home Insulation Program, and then Jayden Zapelli just a short time later. “It certainly makes you wonder how many people must die before decision-makers like Mr Mischin think it would actually be worth the investment,” Mr Mancini says. MEA was instrumental in drafting a raft of recommendations on electrical safety and the use of RCDs, as outlined in its

Switch Thinking report following the HIP deaths. These recommendations were then adopted as part of the 2014 Royal Commission’s final report, handed down in September. MEA believes that all domestic final subcircuits should be RCD-protected, however since the release of the Coronial report, not a single state or territory has taken action leaving more than a third of homes still without these life-saving devices.

A new film is launched to keep our young workers safe Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has produced a new film, titled ‘The right start: Building safe work for young workers’, for supervisors and managers to highlight the key considerations for keeping young people safe at work in the construction industry. Young workers aged 15-24 years are injured more frequently in the construction industry than older age groups. Around 700 young workers in construction are seriously injured each year. That’s an injury that keeps them off work for at least five days and could affect their ability to work for the rest of their life.

The new film follows two young construction workers throughout their work days to demonstrate how important the role of supervisors and managers are in designing good work and keeping young workers safe. The scenarios highlight the difference between effective and ineffective work design, by providing: • induction and training; • supervision and feedback; and • support and mentoring. Young workers have a unique risk profile because they are more likely to be:

• still developing intellectually, socially and physically; • not experienced enough to notice when a situation becomes risky; • less likely to ask questions or raise safety concerns; and • influenced by the behaviour of their workmates – whether that behaviour is right or wrong. For these reasons, simply telling a young worker what the rules are and asking them to speak up if they have concerns is often not effective. Supervisors and managers should consider how well they manage the safety of young workers by ensuring effective induction and training, providing appropriate supervision and feedback, and using support and mentoring to develop the skills and attitudes of their young workers. To check out the film, visit:


Clean Energy Council update If you’re passionate about renewable energy or being a Clean Energy Councilaccredited solar installer, you’ll be excited about several upcoming events. The All-Energy Australia Conference, supported by the Clean Energy Council, is coming up in Melbourne from October 7 to 8. Attendance at the event – including the solar conference and Professional Development Day – will be free. The All-Energy Australia Conference is rapidly gaining a reputation for being the best place to hear all the latest developments in the solar industry, and better yet – by attending both the Professional Development Day and the ATRAA conference you can get 100 CPD points at no charge. Visit www.all-energy. for more details. If you’re more interested in getting updates on the clean energy policy and finance landscape, the Australian Clean Energy Summit coming up from July 15 to 16 in Sydney is a must-attend event. The summit will draw the most senior people from the renewable energy industry together in

Framing demonstration hosted by Clenergy at the 2014 Clean Energy Week.

one place to discuss the latest political, financial and business developments impacting the sector, including the fallout from the review of the Renewable Energy Target.

• August – Geelong, Bendigo, Perth and Hobart Accredited Installer Nights

For more details or to register, visit

Each Installer Night is worth 50 CPD points for eligible installers and costs $35 to attend.

Still want more? There are Accredited Installer Nights coming up across the country:

• September – Adelaide Accredited Installer Night

Check events for more details or to register.

Government asleep at the wheel as dangerous cable recall drags on It’s been almost two years since Master Electricians Australia (MEA) blew the whistle on Infinity cables and since then, very little has been done. Recently, the ACCC issued yet another media release about the dangers of imported faulty cables including Infinity and Olsent brands. MEA is urging the government to do more to ensure all Australians are aware of the possibility there may be dangerous cables installed in their homes or businesses. Questions need to be answered. How many home owners would know if they had this cable installed or how many Australians would read a media release from ACCC? And if by chance they did see it, how many would know what to do? And who to call?

MEA CEO Malcolm Richards says under current government regulations, there is no set time period to have homes or businesses checked to find out if this product has been installed, leaving consumers in the dark and on their own. “In the manner the ACCC has designed the partial recall, contractors and the public are not likely to report the existence of the cable in their homes. Instead, some are selling their homes to unsuspecting buyers without informing them,” Mr Richards says. “It beggars belief that after two years, consumers remain at risk of fire or electric shock. It is also staggering that regulators have done nothing to stop this happening.

“These potentially deadly products have been in thousands of households and businesses around the country for far too long.” Mr Richards says more needs to be done and MEA will continue to push for a thorough review of the product certification process to prevent future incidents. “Enough is enough. We need tougher laws so these products don’t slip through the cracks again,” he says. Both ‘INFINITY’ and ‘OLSENT’ branded cables were supplied in Australia through Masters Home Improvement and 16 other smaller outlets from March 2012 to September 2013. The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


feature impressive project

Lean, green & clean: the communications future for gas projects Solar power and technical innovation have combined to make monitoring wells and equipment in Queensland gas fields much more cost effective, Lisa Carter reports.

It looks like a souped-up shipping container, but this 20 x 8ft

structure sitting in the middle of a field in outback Queensland is anything but ordinary. It’s the first remote communications hub for the project to boast its own set of solar panels, complete with solar battery storage. The brainchild of Automation and Telecom Engineering Manager Ian Hill and the know-how of Frog Services’ Andy Clare and his team, this fully-mobile comms hut is, at present, the ‘trial run’ in a major Queensland gas project.

“Our electrician had quite extensive experience working with solar, so he worked with the client’s electrical and instrumentation (E&I) electrician in order to come up with a suitable product,” Andy says. After more than a year in full operation without any need for external power, the design’s been hailed an outstanding success – so much so that the client is now wanting nine. This lean, green communications machine is completely selfsufficient, costs less than half that of its predecessor, is significantly cheaper to run and has virtually no environmental impact. Not to


mention that it also maintains optimum internal temperature with ease, via the solar-powered air conditioning. “This idea was not in the original plan for the project, but as fate would have it it’s turned out to be an incredibly valuable concept which will save the project hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. In fact, in most cases the unit could pay for itself in less than a year,” he says. Temporary and quick to deploy comms huts essentially act as their own instant communications centres, gathering and sharing valuable data from gas wells 24 hours per day. Each one offers mobile data, video, voice, and TETRA radio capabilities, which are critical when connecting personnel with information in a remote area. “So these huts are first on the agenda. The accompanying towers allow every hub to communicate constantly to others – it’s a vital element of any gas project,” he says. Frog Services has built 23 standard, generator-powered units for the project, each with its own remote monitoring system, generator and fuel cell, and the ability to be transferred to different areas as the need arises. However, the standard huts are heavily reliant on fuel and require enormous amounts of maintenance. Each one’s generator alone must be serviced every 10 days. Even a small generator will cost up to $50k a year just in fuel and maintenance, not to mention the cost to the environment.

“Frog Services has built 23 standard, generatorpowered units for the project, each with its own remote monitoring system, generator and fuel cell, and the ability to be transferred to different areas as the need arises.” “Multiply that by the number of huts in use, and then factor in how many road miles maintenance staff need to cover and it all becomes a very complex set-up,” he says. But with advancements in solar energy storage, the new concept was devised to incorporate storage batteries which allow the hut to maintain its data monitoring and communications capabilities seamlessly in all weather conditions – and maintain its internal air conditioning – completely eliminating the need for devices to convert mechanical energy to power up the project. A 13 metre wind-up mast is fitted to the end of the shipping container, but it too has been designed for stand-alone and quick deployment, meaning it can be moved and re-fitted to any container at short notice. “We decided to use the system of brackets and cross members to fit into the standard corner castings of the container. The bottom cross member needed a winch and a system of pulleys so the mast could be wound up from the ground to the upright positions,” he says. The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


The search for a suitable bracket that would bolt into the corner castings wasn’t quite so simple. Weeks of sourcing from suppliers everywhere from America to Europe didn’t yield a single suitable option. So, Frog designed its own, taking the concept to a specialist engineer in Toowoomba, in Queensland’s south-east. “We designed and built a nine-metre flatbed trailer to transport the mast to site. It’s a really simple system which allows us to transport and fit the mast without needing a crane, which is an even greater advantage in such remote areas. “Every detail has been addressed to allow for maximum moveability – the solar panels can be adjusted and can be folded down virtually flat to the sides of the structure,” he says. Frog Services is hoping to refine its model for use across other industries, such as for police and emergency services during

“We designed and built a nine-metre flatbed trailer to transport the mast to site. It’s a really simple system which allows us to transport and fit the mast without needing a crane, which is an even greater advantage in such remote areas.” a crisis or natural disaster situation, giving officers IP-based voice, data and video communications capabilities in remote or infrastructure-deprived environments. “These kinds of systems can be tailored for any situation. We think we’ll be able to modify these into the near future – we think the opportunities are endless.”


your top 3 tech questions

Our hardworking technical team at Master Electricians Australia HQ help thousands of our members every year on a range of different issues. From interpreting standards, regulations or legislation to advice with technical, safety or compliance matters, our guys know it all! This edition, we thought we would share some of the most frequently asked questions. 1. Swimming Pools Q: I believe a pool fence located within arm’s reach of the pool edge is required to be equipotentially bonded. Where do I get the definition of “arm’s reach”? A: In Part 1 of the Wiring rules ( AS/NZS 3000:2007 ) under Clause 1.4 Definitions, term “arm’s reach” is described in clause 1.4.12 with an accompanying illustration. The measurement is 1.25 metres. 2. Bathrooms Q: I am trying to work out measurements for the zones inside a bathroom with

respect to the shower. The three zones seem to be taken from the shower head? A: The starting point of the measurement is always referred to the “fixed shower plumbing connection” irrespective of the shower head being fitted with an extension being rigid or flexible in construction. This information is contained in Clause 3. Lighting Circuits Q: I am installing a new light fitting to an existing lighting circuit. The existing circuit does not have RCD protection. Is it law to install an RCD to this circuit?

A: No. Clause allows for an exception if an additional lighting load is installed to an existing lighting circuit, RDC protection is not enforced. There may be other factors that could alter this exemptions implementation due to other safety requirements of the installation or additional standards and state legislation which could override this specific clause. The information above is specific to the question and may not apply to all such instances. If the application is different or has some similarities, please consult our Technical Hotline for further confirmation on 1300 889 198. The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


benefit spotlight

Engaging an apprentice is easier than you think! From safely wiring homes to building the electrical grids of tomorrow, electrical apprentices are the future of our industry. Managed well, they can make a valuable contribution to your business.

In 2014, there were 181,700 Australians who were formally

employed as apprentices or trainees – of these, 43 per cent had commenced their apprenticeships in the last 12 months with new apprentices starting every day. The process of engaging an apprentice is exciting for any business. But despite this, many employers are understandably hesitant to take the first step towards hiring an apprentice, whether through a group training scheme, or direct employment. The apprentice process can seem overwhelming, time consuming and costly. Master Electricians Australia’s (MEA) ApprenticeConnect program has been created to help make things easier when it comes to employing apprentices, ensuring you receive the Commonwealth and State incentives you are entitled to, and giving you the flexibility to get on with the job of employing the right people for your business.

The program allows contractors to select and indenture an apprentice who suits them and their business, while having someone else coordinate the complex paperwork and administration that comes with managing their apprenticeship. It’s easy, cost-effective and personal. ApprenticeConnect specialists mentor apprentices during their training, provide ongoing support through regular scheduled contact, and are available and accessible to you, as the employer, whenever you need them. With ApprenticeConnect, you can build your business through apprenticeships, develop your staff through traineeships and give back to the industry that trained you. To find out how you can take advantage of the ApprenticeConnect program, contact Master Electricians Australia on 1300 889 198. To become a MEA member and benefit from tailored business advice and first-rate member benefits, call 1300 889 198.


ApprenticeConnect can provide the following services tailored to your needs: Apprenticeship centre sign up


Communication and coordination of a date, time and location for the apprentice to be signed into their Training Contract with the Australian Apprenticeship Centre.

12-weekly contact with you to provide support and ensure the apprenticeship is progressing. This contact will include follow-up of any available incentives, off-the-job training progress, profiling health checks, and member support.

Profiling registration Coordination of the commencement of your apprentice’s electronic profiling to track their on-the-job progress. Training plan sign up Advice regarding training and the Registered Training Organisations (RTO) available plus coordination of a date, time and location for the Training Plan to be completed as well as scheduled dates for off-the-job training to commence.

Completion support When the apprentice approaches their completion date, ApprenticeConnect will monitor and assist to ensure all necessary actions have taken place to enable the apprentice to complete their apprenticeship. ApprenticeConnect will also provide support and advice on the licencing requirements in each state/territory.

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Winter 2015


business feature

Creating Successful Business Networks – why you should stay connected In a fast-paced, competitive and rapidly-changing business environment, it is vital we sharpen our secret weapon – networking – to drive our businesses forward. The underlying principles remain the same, however we now have unprecedented social media channels in which to utilise this valuable business tool. Elise Eyears examines how to combine the old with the new.

The power of networking can never be underestimated. Connections are everywhere – from online forums, to LinkedIn recommendations, to the good old fashion meet and greet, opportunities are around every corner. Networking is about being aware of your target audience and aligning your skills, knowledge and service offerings with those of the industry or market you are wanting to grow your network from, or in to. For many, networking or reconnecting with existing networks can be a daunting task

that prevents businesses from unlocking their full potential.

“I’m often asked – what is the best way to network – online, face to face or both? I believe both.”

Kev Bately Smith has spent decades tapping in to networking events nationally and internationally, online and face to face, giving him the opportunity to meet all manner of dynamic people who have achieved success in sole entities right through to corporate empires, based on their successful network management.

build, maintain and grow successful business networks.

As Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Adult Learning Institute, Kev and his team follow a few easy steps to create,

“A great start to establishing an effective business network is to research, research and research again, to understand and


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know which method of networking would best draw on and showcase your professional business strengths,” Kev says. “I’m often asked – what is the best way to network – online, face to face or both? I believe both.” With the meteoric rise of social media opening up a raft of new opportunities at the tip of everyone’s fingers, it’s now easier than ever to combine methods new and old, in order to strike the right balance. Avenues such as Facebook and Twitter are more popular than ever, joining LinkedIn in offering low-to-no cost, effective methods for engaging with your target audiences. But before diving in to an online presence, it’s essential to do your homework – know your platforms, know your target audience and set clear objectives. Kev says the key to success is to ensure that the information contained within your profile is appealing, remains current, has relevance to your network audience, and clearly defines who you are and what you do. “Once you’ve decided on the best online platform/s to use for your business network, the next step is to learn how to use them in order to showcase what you do, how to maintain and manage the accuracy and relevancy of what you do, and who you are wanting to attract to your business based on your skills, reputation and service offering,” he says. Electrical safety advisor Gary Kilmartin has four decades of industry experience, and evolved his methods of communication early on to incorporate social networks for sharing the latest industry information.

“…just like updating your Facebook or Twitter status to grow and inform your online network, it’s vital to maintain and improve your face-toface networking strategy. The key is to plan your ideal relationships and polish up those tactics early on.”

Kev Bately Smith says just like updating your Facebook or Twitter status to grow and inform your online network, it’s vital to maintain and improve your face-to-face networking strategy. The key is to plan your ideal relationships and polish up those tactics early on. “When you attend the network event, plan how you are going to approach people so that you will be able to understand who they are and what they do, and for them to understand who you are and what you do,” Kev says. “You are a crystal-clear window to your business and how it operates and people will make a judgement decision based off the perception you deliver, and their experience with you. Your smile is the first impression of your business, your handshake is the confidence in what you do, your personality is the experience that people will remember, and your business card is the lasting impression you leave.”

Gary says he uses Twitter every day to read world-wide electrical news from Europe and America.

But in order to build tangible and worthwhile relationships, you have to back it up! How do you then manage and cultivate your relationships within your hard-earned business network?

“We’ve all got the same problems – it’s just seeing how they’re handling it,” Gary says.

“Look at each person within your business network individually, with individual needs, and as your customer,” Kev says.

But Gary knows better than anyone how important it is to use social media in conjunction with, rather than as a replacement for, events, seminars and workshops, particularly in fields like workplace health and safety, to gain valuable knowledge and tips from the experts.

“Provide them with an experience that exceeds their expectation. This could be in the form of quick response and follow up, engaging and relevant information, and being consistently consistent in all interactions they have with you online and/or face to face.

“You get the opportunity to ask the person who is in the power to make those comments, you aren’t reading from someone else who is copying and pasting information,” he says.

“Before you know it, your business network and business will grow within itself based on advocacy and reputation.” The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


meet a master electrician

Matthew Timms with best mate and business partner Dave Segav.

Power Concepts Electrical Director Mathew Timms has worked alongside his business partner Dave Segav for more than a decade to build the Darwin practice into a thriving business with 11 employees on its books. But in his downtime, the travel-mad sparkie, his wife Simone and their two boys love to ditch the everyday and head off on a good, oldfashioned adventure. You and your wife are high school sweethearts after catching each other’s gaze at Kormilda College almost two decades ago. I bet neither you nor Simone could have imagined you’d still be together in your thirties! When I first saw Simone she had more than caught my gaze, I remember thinking, ‘wow she’s hot’! I fell for her pretty bad pretty quickly, but she was in the grade below me so the opportunity to get to know her wasn’t huge. But I was patient! It took me a little over 18 months to work the courage up to get her on our first date and we have been together ever since. The time I have spent with Simone building our lives together has been filled with every emotion you can imagine and we have had more than our share of adventures. However I could never have imagined back then, the wonderful life we have had together and the beautiful family we have created – I’m a lucky man! I bet a lot of your friends thought you were nuts getting married at just 22 – what did you tell the naysayers?

At the time we got married there were a few people that thought it was a little old fashioned to get married so young (and certainly looking at the photos now, we both looked soooo young) but we had already been together for nearly five years before getting hitched so it just felt natural. We were lucky all of our family and close friends were very supportive (well that’s what they told me at the time anyway...). You are both Darwin locals through and through – tell me why it’s such a great place to raise your two ‘ginger boys’? I am a Darwin native and certainly Simone has more than proved that she is a Territorian but she was actually born in Sydney and moved here when she was three. The opportunities for my boys to grow up in an environment where values in life such as respect, mateship and that sense of belonging are valued as highly, or even more than, money, position and prestige – it’s something we cherish.

Name: Matthew Timms Company: Power Concepts Electrical State: Northern Territory Status: MEA member since 2004

Darwin people have this wonderful ability to treat everyone as an equal whether you’re Prince Harry or a lonely old sparky. It is a big mixing pot of people, it’s just a relaxing place to live and grow up. The boys, Lucas and Mitchell are 7 and 10 – what are the challenges for Simone in having an all-male household? I think the hardest part of family life in the Timms household for Simone is the noise and the constant movement. With two very active boys there’s always something going on albeit sports, wrestles, or some new fort that’s getting built. Simone is a fantastic mother and she adores our children to no end, but I reckon she wouldn’t mind if she had a daughter as well that she could do all the girly things with. You and your family are all travel buffs – what’s the best experience you’ve ever had overseas? I must say seeing my oldest boy Mitchell spend his birthday a couple of years back at Disneyland California was a pretty


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special experience. They gave him a special birthday badge and then all day every time the staff or characters would see him they’d give him a high five and wish him a happy birthday. He was very impressed, but his little brother Lucas was very envious and hasn’t yet stopped reminding us that it’s his turn next! Whether it’s oversees, the beach or just camping, you consciously try to take at least two holidays every year – is this one of the secrets to finding the elusive work/ life balance? The mystical work/life balance is such a hard thing to quantify as it is so different from person to person. With me part-owning Power Concepts with my best mate Dave, and Simone being a successful primary school teacher, our lives tend to get pretty full. But it’s important for our sanity and the family unit as a whole to get away as every time we do, we grow together.

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I love being able to sit around a table and go through old photos with Simone and the boys and remember all the adventures and misadventures we have had. No amount of work can come even close to beating that... What travel destination is on your bucket list and why? We are all heading to Japan this year for the Master Electricians conference and are all very excited about that, especially Lucas and Mitchell as they are both learning Japanese at school and are very keen to try out what they have learnt. But as far as a bucket list goes I would dearly love to show the kids a white Christmas. Living in Darwin the stark contrast to what our ‘wet’ Christmas is to what a proper white Christmas is would be unreal.

who else would you trust! Ampere Electrical Manufacturing Co. Pty. Ltd. Tel (03) 9510 4333, 9510 2428 Fax (03) 9510 5940 Toll Free 1800 AMPERE (1800 267 373)

The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


In your state

Electrical Safety Office


CHECK YOUR SOLAR PV DC The Electrical Safety Office (ESO) conducted an audit of solar PV systems and identified moisture ingress into some DC isolators (switches).This moisture ingress has the potential to result in fires. This could be caused by normal electrical installation practices not being correctly followed. Some examples include: • not ensuring the cable glands used for cable entry in the isolator enclosure are correct

• using conduit without sealing off the end of the conduit appropriately • not having the conduit or cable entry at the bottom of the isolator enclosure • leaving holes in the DC isolator enclosure • not properly sealing the enclosure with the gaskets supplied • not installing the DC isolator in the correct orientation required by the manufacturer. DC isolators may also be subject to damage or degradation due to the environments they are installed in. Electrical contractors should take care to ensure:

• the DC isolator is properly installed • cables are properly routed into the enclosure of the isolator • the isolator and enclosure are installed and sealed in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions with correct components used. On-going checks and maintenance of solar PV systems, including checking DC isolators for damage or moisture ingress, is a necessary part of owning and operating a solar PV system. For more information visit or call 1300 362 128.


Office of the Technical Regulator


ALL ELECTRICAL FATALITIES ARE AVOIDABLE During the last 12 months there have been two electrical fatalities in South Australia that have a lot in common – both could have been avoided. Both instances involved retired trades-people working around the home using old electrical equipment that had become unsafe and should have been thrown away years ago. The tragic result is that two families have each lost a husband, father and grandfather. There are lessons we should all take from this: • The continued use of old, dangerous electrical equipment has taken far too many lives over the years. In many cases,

LED lighting solutions ● Emergency and safety lighting ● General fixtures/luminaires

these old and dangerous products may only cost a few dollars to replace. One of these deaths appears to have been caused by the failure of the cord anchorage on a home-made inspection lamp. This resulted in the victim contacting the live ends of the flexible cord. This could have been avoided by a trip to the local hardware or camping store to buy a low-cost LED headlamp or work light. • Safe work practices we all use in the workplace are just as important when working at home. This applies equally to doing those odd jobs on the weekend or to “keeping our hand in” when we retire. As electricians, we must keep ourselves safe, but we also need to keep our eyes open for potentially dangerous equipment. Likewise we should keep a watchful eye on any retired friends, relatives or neighbours that we know, especially those who like to do a bit of DIY.

HID Lighting ● Commercial and retail lighting ● Control gear, starters and ballasts

When it comes to electrical work, retirees are not exempt from the licensing requirements of the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Electricians Act 1995 and should always hire a licenced electrical contractor. The two cases are subject to coronial inquests which may find different circumstances to those discussed here. Visit for more information.

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WESTERN AUSTRALIA O’Connor (O8) 9314 4555 Osborne Park (O8) 92O1 9682

The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


In your state Fair Trading

NSW PORTABLE BUTANE ‘LUNCHBOX’ COOKERS ARE DANGEROUS With winter well and truly here, NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe has warned consumers not to buy portable butane ‘lunchbox’ type cookers due to safety issues, including overheating. Mr Stowe says compliance certification for all current models of ‘lunchbox’ type gas cookers had been suspended by the independent safety certifiers and cookers of this type can no longer be sold lawfully in NSW. “Up to 31 models of butane gas cookers have been withdrawn from sale as they do not meet Australian Standards,” Mr Stowe says.

Energy Safety



EnergySafety has issued two Orders to owners and operators of high voltage (HV) installations with oil-insulated HV combined-fuse switches following the fatal explosion at the Morley Galleria Shopping Centre on 3 February 2015. Two electricians were killed when the 11kV oil-insulated Long & Crawford combinedfuse switch they were maintaining exploded when a high current fault occurred in the tank of the unit. The first Order, dated 13 February 2015 under Section 18B of the Energy Coordination Act 1994, was issued based on evidence obtained during the investigation. This Order stipulates that: • No person shall open the lid of any Long & Crawford (L & C) fuse switches until the unit to be worked upon is completely isolated from the electricity supply. • Owners and operators of L & C fuse switches shall not permit any person to open the lid of any L & C fuse

“Retailers in NSW should no longer be stocking or selling these products,” Mr Stowe says. “Testing, undertaken at the request of NSW Fair Trading and other State gas regulators, has found a fault with the cookers’ shut-off valves, posing a risk that the devices may overheat and could explode. “These cookers are lightweight and portable and are popular for use in camping and caravanning. They are inexpensive and commonly sell for between $15 and $30.”

“The cookers should be disposed of in a safe manner, with the butane cylinders disposed of through an appropriate community waste or recycling centre. “Consumers who have purchased a noncompliant gas cooker and have proof of the purchase should return the product to their retailer and seek a refund of the full purchase price as soon as possible. “Fair Trading is continuing to work with retailers, manufacturers and other states to ensure products are removed from shelves.

Mr Stowe warns consumers who have purchased cookers to refrain from using them.

“I’d encourage consumers to notify NSW Fair Trading if they see any devices of this type being sold within stores or by NSW retailers,” he says.

“If these products malfunction they can potentially cause serious injuries and I’d encourage people to stop using them.”

Visit for consumer safety information and advice.

switches until the unit to be worked upon is completely isolated from the electricity supply. • L & C fuse switches worked upon must remain isolated until all work is completed and the tank lid closed. On Tuesday 24 March 2015, EnergySafety issued a second Order (02-2015). While the first Order pertained to only Long & Crawford Manchester switchgear, (later GEC Alsthom), the second order applies to all HV oil-insulated combinedfuse switches. In addition to banning the opening of the lid, the new Order also prohibits the commencement of any electrical work on this type of equipment, including operation of the switching or earthing mechanisms in cases where an HV fuse has operated. The new Order No 02-2015 requires that: • No person may commence any electrical work on any HV oil-insulated combinedfuse switch, including operation of the switching or earthing mechanisms or opening the lid, until it is first completely isolated from the electricity supply. • Owners and operators of oil-insulated HV combined-fuse switches must not permit any person to commence any electrical work on any such switches under their

ownership or control, including operation of the switching or earthing mechanism or opening the lid, until the switch to be worked upon is completely isolated from all sources of electricity. • Switches worked upon must remain isolated and electrically dead until all work is completed and the tank lid closed. • The HV switches affected by this Order include all oil-insulated models designed to permit fuse changes while parts at the bottom of the tank remain energised. Both Orders can be downloaded from




MORE VICTORIAN SUPPLIERS CAUGHT UP IN CABLE RECALL The ACCC has announced additional Victorian suppliers, as part of the nationwide recall of Infinity cable that was launched on 27 August 2014. The majority of affected Infinity and Olsent-branded electrical cable was supplied through electrical retailers and wholesalers covered by the national recall launched in August. However, some cable was supplied in smaller quantities by a number of smaller suppliers. ESV is concerned that electricians are not acting on calls to check buildings that contain Infinity cable. As of 26 March, only 179 premises nationwide had been rectified and only five per cent of the supplied cable had been remediated.

The ACCC has been forced to issue another reminder that homes or buildings containing Infinity cable must be checked by an electrician.

• John Danks & Son

The recall relates to all sizes and configurations of TPS and Orange Round mains power cables sourced from Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd and supplied under the INFINITY and OLSENT brand names.

• Thrifty-Link Hardware

The products fail to meet electrical safety standards due to poor-quality plastic insulation coating that degrades prematurely, causing a risk of electric shock, electrocution and fire. To warn other workers about the potential hazards of the cable, ESV is asking electricians who have installed this product to return to the installation where this cable has been installed and attach warning labels to the cable and at the switchboard while the recall process takes place. Infinity cable was supplied in Victoria, between 2012 and 2013, through: • Masters Home Improvement

• Home Timber & Hardware • Plants Plus

• Mitre 10 • Go Electrical plus • ABC Arian Electrical Suppliers • Norcab Electrical Wholesale • Titan Trading • All 4 Tradies Pty Ltd • Wholesale Electrical Supplies Pty Ltd • Phoenix Wholesalers Suppliers recalling the cable are required to meet the cost of rectification works under the recall and electricians who used this product should contact their supplier before commencing removal. Any unused product should be returned to the supplier. Visit for more information. The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


letter of the law

Avoid losing the farm or the house Why the right business structure is essential Many business owners do not understand just how important their business structure is, particularly when the going gets tough. McKays Solicitor’s Ian Heathwood explains. Two contractors – two very different results We recently had two contractors come to us with very similar stories. Both had decent sized contracting businesses with about a dozen staff. The bad news was both businesses had been going backwards financially for quite some time with no reason to believe things would change, at least in the short to medium term. One of the contractors had a disastrous outcome losing everything he and his wife owned. The other had what could only be considered to be a good outcome. Admittedly, it was a tough and stressful time, but he and his family were able to keep the family home, their personal assets and their investment property and went on to fight another day, setting up a new contracting business which is now highly successful. The advice that made a difference The sole distinguishing factor lay in how the two contractors had structured their businesses and the advice they received about that. One had taken advice from his accountant and lawyer about how to structure his family’s affairs and acted on it. And, when it became clear he was facing problems, he promptly came to us for advice which he followed. The other took no advice and ended up losing everything. No matter how sound you think your business is or how long you have been in business, there is always a risk that your business or commercial venture can fail. So if you haven’t thought much about your business structure, now you have a good opportunity to do it.

Waiting until you are in crisis and cannot pay the bills is almost always too late. Different goals can mean different structures There are many different business structures and which one is suitable for your business can depend on many factors, including where you want the business to be in 10 or 20 years and what you see yourself personally doing in the future. Sometimes a combination of structures will be best to achieve your goals. It can often involve balancing the need for asset protection against the desire for tax efficiency. Regardless, it is crucial to involve both your lawyer and accountant in the process of establishing or changing your business structure. The basic business structure models In simple terms, there are four basic, common business structures – sole proprietor, partnership, company and trusts. From an asset protection perspective, the main differences between the structures are: • Sole proprietor – There is no distinction between the assets and liabilities of the business and your own personal assets. This means all your personal assets like your home and your cars will be used to satisfy any outstanding debts of the business should things go wrong. Everything you own is on the line and at risk.


• P artnership – Like a sole trader, everything you own is on the line but it is worse because the partnership is not a separate legal entity so all partners are liable to pay and all their assets are on the line. • C ompany – A company is a separate legal entity. It can hold assets in its own name and it has limited liability. This means that if things go wrong, all the assets of the company may be lost but not the assets of the directors or shareholders. That said, directors can be personally liable in some situations such as personal negligence or insolvent trading. However, if you ‘play by the rules’ you should never have that problem. The keys here are firstly to make sure you know what those rules are (a decent lawyer will be able to tell you what they are) and secondly to follow the rules…..which is often where people let themselves down. • T rusts – A trust is not a separate legal entity like a company. However, the trustee of a trust can operate a business and there can be good tax reasons why this is the best option. Combined with using a company (which has limited liability) as the trustee, this is very often a great solution for small to medium-sized businesses like contractors commonly have, though it certainly is not the be-all and end-all. A trustee of a trust operates a business for the benefit of the ‘beneficiaries’ who are usually your family members and associated entities like companies you operate or other trusts you have. In some cases, a trustee operating a business will be

personally liable for the business’ debts if there are insufficient trust assets. However, trusts can be structured so that there is limited liability for a trustee. There are different trust structures, such as a unit trust or discretionary trust. However, the details of each are complex and require specific legal advice. What is best for contractors? What suits you, your family and business can depend on many factors, so you will need good advice from your lawyers as well as your accountants to make sure you get the best result and avoid, as best you can, the potential downsides of being in business. It is never too early to take advice, change your structure and minimise the risks to your family. And provided you are not already in deep financial strife, it’s rarely too late, no matter how long you have been in business, to make a change. Doing nothing however might just be financially fatal! McKays Solicitors, in consultation with your accountants, can help you identify any risks with your current business and personal asset structures and recommend any changes that could be made to protect your business and personal assets, ensuring you don’t pay more tax than you need to and that you have the best foundation for achieving your long-term business and financial goals. For further advice, contact McKays Solicitor’s Ian Heathwood on 07 3223 5942 or email


Don’t miss out! Register for the industry event of the year:

The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


the interview

Aaron Anderson Aaron Anderson has earned a fierce reputation among his peers in the legal fraternity for his unrelenting dedication to helping the Fuller and Barnes families find justice for the deaths of their sons, electrocuted during the botched Home Insulation Program. But the Norton Rose Fulbright Health and Safety Law specialist has become equally admired for his kindness and compassion in an oftentimes confronting vocation. He chats with Lisa Carter about the challenges ahead for businesses in finding practical ways of balancing commercial objectives with workers’ physical and mental health.

Since the deaths of Matthew and the other boys, there’s been a high-profile prosecution in WA over the electrocution of young electrical trades assistant Jayden Zapelli. What lessons can other businesses and staff learn from these terrible incidents? Like the deaths of Matthew Fuller and the other young workers who were killed whilst performing work as part of the Home Insulation Program (HIP), Jayden Zapelli’s death should have been avoided. We all know that electricity can be lethal and it’s not acceptable for the industry to continue to see deaths of young workers from electrocution in the circumstances in which we have seen over the last few years. The Coronial Inquests and subsequent Royal Commission into the death of four workers killed during the HIP provide valuable lessons for businesses to assist them to avoid similar tragic circumstances. Critically, they provide a further reminder that safety is the responsibility of all stakeholders who can influence work activities. This means that not only must workers take responsibility for carrying out activities in a safe manner but, also, businesses must provide those workers with the right systems and processes. This must also include training and supervision so that together the business and its workers can achieve a safe working environment. In light of the recent tragic events, I would strongly encourage businesses to adopt an approach of knowledge and vigilance. That is, businesses should put systems in place to ensure that they gain an understanding of matters relevant to their activities so they can make necessary changes to the way they do business to ensure they learn from that knowledge. Keeping people safe at work every day requires ongoing vigilance. Businesses must be vigilant to ensure that workers are applying the knowledge that they have gained so that the lessons learnt from previous tragic incidents are not lost. We have campaigned very strongly for governments to mandate the installation of safety switches, and will continue to do so. How would you like to see this issue progress? Having worked very closely with Kevin and Christine Fuller through the State Coronial Inquest and the Royal Commission, it is difficult not to see a compelling case for safety switches to be installed on all electrical circuits. Matthew Fuller would still be alive today if that were the case. As I mentioned, I think it is important for Governments to give proper consideration to recommendations arising out of Coronial Inquests and Royal Commission, as well as the issue of safety switches, which was considered by Coroner Barnes in the State Coronial Inquest that involved the death of Matthew Fuller.


You have an insider’s perspective – how difficult is it for business owners to ensure their staff are enacting best practice when working on job sites, particularly among younger workers who may be ‘six feet tall and bulletproof’? This is no doubt an ongoing challenge for business. The starting point is to ensure that workers are given the tools to achieve safe outcomes when they are performing their activities at job sites. Those tools include ensuring that workers are properly trained and competent to perform the tasks they are asked to do and there is an appropriate risk management approach developed by the business which is applied at the job sites. These lessons could not be made more evident by the findings of the Queensland Coronial Inquest into the deaths of Matthew Fuller, Rueben Barnes and Mitchell Sweeney. If you look at the findings related to Matthew Fuller, for example, the Coroner found that he was sent to the worksite on the day of his tragic death without having received proper training. He was also unsupervised and no risk assessment had been performed in relation to the roof cavity in which he entered. These are safety fundamentals that all businesses must put in place before they are able to place reliance on their workers to safely perform the activities at their jobsites. As a lawyer and also an active trainer and presenter, you are now using that platform to generate ideas and discussion surrounding the emergence of mental health as a Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) issue.

How is the changing nature of our work arrangements affecting WHS? The statistics I have seen show that nearly half of all Australians will experience a mental illness at some stage in their lives. In my profession, the statistics indicate that one in three solicitors report symptoms of depression. Mental health issues can arise from both work and non-work factors. However, when a worker is suffering from a mental illness this can have an impact on the ability of the worker to carry out their work activities in a safe manner. Mental health concerns are not new and work health and safety legislation places obligations on businesses to manage the risk of both physical and psychological injury. What is emerging is the changing nature of the way we work and the impact this is having on people’s mental health. This is evident from the parliamentary enquiry into fly-in, fly-out work

“Keeping people safe at work every day requires ongoing vigilance. Businesses must be vigilant to ensure that workers are applying the knowledge that they have gained so that the lessons learnt from previous tragic incidents are not lost. ”

The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


arrangements that have taken place in Western Australia. The reliance by businesses on FIFO work arrangements during the mining boom has meant that workers are spending long periods of time away from their loved ones. They’re often working in remote and isolated areas, are under heavy demands of their work schedules and can be fatigued through the travel and accommodation arrangements that may not adequately support appropriate periods of rest. These factors, and others, can accumulate to impact a worker’s mental health and ultimately their ability to perform work activities safely. How are employers balancing workers’ physical safety with their mental health? There have been a number of initiatives that have been introduced by organisations to assist with the management of mental health concerns. This includes training and accreditation for mental health first aid officers within businesses so that workers who may be showing signs of suffering from mental illness have someone to go to who may be able to assist them to seek appropriate help. Small businesses may not have the resources to be able to implement initiatives such as this. However, there is no reason why small business owners cannot at least inform themselves

as to what to look out for to identify whether a worker may be suffering from mental illness and have a tool kit of appropriate referral resources so that workers can be given assistance if need be. These referral sources could include employee assistance program providers and community organisations such as Mates in Construction and Beyond Blue. If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Mates in Construction on 1300 642 111.



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gadget guide

iBattery Emergency Phone Charger There is nothing more frustrating than being out on a job or on your way to the next one when the battery on your phone dies.

Universal Tablet Headrest Mount/Car Seat Holder – iPad Who doesn’t love a road trip? And with this super cool gadget you’ll be able to entertain the kids (or your mates) as you drive. No more – ‘are we there yet?’ questions. Hooray!

Introducing the iBattery Emergency Phone Charger, an incredibly handy gadget that charges your phone while you’re on the run. The compact unit can be easily stored in your glove or tool box. It’s even small enough to fit in your back pocket so you’ll never be left in the lurch again! This 60g portable iBattery charges many different brands of phones, making it a must-have accessory.

The Universal Tablet Headrest Mount is a car seat holder for iPads and other tablets. It provides comfortable movie and TV show viewing. The inbuilt secure padding prevents scratching on your device and it has a 360 degree swivel for portrait and landscape orientations.

iPhone/iPod and Micro USB cables are included in the purchase price.

With no tools required, you simply mount the bracket to your headrest, attach your device and you’re on your way.

RRP: $13.95 Visit

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Whistle Key Finder We’ve all been there, racing out the door for a big day and you suddenly realise you don’t have your keys. You spend minutes searching your pockets, tables and the couch whilst trying to retrace when you had them last. Well stress no more, the Whistle Key Finder puts an end to the frantic search by simply whistling. Just attach this genius gadget to your keys, whistle and hey-presto, your keys will light up and beep until you find them. Did we mention it also has an inbuilt LED torch? So not only will you never lose your keys again, you’ll be able to easily open doors in the dark. This gadget is a must-have for anyone who misplaces their keys. RRP: $16.95 Visit

InstalTest Combo Single & 3 Phase Multi-Function Tester for All Your Electrical Installation Testing and Verification.

Replaces 5 instruments with 12 tests in one instrument.

Single & 3 phase installation testing to AS/NZS3017 covering earth continuity, insulation resistance, polarity, correct connections, fault loop impedance and RCD testing.

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COMBO 3125 $999 ex GST

Optional MI-TPI for 3 phase testing of RCDs, fault loop etc.

Call EMONA on tel: 1 800 632 953, email: or The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


techno biz

EFO Non-Contact Voltage Duo Tester The VS4 provides a safe indication of voltage from a 90-600V AC without direct contact. When the sensitivity switch is pressed and held down, the Voltage Duo becomes desensitised and has to be held closer to the cable to respond to the electrical field in order to differentiate between live/neutral or dead cable when they are close to each other. A Bi-colour LED indicates blue for correct operation and red for the presence of voltage along with an audible alert. There is low battery indication, an on/off switch and auto off. The VS4 has a Safety rating of EN61010 CATIV 600V and is an essential tool for checking and fault-finding electrical installations. Visit for more information.

GreenUp LED Highbay An integrated solution that combines controller, sensor and luminaire in one, this product offers wireless capabilities and controllability without the complexities and installation demands associated with traditional controlled lighting systems. Designed for both new projects and retrofits, the lightweight GreenUp Highbay offers a point-to-point retrofit replacement of conventional fluorescent T5 and conventional highbay light fittings with energy savings of up to 75 per cent compared with traditional Philips HID 400W high-bays and up to 54 per cent versus traditional Philips T5 HO 4x54W high-bays. For further information, contact Philips on 1300 363 391.

Weatherproof Sunset Switch The Weatherproof Sunset Switch is used to switch outdoor lights (or indoor lights when applicable) off when they are not required in daylight. In its most basic form, the unit senses outdoor light level and switches a relay on and off, thus turning the lights wired to it on or off. Traditionally, the lights would turn on during sunset, therefore it is commonly known as a Sunset Switch. Unlike other models on the market, the CABAC Sunset Switch features more than one mode of operation. In fact, it is a threein-one device that incorporates three different programmed switching modes/sequences including standard, timer and eco mode. Visit for more information.


feature tech talk

AS/NZS 5033:2014 – New installation and safety requirements for PV arrays At the end of 2014, the Australian/New Zealand Joint Technical Committee EL 042 released a new version of AS/NZS 5033 – Installation and Safety Requirements for Photovoltaic (PV) Arrays.

The 2014 Standard is an essential requirement for all those working in the solar PV industry. Master Electricians Australia advises members working in this space to purchase a new copy of this standard and thoroughly familiarise themselves with the changes. The standard will apply to all installations three months from the date of publication (6 February 2015), with the exception of South Australia where they have a six-month transition period. Items in Table H1 have an implementation date of 11 July 2013. There are many changes to the new standard. Here are some of the major ones that may affect installers and designers of systems.

Section 2 DC conditioning units (clause 2.1.5) A new clause 2.1.5 in conjunction with figure 2.7 has been included to explain the requirements for DC conditioning units. It includes conditions where load break switch-disconnectors can be omitted and also explains voltage and current ratings of equipment and cabling on the load side of the DC conditioning unit. Section 3 Restricted access and max array voltage (clause 3.1) PV arrays for the installation on domestic dwellings (clause 3.1) The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


tech talk previously used the Voc Array maximum voltages as the threshold for the limit of 600V for the array. The revised standard has changed this to “PV array maximum voltages must not be greater than 600V” (see clause 4.2 for the calculation of PV array maximum voltage below). For commercial installations over 600V DC the clause has been clarified so that at the inverter if the DC cabling is installed within a heavy duty conduit or an equivalent enclosure (for example, no exposed DC cables), which is not accessible without the use of a tool, then no protective cage or barrier is required. PCE detection required for functionally earthed PV arrays (clause and Appendix H) The clause has not changed from the previous version of the standard although a new table has been included – PV array to ground insulation resistance limits verse the inverter rating. This table clarifies the limits to which an inverter must shut down and initiate an earth fault alarm. Section 4 Max array voltage (clause 4.2) The PV array maximum voltage is considered to be equal to Voc of the array corrected for the lowest expected operating temperature, as follows (this is not a new requirement): Clause 4.2 has added that PV strings constructed using DC conditioning units shall have a PV array maximum voltage in accordance with clause 2.1.5. Environmental effects (clause There is a minor change to the IP rating requirements of junction boxes adjacent to the PV array. The minimum is now IP 56 to protect against possible water jests associated with cleaning of the array. The clause also shows mounting examples for the rooftop PV array switch disconnector. Switch disconnectors (clause The clause has an added requirement for the switch disconnectors to be capable of being secured in the open position. Minimum current capacity of circuits (Table 4.2) A small change has been made to the calculation for PV string in Table 4.2 with regard to minimum current ratings to choose cable size etc. HD Conduit (clause In domestic installations, DC cables within a ceiling space, in wall cavities or under a floor still require protection by HD conduit. In addition, the new standard has specified that medium duty conduit can be used as a minimum to protect cables in accordance with AS/NZS 3000 for all other locations within buildings. This does not apply to earthing conductors. Some clarification around the DC cable installed between inverter DC connectors and the conduit has been added. For systems with a max DC voltage not exceeding 600V, the DC cable can be exposed to a length not exceeding 300mm, as long as the location is not subject to mechanical damage.

In non-domestic installations, an exemption to the installation of DC cables in HD conduit is allowed where it can be demonstrated that the installation method achieves the objective of minimising short circuit risk. Micro-Inverters (clause 4.3.12) A new clause 4.3.12 has been included in the standard to set out the requirements for small micro inverter installations. See also clause for requirements for earthing and bonding microinverter installations. A new label is required for AC modules or micro-inverters (sample see clause 5.4.1 and appendix A). Disconnecting means (clause 4.4.1) A new figure 4.4 is included in the new standard to show an array with multiple disconnection devices. A new clause has been included for requirements for multiple disconnection devices, most of the content in this new clause was in the previous standard under clause Installation. Earthing (clause In grid connected applications that are not subject to lightning, the inverter main earth conductor may be used as the earth connection point for the PV module frames provided that the removal of the inverter for service will not interrupt the earth connection to the module frames and that the conductor is of adequate size. The AC earth cable under these conditions shall be according to AS/NZS 3000 plus the extra requirements of clause (i to iv). Segregation of circuits (clause There is a new clause to discuss the requirement for segregation of circuits between DC and AC circuits within and external to enclosures. Section 5 Wiring identification (clause 5.3.1) A small change has been made in this clause for wiring enclosure identification. It is a requirement that the ‘SOLAR’ label must be affixed at intervals not exceeding 2m. Voltage and current sign (clause 5.4.1) Previously, PV arrays with a rated power greater than 500W or a Voc Array greater than 50V required the SOLAR ARRAY voltage and current signage. The new requirements are that PV arrays with a rated power greater than 350W at STC or a PV array maximum voltage greater than ELV shall have the sign. Shutdown procedures (clause 5.5.3) A new clause has been included to clarify the requirements for a shutdown procedure label. All systems operating at greater than 240W shall include a shutdown procedure. There shall also be a warning sign for PV array switch-disconnectors underneath the shutdown procedure if required. MEA strongly advises that all members obtain a copy of the new 2014 Standard in order to avoid any potential risks and to ensure compliance with the new requirements. For more information and to purchase a copy of the new 2014 standard, visit:


The business partner you always wanted When you join Master Electricians Australia, it’s just like you’ve hired your very own:

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Master Electricians Member Geoff Bay from GBay Electrical, saved the equivalent of his annual membership fee with a fleet deal on a new vehicle and regularly takes advantage of the technical hotline.

“Sometimes it can be embarrassing asking for advice, and I have come across some terrible advice from others in the industry, but it’s good to be able to stay on track with the right support behind my business.”

Visit: Call: 1300 889 198 The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


workplace relations

Workplace laws under the microscope The recently released Productivity Commission’s review offers an important insight into the impact the industrial relations framework is having on a host of economic and social indicators. MEA Manager Advisory Services Jason O’Dwyer explains. The Commission’s task is difficult, as the terms of reference require analysis of how workplace laws can be improved to maximise outcomes for Australian employers, employees and the economy. All the while, the Commission must bear in mind the need to ensure workers are protected, businesses are able to grow, prosper and employ, and the need to reduce unnecessary and excessive regulation. Some have argued that the government has conducted this review to build support for removing penalty rates. However, the government has steered well clear of this suggestion and on review of the submissions it is clear that participants in the workplace relations framework have broader issues than simply penalty rates.

MEA Submissions We surveyed members in March 2015 in order to gather views to guide and support our submissions to the Commission. Our own submissions focused on: • The barriers and constraints with respect to small businesses In particular, MEA highlighted the inadequacies of the small business fair dismissal code for employers as a protection when terminating an employee; including the prevalence of ‘go away’ money. Additionally, MEA outlined the rigidity of the hours of work provisions and the underutilisation of the IFA structure in the modern award.


• The bargaining system Including greater freedoms to vary and terminate agreements to respond to changes in the market. The damage that industry pattern bargaining has on competitiveness and business sustainability. • Safety disputes as a basis for industrial action MEA referred to a number of cases in which we have been involved in lost work time as a result of disingenuous safety claims. It was our submission that there should be greater scope for the Fair Work Commission to be able to issue pecuniary outcomes to those parties found engaging in this conduct. • Construction industry funds We asked the Commission to recommend changes to the construction industry redundancy funds that have been exploited by unions and represent a disproportionate cost compared to the severance amount that would otherwise be required to be paid. • Greater protections for genuine subcontracting arrangements We asked the Commission to consider the considerable ambiguity in the area of ongoing subcontracting arrangements as many businesses are taking on great risk or impacting on the productivity of their business when it comes to engaging in subcontracting arrangements. AIG Australian Industry Group (AiG) has called for sweeping changes to the Fair Work laws, including stronger management rights for employers, penalties for lawyers who encourage speculative dismissal or general protections claims and the return of individual contracts.

proof under the general protections provisions and capped compensation for claims under the laws. 6. It is too difficult and costly to terminate redundant employees. AiG wants “redundancy” redefined, and the “other acceptable employment” exception amended to “improve workability”. It also says retirement age redundancy caps “have merit”. 7. It is too difficult and costly to restructure businesses. Again, this is a long-standing argument from AiG, which maintains federal transfer of business laws “are impeding restructuring and require major amendments”. 8. Australia’s long service leave laws are a mess. 9. Unlawful and unacceptable union conduct needs to be addressed. The employer group is calling for the Senate to pass the construction industry legislation currently before it, and also argues that union right of entry laws need to be tightened and “industrial action” in the Fair Work Act amended to address bogus safety disputes. 10. Awards are still far too complicated. ACTU The Australian Council of Unions (ACTU) took aim at Australia’s recent free trade agreements with China and South Korea stating that they could “cut across international labour standards”. Their view was that free trade agreements have the effect for paying scant if any regard to labour standards and can have the effect of undercutting domestic employment norms and standards

Its submissions identified 10 aspects of workplace laws: 1. The workplace framework should not favour enterprise agreements over other types of deals. It suggests employers and employees need to have the flexibility to enter into common law employment contracts, enterprise agreements, greenfields deals, statutory individual contracts and individual flexibility agreements (IFAs), with none favoured over the other. 2. Companies are locked into unproductive and costly enterprise agreement provisions negotiated in more profitable times. AiG proposes mandatory “productivity terms” in enterprise agreements that give employers “the right to manage their businesses productively and efficiently”. 3. Industry-wide pattern agreements should be outlawed. AiG has long advocated against both pattern and industrywide bargaining, and does so again in its latest submission. 4. It is too easy to take and continue industrial action. The employer group argues for a prohibition on industrial action before the “formal commencement of bargaining”. 5. It is too difficult and costly to terminate poor-performing employees. AiG wants: a higher unfair dismissal claim filing fee; jurisdictional issues in dismissal cases dealt with separately; a civil penalty for lawyers and paid agents who encourage “speculative” unfair dismissal or general protections applications; a requirement for lawyers and paid agents to disclose contingency fee arrangements; general protections applications to be lodged and dealt with in the Federal Circuit Court or Federal Court; no reverse onus of

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Winter 2015


with little capacity to challenge them in readily accessible Courts and Tribunals. The ACTU asked the Commission to recommend the Australian Government conduct an independent review to examine the impact of free trade agreements on Australian labour standards. The ACTU also argues that: • independent contractors or freelancers should have the same rights and protections as other employees, including the right to bargain collectively; • the PC should consider a new legislative definition of casual workers that draws on common law principles; • the requirement for a worker to be sponsored by a specific business as a visa condition can mean employees do not “act to protect their interests” and are exploited; • employer claims on the “burden” of transfer of business requirements in voluntary transfers are “highly exaggerated”; • workers should be able to bring forward an agreement’s nominal expiry date when the number or identity of a workforce changes significantly within a year after approval of a non-greenfield deal; • the four-yearly modern award review should be abolished in favour of a mechanism that enables parties to apply for an award variation where necessary on the basis of a genuine contest on the merits; and • it is “undesirable” and “inefficient” for the PC and the Fair Work Commission to conduct parallel inquiries into penalty rates. They

should remain part of the safety net maintained by the Fair Work Commission, with parties free to modify them through collective bargaining, tested against the BOOT. On bargaining, the ACTU argues for less restrictions on bargaining content, which it says “would continue the path of reform toward more meaningful multi-employer bargaining, including supply-chain bargaining, which at least indirectly covers labour hire workers who are economically dependent servants and agents of an entity with which they have no “employment relationship” for any “matter” to “pertain to”.” It is MEA’s view that these bargaining changes would simply give the union movement greater ability to target the area of “business chain” to influence multiple areas of coverage through involvement in business decision making based on restrictive agreement terms. The ACTU has also argued for an extension of unions’ compliance role for non-members, and says their inability to investigate on behalf of members who have left the workplace “should be remedied”. It also wants obstacles preventing agreements agreeing on greater entry rules removed, along with the requirement for notice of entry for discussions during meals or other breaks. Master Electricians will keep members updated on the progress of the Productivity Commission’s actions, recommendations and subsequent changes that the government seeks to enact. For more information, contact the Workplace Relations Team on 1300 889 198.

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all about ME


milestone members Master Electricians Australia would like to thank a number of members for their loyalty to the association and commitment to the industry.

Congratulations to this quarter’s 25-year members: • Mitchetech

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) is all about you – the members. We’ve been representing electrical contractors throughout the country for over 75 years and despite our rich history and experience in the industry, we’re always looking at ways to better support your business needs. We’ve made some recent changes to improve our services and we’re excited to let you know! MEA has recently restructured its operations to boost its focus on core services including industry representation, providing up-to-date news and information, networking opportunities, commercial discounts, technical and workplace relations advice, training and education courses. The main focus of the changes is to add further value to your membership while providing support to our frontline staff in our state offices who you see the most. This will complement our existing economies of scale by providing national hotlines for technical, workplace relations and apprenticeships. In addition, we have added a special department, Membership Services, which will help us refine and maintain our service offerings in order to make you our first priority. This is an exciting time for the industry and organisation. Our restructure will ensure we are best placed to meet the challenges of the sector and that we can help you maximise your own business opportunities. One of our biggest priorities has always been to keep membership fees as low as possible while providing high quality service, and we’re pleased to be able to achieve this goal year after year. As you know, we exist because of our members and we look forward to working with you on key issues such as electrical safety, training, and building your business. Thank you for your continued support for MEA, and here’s to another successful 75 years!

• Rob’s Electrical

Congratulations to this quarter’s 15-year members: • CEQ Australia • Cummins South Pacific • Dav Electrical • Greg Smith Electrical • Kings Security Services • Pacific Power • Reef Electrical • Robair’e (AUST) • TC Shaw Electricians • Styan & Lindenberg • Get Compliance • Claxton Electrical • Toucan Electrics


Last chance to nominate for the 2015 Master Electricians Australia Excellence Awards Get the recognition you deserve with our Excellence Awards for outstanding individuals and businesses. Are you someone who has achieved a lot over the last year in the electrical industry or know someone who has? Our 2015 awards program is back and we want to hear from you! But hurry, state nominations close July 31 and winners are automatically entered as a finalist in the National Excellence Awards with national winners announced in Brisbane on November 21. This a great platform for businesses to showcase their work and for industry to acknowledge some of the best business minds in a variety of categories. Award categories include: • Apprentice of the Year (4th year) • Business Woman of the Year

• Accredited Master Electrician of the Year • Residential Project of the Year (electrical component only) • Commercial Project of the Year (electrical component only) • Industrial/Mining Project of the Year (electrical component only) • Data Project of the Year – Lex Batterham Memorial Award The awards are a chance to not only take home an impressive trophy but to also secure more business. We’ve created a specially-designed winner’s badge that can be displayed and promoted across your marketing material such as websites, email signatures and stationery. So what are you waiting for? Nominate yourself, a mate or a great business you know now at

MEA’s 2015 Annual Conference isn’t far away! Konichiwa! It’s not long until the 2015 MEA Annual Conference kicks off and this year we’re going to Japan.

our hair down in some not-so-serious networking events. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted in a conference, plus much, much more!

Come join us in Kyoto, where we will work together during some serious business sessions, and let

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The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


test drive

Isuzu D-Max – built for heavy situations Professional ‘Big Wave’ surfer Ryan Hipwood is well-respected for surfing some of the heaviest waves on the planet. Whether it’s taking on the cold monster surf of Shipsterns in Tasmania or the tropical barrels of Cloud Break in Fiji – Ryan (or Hippo as he’s affectionately known) always pushes the limits. But when he isn’t chasing the world’s biggest waves, he’s slaving away building his new home. Hippo tells Master Electricians Australia why the Isuzu D-MAX is one of the tools of his trade.


It’s fair to say that on the surface, my life isn’t your average gig. But when I’m at home there’s always work to be done – especially now considering I’m in the process of building my new home. I come from a family of builders so utes have always been a part of my life – and between my Dad, brother and I, we’ve been through a few of them. What I have learnt over the years is that when you’re on the job – with your gear in tow – you need to know you have the right tool at hand to get you to your destination safely and in comfort – without having to take out a loan for your fuel bill! That’s why I teamed up with the crew at Isuzu to find out why their D-MAX is a growing favourite amongst tradies across the country. The D-MAX’s under-stressed 3.0L turbo diesel provides plenty of low-down torque and frugal fuel economy even when towing or fully loaded – so if you’re in the market for a reliable work partner, the D-MAX is worth a look. All 2015 4x4 D-MAX models are now able to tackle even the most demanding jobs with the introduction of a 3.5tonne towing capacity (braked). I haven’t loaded it up that much – at most I’ve only had a couple of my jetskis – but unless you’re planning on towing the Taj Mahal, the D-MAX is going to be fit for the job. Independent double wishbone with coil springs and gas shock absorbers guarantee superior front-end grip and steering control, while the rear suspension consists of long-span leaf springs resulting in excellent power down and stability under every road condition with or without loading the vehicle. And even if you’re not towing your gear, there’s a handy one tonne payload capacity in the back tray. I have enough risk in my life, so it’s good to know that when I’m on the road I’m covered with a stack of safety features including ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control and Brake Assist, along with six airbags. A highstrength tailor blank welded passenger safety cell also increases occupant safety. All crew cab models receive a five-star ANCAP safety rating – which is retained with the fitment of a genuine Isuzu UTE bull bar. Additionally, every D-MAX is also backed by a five-year/130,000km warranty with five years Premium Roadside Assistance – so it’s got all the kit to keep you safe and your mind at ease. The other good thing about my D-MAX is that it was awarded the Ute of the Year by 4WD Action Magazine – which is widely respected as this country’s toughest 4x4 ute test. The D-MAX triumphed over HiLux, BT-50, Ranger, Navara, Colorado and Amarok... and not only did the D-MAX pick up the overall award, but it also proved the most fuel efficient of the seven utes tested. To make the D-MAX an even sweeter deal, Isuzu UTE has just introduced a new Capped Price Servicing (CPS) program to complement their class-leading warranty. ‘Isuzu UTE Service Plus’ provides owners with the ultimate peace of mind and a consistent pricing structure – which means no surprises, and no need to shop around for the best vehicle servicing deal. So if you’re in the market for a new ute, I can thoroughly recommend you check out the D-MAX range.

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The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


events calendar Snapshot of MEA member events and webinars taking place this Winter Contact your State Manager to find out more



AUGUST (cont.)

11 June 2015 Gold Coast Industry Forum #2 & Branch Meeting

21 July 2015 Hunter Industry Forum

6 August 2015 Perth Industry Forum #3

21 July 2015 Newcastle Industry Forum #3

14 August 2015 Newcastle Social Function

22 July 2015 Sydney Industry Forum #3

18 August 2015 Cairns Industry Forum #3


19 August 2015 Townsville Industry Forum #3

12 June 2015 Cairns Golf Day 15 June 2015 Sunshine Coast Industry Forum #2 16 June 2015 Toowoomba Industry Forum #2 19 June 2015 Brisbane Golf Day 23 June 2015 Kingaroy Industry Forum #2 & Branch Meeting 24 June 2015 Melbourne Industry Forum #2 26 June 2015 Townsville Golf Day

3 August 2015 Rockhampton Industry Forum #3 4 August 2015 Gladstone Industry Forum #3 5 August 2015 Bundaberg Industry Forum #3 & Branch Meeting 6 August 2015 Fraser Coast Industry Forum #3

20 August 2015 Mackay Industry Forum #3 20 August 2015 Adelaide Industry Forum #3 21 August 2015 WA Excellence Awards 24 August 2015 Toowoomba Industry Forum #3 25 August 2015 Kingaroy Industry Forum #3 & Branch Meeting

Dates for your diary JUNE



3 June – 14 June 2015 Sydney Film Festival

4 July – 5 July 2015 Gold Coast Airport Marathon

8 June 2015 Queen’s birthday (nationwide except WA)

15 – 16 July 2015 Australian Clean Energy Summit Hilton hotel, Sydney

Month of August Tradies National Health Month Nationwide

15 June – 21 June 2015 Men’s Health Week – nationwide 19 June – 21 June 2015 V8 Supercars Darwin, Northern Territory 25 June 2015 Traders Electrical Sydney Sydney Showground

16 July 2015 Traders Electrical Brisbane Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

9 August 2015 Sun-Herald City2Surf Sydney, NSW

2015 CONFERENCE Get in fast for remaining tickets! 27 September – 1 October 2015 Electrical Industry Conference Kyoto, Japan


shocking photograph

An earth shattering discovery A contractor was left in disbelief after attending a job to install two ceiling fans in Wangaratta, Victoria. The light in the lounge room was to be removed and replaced with a new fan. Sounds simple enough? Well, upon removing the fuse from the switchboard and disconnecting the fitting, he found actives twisted onto the earth terminal with no earth installed. As you can imagine, he couldn’t believe that no one had been seriously injured or killed. He asked the owner when the lamp was last changed, his reply – never. Thankfully for the owner, the contractor was on the scene for the first change. Thanks to Michael from Encompass Technologies in Wangaratta, Victoria, $50 is on its way.

LIKE TO WIN $50? Send us your favourite picture (in high resolution of at least 1MB please) and if we publish it in The Master Electrician magazine, we’ll send you $50! Send your entries to for your chance to win.

The Master Electrician

Winter 2015


the last word

Our standards are high and so they should be It’s been seven years since the very first edition of The Master Electrician hit the streets in 2008. In that time, this magazine has grown to become Australia’s bestread and most influential electrical industry magazine. I believe The Master Electrician is the national leader because of two decisions we took in planning for that very first edition. The first decision we made was that Master Electricians Australia would fund the printing and distribution of the magazine to every registered electrical contractor across the country. We did this because we were creating an organisation that wanted to champion the highest standards of safety and quality. It was our view then, and it remains our view today, that safety and quality are the responsibility of the whole industry. And if we were to establish a publication to promote those important values, we believed that we needed to find a way to make it available to everyone. It was a significant financial commitment then, and it’s more so today. I can’t give an open commitment that we will be able to continue making the magazine available for free forever, but I can say that we will always remain committed to promoting safety and quality in our industry in some form. The other decision we took in those early days was that we would set very high and

very rigid standards for manufacturers and suppliers who wanted to advertise in this magazine. Again, this comes at a cost. We could certainly make a lot of money from shonky operators who are desperate to get their products in front of contractors and the wider industry. However, we set in place a process to ensure that only products that were shown to meet the highest standards could be advertised. If we demand the best from contractors, we should also demand the best from suppliers. That process remains in place today. Effectively, any organisation wishing to advertise in The Master Electrician must first go through a rigorous quality assessment. A panel of industry experts assesses each advertiser. We look at their track record, their manufacturing arrangements if appropriate, and their ownership arrangements. And importantly, we look at their ability to support a product recall if necessary – either through recall insurance or appropriate prudential arrangements.

We will always ask the tough questions of suppliers and manufacturers. And in light of recent recalls and failures, I hope you do too.

What this means is that it’s hard to become an advertiser in The Master Electrician. And we think that’s how it should be. It’s hard to become an electrical contractor. You need to show that you are committed to industry standards. Advertisers in your magazine should be required to do the same.


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