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Electrical Currents Newsletter October 2021

Highlights of this month’s newsletter include:

  • Rod Mutch is retiring!
  • Inspector vacancies are up – response times may follow
  • Trainees – get credit for hours worked under temporary allowances
  • You submitted a form, why is it taking so long?

Source: Electrical Currents Newsletter October 2021

Wayne Molesworth, Chief Electrical Inspector Vol. 24 No. 10 October 2021

Safety Tip of the Month

The severity and effects of an electrical shock
depend on a number of factors,

  • The pathway through the body
  • The amount of current
  • The length of time of the exposure
  • Whether the skin is wet or dry.

The effect of the shock may range from a slight tingle to severe burns to cardiac arrest. GFCIs help by detecting when electricity is not following the normal path through the circuit, but they are not the first method to protect you. Always use lockout/tagout and verify the circuit is off before you work on it.

Question of the Month

What is the proper way for trainees to submit their affidavits of experience? See correct answer on Page 2

Rod Mutch is Retiring!

Rod’s contributions since joining L&I in

Rod on the summit of Mount Adams
Rod on the summit of Mount Adams

2001 are invaluable; he is a great leader and friend to many. He inspired new ideas and drove innovation while serving as an inspector, lead inspector, technical  specialist and chief inspector.

We will miss Rod and know that everybody that worked with him over the years will greatly  feel this loss. At the same time, we are happy to know that he will be enjoying a well-earned retirement with family and friends.

Please join us in congratulating Rod on a job well done and wishing him well in his new adventures!

Inspector Vacancies Are Up – Response Times
May Follow

For a variety of reasons, vacancies are increasing in the L&I electrical inspector ranks – about 20 openings currently. Maybe more as opportunities improve for 01 journey level electricians, a group that includes all electrical inspectors in the state.

Every inspection request is important. Until staffing levels improve, installations that pose life-safety risks, hold up other trades or industry, or delay property transactions are a priority. Response times for other installations may suffer. We appreciate your patience and cooperation while we work to resolve this issue.

We are actively recruiting inspector candidates. Find out more:

Question about an inspection request? Email the L&I office nearest your project. Include your permit number and what you want us to know. Please do not email inspection requests.

Trainees – Get Credit for Hours Worked Under Temporary Allowances

Trainees working under temporary allowances allowing more time to complete required education may claim hours of experience for that time as follows:

  • Trainees expiring on or after October 29, 2020 may continue to work after their certificate expires for 90 days and may claim experience hours for that time. This allowance is temporary – end date not known
  • Until January 26, 2021, after paying their renewal fee without completing educational requirements, trainees

could continue to work and get credit for their hours if their expiration dates were between March 13, 2020 and October 28, 2020.

Tools for Trainees:

Find more information about temporary allowances for trainees in the September 2021 edition of this newsletter.

You Submitted a Form, Why is it Taking so Long?

If you sent in an affidavit, a change of assignment, or another paper form, you are probably wondering what is going on. You are not alone; the current backlog of 7 weeks or more is not acceptable.

How did we get here? The shift to telework forced electrical staff to image paper documents so their coworkers could process them remotely. Fewer staff processing and vacancies due to a hiring freeze set us on a tough road.

Wait times will soon improve. We are developing processes to hand off documents to our imaging department to allow staff to focus on processing. We can now recruit for vacancies– having a full staff will help everyone get faster service.
Learn about easy things to do for quicker service:

  • Avoid the wait that comes with paper, only Renew, Change or Reprint online!
  • Only use forms dated 7-1-2021 or after. Even the sharpest eyes play tricks, have someone else look things over and make sure everything is complete. If a fee is required, include it. Questions? Contact your local office by phone for assistance.
  • Do not email forms. Risks are too high – they could get lost – confidential information may be exposed.

Ugly Picture of the Month:

If viewing this document online, click on the picture to open a larger image.Ugly Electrical Work Picture of the Month

An electrical inspector found this panel when a property owner complained about a neighbor stealing power. How many code violations can you find?

Answer to Question of the Month

Follow the instructions on the form
and use this version: Affidavit of Experience for Washington Electrical Trainees (F500-149-000).
Learn more:

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