Licence a must, says DES

|     James Kon     |

THE Department of Electrical Services (DES), Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry reminded the public yesterday that it is an offence under the Electricity Act (Chapter 71) for any person to use, work or operate any plant, apparatus or works designed for the supply or use of electrical energy without an appropriate licence.

Such an offence is punishable with a fine of up to BND10,000 or imprisonment of up to three years, or both, if found guilty. Additional fines of up to BND500 may be imposed for every day the offence continues.

The reminder came in a statement issued by the DES following a report about a Bangladeshi dying from suspected electrocution in the Bulletin on July 3.

In the statement, the DES also advised members of the public to only engage Qualified Persons (QP) and contractors or workers who are registered and licensed under DES for electrical installation works to prevent any electricity-related incidents from occurring.

Recent incidents show that there are instances where these requirements are often overlooked or disregarded, particularly involving the construction industry, resulting in workers and those around them being exposed to safety hazards and, in some cases, leading to serious injuries or fatalities.

Improper and unsafe use of electrical machines or equipment – powered by electricity supplied from the DES’ grid or supplied from a privately owned generator set – is potentially hazardous.

Premises owners and employers must always prioritise the workers’ safety and ensure a safe environment at the premises or workplace.

The DES also emphasised that the public, premises owners and employers collectively share the responsibility in preventing the occurrence of any electrical installations-related incident.

This is achievable through consistently and continuously adhering to the Electricity Act and policies, as well as ensuring compliance to the safety requirements and guidelines issued by the authorities.

A list of registered electrical contractors/workers under DES can be obtained by visiting www.des.gov.bn.

The public can also contact Darussalam hotline at 123 for any clarification or concerns relating to power supply.