3 May 2013

Workers fined after homeowner electrocuted

8:06 pm on 3 May 2013

The mother of an Auckland man electrocuted at his home says two electrical workers should have admitted their mistakes instead of trying to blame her son.

Trent Page died in March 2010 after electrician Brett McGehan incorrectly installed a mains cable at his Avondale home and an electrical inspector, Harry Gedye, didn't check it was safe.

The Electrical Workers Registration Board has found both men guilty of negligence and fined Mr McGehan $7000 and Mr Gedye $6000. They have been ordered to pay costs of $10,000.

Mr Page's mother, Margaret Pengelly, told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Friday the worst thing has been the way the men tried to shift the blame and the decision is bittersweet.

"If these guys were man enough to stand up and say, 'Yes, I'm sorry I made a mistake, I caused an accident' we could have accepted that.

"But when they stand up and say, 'No, we didn't do it, Trent did it himself' - it's caused nothing but unnecessary stress for the family."

Brett McGehan has temporarily lost his practising licence while he completes a training course, while Harry Gedye's registration has been suspended until he finishes a course.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment says it hopes the ruling will discourage electrical workers from cutting corners.