The ongoing threat of poor and potentially dangerous electrical work has been highlighted once again by SELECT, the industry body for Scotland's electrical sector professionals, as it is revealed that counterfeit copies of vital IET wiring regulations are being offered for sale.
The bogus PDF copies of BS7671:2018, the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) Wiring Regulations, could be devastating for electrical professionals, with missing or corrupted information potentially leading to unsafe work and risking fire, electric shock or even death.
The latest counterfeiting activity reinforces the message that SELECT has been promoting in the Scottish Parliament in its campaign, backed by the Scottish Joint Industry Board and Unite the Union, for recognition of electricians as a profession.
SELECT’s case was pressed recently (October) in a Holyrood debate in which evidence was presented of unqualified and under-qualified people who masquerade as electricians endangering public safety by carrying out work across Scotland.
Dave Forrester, Head of Technical Services at SELECT, said:
"Only a short time after the issue of safety was debated in the Scottish Parliament, we have now uncovered bogus British Standards and other manuals being offered online to companies which will put consumers in further jeopardy".
Mark Coles, Head of Technical Regulations at the IET, said that the fake PDFs, which were being distributed through a variety of channels, looked “convincing” on the first inspection. However, they are sprinkled with errors and corrupted information.
The IET is now taking action to combat the counterfeiters by inserting a hologram in its Regulations, commonly known as the 18th Edition, to help users identify genuine copies. It contains the IET logo and the word “Genuine”.
Mr Coles said:
“Ensuring that genuine copies of IET publications are being used by electrical professionals is important in order that correct standards are used to protect the public and those working in the industry from injury and fatality.”
SELECT’s campaign for protection of title has been at the forefront of its work following a speech by a Government Minister at a European electrical contractors’ conference in Edinburgh in 2015. It has been supported by unions, trade bodies and politicians from all parties.
Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, recently said in Parliament that discussions would continue with the aim of bringing a Ministerial view to Parliament in due course.
SELECT's 1250 member companies account for around 90% of all electrical installation work carried out in Scotland. They have a collective turnover of around £1 billion and provide employment for 15,000 people.