CHAPTER 266

CREATING A STATE BOARD OF ELECTRIC EXAMINERS

AN ACT AMENDING TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE CREATING A STATE BOARD OF ELECTRICAL EXAMINERS, AND TO PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS FOR REDUCTION OF FIRE HAZARDS AND FOR PROTECTION OF LIFE AND PROPERTY.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Title 24 of the Delaware Code is amended by adding thereto a new chapter to read as follows:

CHAPTER 14. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS

SUBCHAPTER I. BOARD OF ELECTRICAL EXAMINERS

§ 1401. Definitions

As used in this chapter--

"Board" means State Board of Electrical Examiners.

"Person" means corporations, companies, partnerships, as well as individuals.

"Master electrician, general," means a person engaged in the business of or holding himself out to the public as engaged in the business of installing, erecting or repairing or contracting to install, erect or repair electric wire or conductors to be used for the transmission of electric current for electric light, heat or power purposes, or mouldings, ducts, raceways or conduits for the reception or protection of such wires or conductors or to electrical machinery, apparatus, devices or fixtures to be used for electric light, heat or power purposes, or planning, estimating, laying out and supervising such electrical work.

"Master electrician, limited," shall be divided into two classes, designated respectively (A) and (B), meaning as follows:

1. "Master electrician, limited, Registration (A)", means any person engaged in any or all of these or related types of work: electrically operated heating equipment, electrically operated air conditioning, or refrigerating equipment, electrically operated display signs.

2. "Master electrician, limited, Registration (B)", means any person engaged in repairing or maintenance of any electrical appliances, devices, motors, machinery or other apparatus but not engaged in the installation of any such appliance, device, motor machinery or other apparatus if such installation requires a permit or installation card from the proper electrical inspection bureau.

§ 1402, Board of Electrical Examiners; appointment, qualifications; term; vacancies; oath

(a) There is created a State Board of Electrical Examiners, who shall administer the provisions of this chapter.

(b) The Board shall consist of seven qualified persons, who shall be appointed by the Governor, no more than four members of the Board be affiliated with the same political party.

(c) Members of the Board shall:

(1) Be citizens of the United States and residents of this State.

(2) Four shall have had at least ten years' experience as an electrical contractor, one each from Kent, New Castle and Sussex County and one from the City of Wilmington.

(3) Three shall be members of the general public, one each from Kent, New Castle and Sussex County.

(d) Persons appointed to the Board initially shall be appointed for the following terms: Three members for two years, four members for three years. Thereafter members shall be appointed for a term of three years.

(e) Appointments to fill a vacancy occurring otherwise than through the expiration of a term, shall be for the unexpired term.

() Every member of the Board shall receive a commission of his appointment from the Governor and before beginning his term of office, shall file with the Secretary of State his written oath or affirmation for the faithful discharge of his official duty.

§ 1403. Removal of members

The Governor may remove any member of the Board for misconduct, incompetency, neglect of duty or for any other sufficient cause.

§ 1404. Compensation and expenses

Each member of the Board shall receive the sum of $180.00 per year, and the member chosen to be Secretary-Treasurer shall receive an additional $450.00 per year, all such compensation to be paid quarterly. The members shall be reimbursed for all actual and necessary traveling expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of this chapter.

§ 1405. Organization; meetings; officers; quorum

(a) The Board shall hold regular meetings, at least once each month, three to be held in Georgetown, and three in Dover and six in Wilmington, and special meetings at such times as the Board or the President shall determine.

(b) The Board shall elect annually a President, Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer. A quorum of the Board shall consist of not less than four members.

§ 1406. Powers

(a) The Board may adopt and amend all rules and regulations not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of this State, which may be reasonably necessary for the proper performance of its duties and the regulations of the proceedings before it.

(b) The Board shall adopt and have an official seal.

(c) In carrying into effect the provisions of this chapter, the Board, under the hand of its President and the seal of the Board, may subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance, and also may require the production of books, papers, documents, etc., in a case involving the revocation of registration or practicing or offering to practice without registration.

(d) Any member of the Board may administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses appearing before the Board.

(e) If any person refuses to obey any subpoena so issued or refuses to testify or produce any books, papers or documents, the Board may present its petition to the Superior Court of the county of the residence of such person setting forth the facts. Thereupon the Court shall, in a proper case, issue its subpoena to such person requiring his attendance before such Court and there to testify or produce such books, papers and documents as may be deemed necessary and pertinent by the Board.

() Any person failing or refusing to obey the subpoena or order of the Court may be proceeded against in the same manner as for refusal to obey any other subpoena or order of the Superior Court.

§ 1407. Receipts and disbursements; employees

(a) All money received by the Board shall be paid monthly to the State Treasurer and shall be credited to the General Fund of the State, in accordance with chapter 61 of Title 29.

(b) All disbursements made by the Board for salaries, expenses or other authorized expenditures shall be paid by the State Treasurer, out of funds appropriated by the General Assembly for such purpose, on vouchers signed by the President and attested by the Secretary-Treasurer of the Board.

The Secretary-Treasurer of the Board shall give surety bond to the State in such sum as the Board may determine. The premium on such bond shall be regarded as a proper and necessary expense of the Board.


The Board may employ such clerical or other assistants as are necessary for the proper performance of its work and may make expenditures of this fund for any purpose which, in the opinion of the Board, is reasonably necessary for the proper performance of its duties under this chapter.

Under no circumstances shall the total amount of warrants issued by the State Treasurer in payment of the expenses and compensation provided for in this chapter exceed the amount of the examination and registration fees collected as provided in this chapter.

§ 1408. Records and Reports

(a) The Board shall keep a record of its proceedings and a register of all applications for registration, which register shall show:

(1) The name, age and residence of each applicant;

(2) The date of the application;

(3) The place of business of such applicant;

(4) The qualifications of the applicant;

(5) Whether or not an examination was required;

(6) Whether the applicant was rejected;

(7) Whether a certificate of registration was granted;

(8) The date of the action of the Board; and

(9) Such other information as may be deemed necessary by the Board.

(b) The records of the Board shall be prima facie evidence to the proceedings of the Board set forth therein. A transcript thereof, duly certified by the Secretary-Treasurer of the Board, under seal, shall be admissible in evidence with the same force and effect as if the original were produced.

(c) Annually, prior to December 1, the Board shall submit to the Governor, a report of its transactions for the fiscal year ending June 30, and shall also transmit to him a complete statement of the receipts and expenditures of the Board, attested by affidavits of its President and its Secretary-Treasurer.

§ 1409. Legal advisers

The Attorney General or any Deputy Attorney General of this State shall act as legal adviser of the Board, and render such legal assistance as may be necessary in carrying out the provisions of this chapter.

SUBCHAPTER II. REGISTRATION OF MASTER

ELECTRICIANS AND INSPECTIONS

§ 1421. Requirement for registration

In order to safeguard life, and property, any person holding themselves out to the general public as a master electrician, general or limited, in this State, shall submit evidence that they are qualified as such an electrician and shall be registered as provided in this subchapter. No person shall hold himself out to the public in this State as being a qualified master electrician, general or limited, as defined in § 1401 of this title, or use in connection with his name or otherwise assume, use or advertise any title or description tending to convey the impression that he is a master electrician, general or limited, unless such person has been duly registered under the provisions of this subchapter.

§ 1422. General requirements for registration

The following shall be considered as the minimum evidence satisfactory to the Board that the applicant is qualified for registration as master electrician, general or limited, respectively, to-wit:

(1) As a master electrician, general:

A reasonable knowledge of electricity and the natural laws and functions of electric wires, appliances and devices for electric light, heat and power purposes, and skill and knowledge in all matters relating to the work or business of master electrician, general, as defined in § 1401 of this title.

(2) As a master electrician, limited, registration (A):

A reasonable knowledge of electricity insofar as it relates to the particular type or types of equipment pertaining to the business of master electrician, limited, registration (A), as defined in § 1401 of this title.

(3) As a master electrician, limited, registration (B)

A reasonable knowledge of electricity insofar as it relates to the repairing and maintaining of the particular type or types of equipment pertaining to the business of master electrician, limited, registration (B), as defined in § 1401 of this title.

Any person having the necessary qualifications described in this chapter to entitle him to registration, shall not be eligible for such registration unless he be at least twenty-one years of age.

§ 1423. Applications and references

Application for registration shall:

(1) be on forms prescribed and furnished by the Board;

(2) contain statement made under oath showing the applicant's education and detailed summary of his work experience.

§ 1424. Fee and Bond

(a) The registration fee for a master electrician, general, shall be $35.00 and for master electrician, limited, shall be $25.00, Ten Dollars of the required fee shall accompany the application, the remainder to be paid upon notification that application has been approved, subject to final payment when registration certificate will be issued. Should the Board deny the issuance of a certificate of registration to any applicant, the initial fee deposited shall be retained as an application fee.

(b) Before any registration certificate will be issued, the applicant must furnish a good and sufficient bond meeting with the approval of the Board, in the name of the State of Delaware, in the sum of $1,000.00 conditioned upon the faithful performance of any or all work entered upon or contracted for, and to save harmless the owner or real party in interest in the property for which any material is furnished or services performed by the applicant, against loss, damage, and injury resulting through want of skill or negligence on the part of the applicant, his agents or employees, provided action is maintained thereon by such owner or real party in interest within one year from the date of installation of materials furnished or performance of such work or service; provided, however, that the aggregate liability of the surety for all such loss, damage or injury shall in no event exceed the sum of such bond.

§ 1425. Certificates; significance; notice

(a) The Board shall issue a certificate of registration to any applicant who has complied with the requirements of sections 1421-1422-1423 and 1424 of this title and who, in the opinion of the Board, has satisfactorily met all requirements of this chapter. The certificate shall indicate which classification of master electrician the registrant has qualified for, and shall

(1) Show the full name of the registrant;

(2) have a serial number; and

(3) be signed by the President and the Secretary-Treasurer of the Board under seal of the Board,

(b) The issuance of a certificate of registration by the Board shall be prima facie evidence that the registrant is entitled to all the rights and privileges of the classification of master electrician named therein, while the certificate remains unrevoked or unexpired.

(c) The Board shall promptly notify in writing the local electrical inspection authorities of all certificates of registration approved, suspended or revoked.

§ 1426. Reciprocity

The Board may, upon application therefor and the payment of the regular fee and without examination, issue a certificate of registration as an electrical contractor, general or limited, to any person who holds a certificate of qualification or registration issued to him by the proper authorities of any state or territory or district of the United States, or of any country, provided that the requirements for the registration of electrical contractors, general or limited, under which such certificate of qualification or registration was issued, do not conflict with the provisions of this chapter and are of a standard not lower than that specified in this chapter, provided the same rights are given to electrical contractors of this State.

§ 1427. Expirations and renewals

(a) Certificates of registration shall expire on the last day of the month of June following their issuance or renewal and shall become invalid on that day unless renewed.

(b) Renewal may be effected at any time during the month of June by payment of the annual fee, which shall be the same as provided by § 1424 of this chapter for registration. The failure on the part of any registrant to renew his certificate annually in the month of June as required by this section, shall not deprive such person of the right of renewal, but the fee to be paid for the renewal of a certificate after the month of June shall be increased fifty cents for each month or fraction of a month that payment of renewal fee is delayed.

§ 1428. Revocation of certificate

(a) The Board may revoke the certificate or registration of any registrant that is found guilty of

(1) The practice of any fraud or deceit in obtaining a certificate of registration;

(2) Any gross negligence, incompetency or misconduct in supplying material or performing services as an electrical contractor.

(3) Permitting or causing defective electrical work, if done deliberately or if not corrected within 15 days or longer if necessary, at the discretion of the Board, following notice thereof, shall be construed, at the discretion of the Board, as sufficient cause for the revocation or suspension of a license issued under this chapter.

(b) Any person may prefer charges of fraud, deceit, gross negligence or misconduct against any registrant. Such charges shall be in writing and shall be sworn to by the person making them and shall be filed with the Secretary-Treasurer of the Board.

(c) All charges, unless dismissed by the Board as unfounded or trivial, shall be heard by the Board within three months after the date on which they shall have been preferred.

(d) The time and place for the hearing shall be fixed by the Board and a copy of the charges, together with a notice of the time and place of hearing, shall be personally served on or mailed to the last known address of the registrant, at least 30 days before the date fixed for the hearing. At any hearing the accused registrant shall have the right to appear personally and by counsel to cross-examine witnesses appearing against him and to produce evidence and witnesses in his own defense. If, after such hearing, three or more members of the Board vote in favor of finding the accused guilty, the Board shall revoke the certificate of registration of such registrant.

§ 1429. Reissuance of revoked certificate; replacement of other certificates

(a) An applicant whose certificate of registration has been revoked may become eligible for a new certificate upon meeting all of the requirements of this chapter and upon the satisfactory completion of any examination as hereinafter provided.

(b) A new certificate of registration to replace any certificate lost, destroyed or mutilated may be issued subject to the rules of the Board. A charge of $1.00 shall be made for such issuance.

§ 1430. Examinations for reissue of revoked license

(a) The scope of the examinations, if required, whether oral or written, or both, shall be from the National Electric Code and seventy per-cent shall be deemed a passing mark, and shall be prescribed by the Board, with special reference to the applicant's ability to place, install and operate electrical wires, appliances, apparatus or construct in, upon or about buildings and other premises, other than electrical maintenance work, necessary for established plants, buildings or premises.

(b) An applicant failing an examination, may upon request, be permitted to examine his corrected examination papers in the presence of another person selected by the applicant and may apply for re-examination, and such re-examination must be given within 90 days of application and without the necessity of an additional fee. Subsequent examinations will be granted upon payment of a fee to be determined by the Board, except that no such fee shall be more than $10.00.

§ 1431. Appeals

Any person who feels aggrieved by any action of the Board in denying, revoking, or failing to reissue his certificate of registration, may appeal therefrom to the Superior Court of the county in which such person resides. The decision of the Board shall be prima facie correct and the burden of proof shall be on the appellant to show that the Board acted contrary to law, fraudulently, arbitrarily or capriciously. The appellant shall be heard on the records and proceedings of the Board, which shall be certified to the Court by the Board within 15 days after service on the Board of a notice of appeal. The Court may permit the appellant or the Board to present any new or different evidence pertinent to the matter. The Court may affirm, reverse or modify the decision of the Board and the decision of the Court shall be final.

§ 1432. Limitation on scope of chapter

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to, and no certificate of registration shall be required of or by:

(1) Any electric light or power company, electric railway company, steam railway company, diesel railway company or telegraph or telephone company, nor to any person performing the electrical work of any such company, when such work is a part of the plant or services used by the company in rendering its authorized service to the public.

(2) Any person employed by any other person to repair and maintain or to supervise the repair and maintenance of any electrical equipment on the premises and buildings of the employer, except that such employers are not relieved of the duty prescribed by § 1433 (c) of this title.

(3) Any person who installs his own electrical work, service or equipment in or about his own home and not for sale, except that such person shall be required to file application for inspection with the proper electrical inspection authority.

(4) Any employee of any person engaged in the performance of electrical work while under the supervision of any master electrician, general master electrician limited A or B.

(5) Property used exclusively for agricultural purposes are excluded from all provisions of this Act, except for the necessity to file an application for an inspection certificate with the authorized inspection authority where new installations are involved.

(6) Any manufacturing or industrial establishments, except for the annual inspection provisions provided for under 1433 (c) of this title.

§ 1433. Certificates of inspection; standards for installation

(a) No person holding a certificate of registration as a master electrician, general or limited, shall install any new or used electrical wires, conduits, machinery, apparatus or any kind of electrical equipment, fixtures, appliances or devices without first securing an application for inspection that has been filed with the proper electrical inspection authority, except that in case of emergency when such certificate of inspection must be applied for within 48 hours after such work is begun.

(b) A person permitted under § 1432 (3) of this title must first secure a permit to do his own electrical installation, from any Board member, before starting any electrical work. Charge for said permit is $1.00.

(c) Persons who are permitted to do work only without a certificate of registration as provided for in § 1432 (2) and § 1432 (6) of this title, must secure such certificate of inspection at least once annually.

(d) The Middle Department Association of Fire Underwriters shall be the Inspection Authorities. The said inspection authorities shall make all inspections within five working days of the receipt of applications for inspection. On completion of final inspection, they shall send to the State Board of Electrical Examiners, a duplicate "cut-in-card" on all inspections made after July 1, 1957, and the State Electrical Board shall make available all records required by the building departments of the City, State or County. No light or power company, whether public or private shall connect any current, light or power to any property without first obtaining a permanent or temporary "cut-in-card" from inspection authorities having jurisdiction thereof. No permanent or temporary "cut-in-cards" shall be issued unless the work is being done or has been done by a person to whom has been issued a registration certificate under the provisions of this chapter, except for work being done or which has been done by persons who are not required to obtain registration certificates under the provisions of this chapter.

(e) The Board shall adopt as standards for the installation of electrical work, apparatus and devices of all kinds, those required from time to time by the National Electrical Code, County and City Codes; all material and equipment must be approved by the Underwriter's Laboratory.

SUBCHAPTER III. ENFORCEMENT

§ 1440. Violations and penalty

Whoever violates the provisions of this chapter, if no other penalty is provided, shall be fined not more than $100.00 or be imprisoned for not more than 30 days, or both. Each day a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.

Section 2. There is appropriated the sum of $11,000.00 for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1957 and $9,000.00 for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1958 for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act.

Section 3. This is a supplementary appropriation act and the money appropriated shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of the General Fund of the State of Delaware.

Approved July 22, 1957.