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July 07, 1997

Proposed rule defines audit procedures for electrical contractors

TUMWATER - Proposed changes to state administrative rules that would clarify procedures for auditing electrical contractors will get a public hearing in August.

The rules would improve public safety by giving the department stronger enforcement capabilities, including the ability to audit the books of electrical contractors to ensure they correctly report the number of hours worked by trainees. The rules also would better define the grounds by which electrical licenses and certificates can be suspended or revoked.

Under state law, electrical trainees must document at least 4,000 hours of supervised work and pass a rigid test to qualify for a specialty electrical certificate, and 8,000 hours for a journeyman certificate. The proposed rules are to carry out the specific provisions of recent legislation intended to correct deficiencies in electrical licensing laws.

The rule also provides the department with more specific means to revoke or deny applications of electrical contractor licenses and administrator certificates for serious violations of state electrical laws.

A separate rule proposal scheduled for hearing creates a new specialty electrician classification called "Domestic Well Specialty Electrical Technician." These technicians would be able to hook up well pumps and controls only.

The proposed rule changes also establish a fee structure for organizations seeking approval to teach continuing education electrical courses, as well as renewing approval of those courses. The proposed rule changes are to Washington Administrative Code chapters 296-46 and 296-401.

The first of two public hearings is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 5, 1997 at the Labor & Industries Building, 7273 Linderson Way in Tumwater. The second hearing is at 1:30 Aug. 7 at Cavanaugh's Lower Terrace, 607 E. Yakima Ave., Yakima. If passed, the rules would take effect Dec. 1, 1997.

For more information, or a packet covering the rule changes, call George Huffman at 360-902-6411.

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