Electro Technical Council of Ireland

ETCI Safety Committee

ETCI Safety Committee Traditionally, Technical Committee No.5 has been involved in collecting and analysing data on electrical fatalities in the Republic of Ireland and has helped to raise awareness of the risks associated with the use of electricity. In addition to commenting on each of the electrical fatalities on an annual basis, TC5 has also provided all relevant data on a 10 year rolling basis, presenting the statistics in as informative a manner as possible.

In 1997, ETCI Technical Committee No. 5 was amalgamated with ETCI's Advisory Committee on Safety, ACOS, to form one committee, with the new title of "The ETCI Safety Committee TC5". Prior to this, ACOS, as the advisory committee on electrical safety, had contributed to radio and TV programmes, helping in particular to improve electrical safety and awareness in the home. ACOS was pro-active and TC5 was mostly re-active, giving an account of events past. In joining the two committees together, ETCI now has a single committee which can focus on the past, the present and the future.

Terms of reference for the joint committee can be summarised as "The examination and reporting of electrical accidents and the provision of advice, including literature, on electrical safety matters". The membership of TC5 includes the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), Department of Environment & Local Government, ESB Customer Supply, ESB Networks, the Health and Safety Authority, the Insurance Industry, the National Irish Safety Organisation (NISO) and Teagasc, plus others as appropriate from time to time. Achievements of TC5 include:

  • Production of the very useful Guide 'The Management of Electrical Safety at Work'. Published by ETCI, a training course based on the Guide is also available from ETCI. The Committee is also preparing another publication titled 'Guide to the Basic Principles of Electrical Safety' and an accompanying training course. These will be available from September 2005.

  • Participation in the production of three training videos* - "Lifelines", "Bright Sparks" and "Power2Shock" . The videos were jointly produced by ESB and NIE (Northern Ireland Electricity), and feature a number of commonly occurring incidents (tipper trucks, cranes, farm machinery, diggers, scaffolding, children climbing into substations, and more) involving electrical injury. Advice is included on how to avoid such incidents and the precautions required to ensure no such incidents happen in the future. The videos are available free of charge and more than 20,000 copies have been delivered to companies, contractors, organisations, schools and individuals. The videos may also be obtained in DVD format.

  • Production, in co-operation with ESB Networks, of a poster for use on construction sites entitled "Avoidance of electrical hazards when working near Overhead Lines"*, showing the precautions to be taken when working near, under or passing by overhead lines. Fully illustrated and giving appropriate distances from the overhead line to the protective barriers which are needed to keep plant and machinery a safe distance from the power lines.

  • Production , in co-operation with ESB, of two booklets "Safe use of electricity in the home"* and "Farm Well ...Farm Safely"* . The booklets give sound and practical advise for these two traditionally vulnerable locations. With Residual Current Devices (RCDs) now protecting the sockets in most homes, the level of electrical incidents has dropped, but more still needs to be done to ensure the quality of any additions to the existing electrical installations. The quality of installations on farms is still a cause for concern. The farming organisations have now joined ESB and ETCI in helping to promote a greater awareness among farmers.
  • ESB Customer Supply has introduced a booklet on electrical safety in the home and in the garden. While this booklet should not be seen as definitive advice on the safe use of electricity, it is nevertheless a practical guide with some basic "dos" and "don'ts" that you and your family should familiarise yourself with.

*Publications may be ordered or downloaded from ESB Networks website

Follow this link for more information on Technical Committee No. 5





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