An electrical company which fitted 19 Auckland buildings with a cable that could become brittle, break and catch fire within just five years, will not be prosecuted by WorkSafe.

It's been a year since Lyon Electrical went into voluntary liquidation and since Worksafe warned electrical workers around the country about the specific Chinese-imported TPS cable marked 'EESS-150102-0'.

The Herald revealed then that a swimming pool, a retirement village and several apartment complexes were among the buildings affected.



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It's estimated ripping out and replacing the cabling has cost construction companies up to $12 million.

One construction company told the Herald it had two projects fitted with the dodgy cabling and it cost them $200,000 to fix. A spokesperson for the company says the Lyon Electrical saga had taught them, as well as the industry, to be more vigilant with which products they use and where they're sourced from.

The 87-page report by senior technical officer, Miles Bonfield, released under the Official Information Act reveals how the lengthy investigation unfolded.

WorkSafe received a phone tip-off on May 22 last year from an industry entity concerned with the standard of Lyon Electrical's cables.

From there, it went about with its inquiries and met Lyon Electrical's director Ben Lyon.

WorkSafe then obtained samples of the cabling and, before the results came back, the company went into voluntary liquidation on August 2.

Those tests found the cable was in fact "significantly non-compliant" and its insulation over time would become brittle and crack, and create possible electric shock and or fire risks.

WorkSafe also found the cable was not immediately unsafe for the first five years but after that period it would be considered immediately unsafe. The life span of a cable is 45 years.

The report also reveals a close call by another New Zealand company, this time in Hawke's Bay, which also imported the exact same cabling from Shanghai Jiukai.

The head of Power To You, by chance in June last year, told WorkSafe it had just imported the cabling and had intended to sell it.

And like Lyon Electrical, the cabling had arrived with the same Australian certification and proof of compliance.

And again, test results found the cabling to be "significantly non-compliant". Power To You promptly sent it all back to China for a refund.

In his findings, Bonfield did not find any evidence that Lyon Electrical and its director Ben Lyon knowingly or recklessly imported, supplied or installed the cable.

He stated if new evidence were to come to light, WorkSafe would investigate further.

Lyon Electrical's director Ben Lyon told the Herald that, as stated in the report, everything he did was "correct and compliant with the law".

He added because he did have all the right certification and followed due process that it clearly showed there was a "huge flaw" in the system.

In March this year, WorkSafe banned the specific cable but is also now considering whether to declare all kinds of the cable "high risk" - a similar move to Australia.