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Safety and business efficiency the core of gas and electrical certification changes
1 July 2013
Better safety outcomes for consumers and increased flexibility for industry practitioners to improve business effectiveness and efficiency are the aims behind changes to the certification of gasfitting and prescribed electrical work (PEW) that take effect from today, Monday 1 July 2013.
The changes are the result of amendments to the Gas (Safety and Measurement) Regulations 2010 and the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010.
The new regime means all gas and electrical installation work requires certification. Key elements are the classification of all installation work into three new risk-based categories (low, high and general); a new online database for recording gasfitting and installation PEW classified as “high-risk”; and the introduction a Safety Certificate to verify that the completed work and connection to the energy supply is ‘safe to use’. The regime also clarifies the roles and accountabilities for all those involved in the design, installation and safety of work.
“Safety remains a top priority and is a key motivation for the new regime,” says Brett Murray, General Manager High Hazards and Specialist Services at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
“The changes provide for an improved certification process overall with a new risk-based system that emphasises safety and accountability for all gas and electrical installation work.
“Now that certification is required for all installation work, consumers will be in a much stronger position to raise a concern with their practitioner, or the relevant industry regulator, and help identify any concerns about poor quality or unsafe work practices.”
Three key aspects are designed to better manage risk and safety for gasfitting and electrical work:
- Formal risk-based categories for all gasfitting and electrical installation work (except for the limited range of electrical work that may be carried out by homeowners) will now mean work falls into one of three categories - low-risk, high-risk or general work - which then determines the certification and verification requirements.
- A new Electricity and Gas High-risk Database has been introduced to record key details of high-risk gasfitting and electrical installation work. The public can freely search the database for information about high-risk work at a particular location that has been entered. The database will assist Energy Safety, the Plumbers Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board and the Electrical Workers Registration Board, to improve the monitoring of high-risk work so resources can be focussed towards areas that have the potential for the greatest improvement in safety outcomes. It will also help with auditing completed work and evaluating sector-wide professional competency and safety.
- A Safety Certificate must now be issued by the gasfitter or electrical practitioner to whoever commissioned the work or the property owner, providing an assurance that the completed work and the connection to the energy supply is “safe to use” and is lawful. The Safety Certificate must be issued within 20 days of connection to the energy supply, and display the relevant Authentication Mark.
The relevant Authentication Mark must now be displayed on certification documents for gasfitting and electrical work, issued by licenced, registered gasfitters or electrical practitioners.
Electrical Authentication Mark
Gas Authentication Mark
- Read more about the Electrical Authentication Mark and download image files
- Read more about the Gas Authentication Mark and download image files
For industry practitioners, the changes enable certification documentation to be generated, issued and stored electronically. Certificates will no longer need to be purchased from worker registration boards and can be incorporated into other business processes and documents, such as invoices.
This is the first time since 1993 that significant regulatory changes have been made to the certification requirements for gasfitting and electrical installation work. The amendments to the Regulations have been led over the last 18 months by Energy Safety - a business unit of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The process involved extensive industry consultation with a range of organisations including the Plumbers Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board, Master Plumbers Gasfitters & Drainlayers New Zealand, the Electrical Workers Registration Board and the Electrical Contractors Association of New Zealand, whose members are responsible for implementing the certification regime.
Key changes to certification of gasfitting and PEW - at a glance
- Certification covers all gasfitting and all installation PEW.
- Certification is extended to explicitly certify that the completed work, including the connection to the energy supply, is “safe to use”.
- Work is classified into three risk-based categories – low-risk, high-risk and general.
- A publicly searchable database for recording work classified as “high-risk” has been introduced.
- Certification documents can be integrated with other business documents, such as invoices, and may be electronically sent and stored.
- Roles and responsibilities for all those who affect the safety of work are clarified.
- Better alignment of electricity and gas certification regimes is achieved.