Fake Airtasker electrician fined $100,000
A $100,000 fine has been issued by the Brisbane Magistrates Court to a Queenslander who posed as an electrician on Airtasker.
From November 2015 to June 2017, Amilcar Appel advertised his electrical services on Airtasker to residents of the greater Brisbane area.
After a licensed electrician made a complaint regarding Amilcar’s defective work to the Electrical Safety Office (ESO), an investigation was conducted and the results established that Amilcar had conducted similar non-compliant electrical work in eight other properties of which he was not qualified to perform in any way.
Amilcar, who failed to make an appearance in court, was convicted and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine for 13 offences under the Electrical Safety Act 2002:
- Four section 40C (category 2) offences concerning particularly dangerous electrical work performed by the defendant which exposed individuals to a risk of death or serious injury.
- Eight section 55(1) offences relating to the performance of electrical work while not holding an electrical work licence.
- One section 56(1) offence relating to conducting a business or undertaking including the performance of electrical work while not holding an electrical contractor licence.
While issuing the hefty fine, Magistrate Belinda Merrin noted that, while no-one was killed or injured, the potential consequences were significant. She also noted Amilcar had not cooperated with the investigation and there was no indication he felt remorse for his actions.
The ESO is promoting the importance of checking that an electrical contractor is licensed and advising consumers to check the ESO’s public licence register. Electrical contractors can help consumers and promote confidence by visibly displaying their licence number.
The ESO is also encouraging pre-purchase electrical inspections to assist buyers to identify if a property is safe and complies with all electrical legislation. This is being promoted to assist buyers in avoiding costly and unsafe issues, to act as a deterrent to dangerous and illegal DIY work, and to encourage home owners to commit to better maintenance practices.
Check your license status
This case also serves as an important reminder for businesses carrying out electrical work to ensure that all workers hold appropriate and current licences, and work within the scope of those licences.
Check your licence status and apply for or renew electrical licences at electricalsafety.qld.gov.au
If you suspect that electrical work has been conducted by an unlicensed individual, report it to ESO on 1300 362 128.