Farmers are being encouraged to take extra caution against electrical risks when carrying out construction work, and the following press release has been published as part of ESB’s current attempts to increase awareness:
ESB Public Safety Manager Arthur Byrne recently met with the Safety and Health Committee of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) in Portlaoise to discuss how to raise the profile of electrical safety when carrying out construction work.
This initiative is part of ESB Networks’ continuing commitment to raise public awareness and follows on from work with the farming sector and the recently aired new adverting campaign on TV and radio – “ Are You Sure It’s Safe”.
There is a strong connection between the construction industry and the farming sector as many construction workers come from rural Ireland. Also since the abolition of milk quotas many dairy farmers have invested in new milking parlours, cubicle houses and other farm buildings.
Ireland’s construction sector is set to grow by more than 20% this year as it continues to recover. According to construction consultancy firm Bruce Shaw, the output of the construction industry will be worth in the region of €15 billion in 2016.
According to Arthur Byrne, Public Safety Manager with ESB Networks, this safety initiative with the CIF is a most welcome development. It was arranged by Dermot McCabe and Frank Kelly and involves working with key stakeholders in the construction sector and it is particularly timely, given the increasing level of construction activity.
Electricity is a powerful and versatile source of energy, essential for modern living, but it can be dangerous unless used safely at all times. As a result of this, there needs to be an increase in awareness of safety when working near overhead electricity wires and underground cables.
Serious accidents, including fatal electrical accidents have occurred where construction work is taking place. In the past 21 years there have been 16 electrical fatalities due to accidental contact with overhead electricity wires and cables.
These situations have included cranes, concrete trucks and installing guttering. There are also numerous incidents which involve close encounters with overhead electricity wires and cables. There is no room for complacency and it is important to emphasise good safety practice when working near overhead wires and underground cables.
ESB Networks advise construction workers to always watch out for electricity wires and keep a safe distance. Contact with overhead power lines causes serious and fatal injuries each year. The majority of accidents occur through failure to notice the lines and to take sensible precautions.
Avoid working within a 10m horizontal distance of these lines and give yourself enough clearance to avoid contact and remember that electricity can jump gaps. When planning work which involves digging, always contact the ‘Dial before U Dig’ service at email@example.com or alternatively phone 1850 928 960.
For additional safety information please visit ESB’s newly updated website here.
In an emergency or where there is a public safety concern with electricity wires, always remember to contact ESB immediately on their 24/7 emergency number: 1850 372 999.
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Arthur Byrne, Public Safety Manager, ESB Networks:
Tel: 087 2440905 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Jeff Harvey
Main Picture: Left to Right, Dermot Carey of Head of Safety Services at CIF, Arthur Byrne, Public Safety Manager, ESB Networks with Ann Marie McLoughlin, Regional Safety Manager with BAM and Frank Kelly, Walls Construction. Photos by Jeff Harvey.
Safety Committee, Left to Right:
Back row – Jonathan Cuthbert (PM Group), E. Hughes (Designer Group), Arthur Byrne (ESB Networks) / Frank Kelly – Walls & Chair of CIF Safety Policy Committee / Victor Smyth (John Cradock Ltd), James Curran (Clancy Group), Robert Butler (CIF) , Pierse Bennion (Castlethorn)
Front row – Simon Purcell (Purcell Scaffolding), Ann Marie McLoughlin (Bam Contractors), Kevin Cummins (Sisk Holdings), Fiona O’Reilly (Structuretone), Dermot Carey, Construction Industry Federation