Originally Posted By: Blaine Wiley
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.
I am aware of a lawsuit that was filed in New Jersey some years back.
A child was badly injured in a fire that was caused by an aluminum wiring connection in the service panel. The home inspector did not remove the cover to inspect the wiring in the panel, and did not state the reason the cover was not removed. Needless to say, because he didn't remove the cover he was unable to inform the buyer that the house had aluminum wiring.
A lawyer for the inspector contacted a friend of mine who is an inspector in New Jersey, and asked him if he would testify that it is unreasonable and unsafe for the inspector to remove the dead front cover during a home inspection. His answer was something to the effect of; No, I won't testify to that effect because not only is it reasonable for the inspector to remove the cover, he is a poor inspector if he doesn't, and shouldn't be inspecting. The lawyer replied with, well, I've called about a hundred inspectors and they've'e all said the same thing.
Should we wear PPE? Perhaps. I've pulled thousands of covers in my time and have yet to be shocked or injured, except for cutting my finger on the edge of an unusually sharp panel. That doesn't mean I won't get shocked or killed on the next cover I pull.
I don't want Big Brother mandating that I wear protective clothing to protect me from myself. But remember, I don't like helmet laws for motorcycles, seat belt laws for cars (except for children), or most other laws that take away our decisions about our own lives. If I or anyone else makes an informed decision knowing the risks, we can proceed with caution and act accordingly.
BTW, all 17 of the licensed inspectors in my county pull the cover, and none wear PPE.