Electro Technical Council of Ireland

Electrical Safety

Traditionally, the ETCI 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 proactive and TC5 was mostly reactive, 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, Association of Chief Fire Officers, 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 has also prepared another publication titled 'Guide to the Basic Principles of Electrical Safety' (ET213:2007) The purpose of this guide is to raise awareness of electrical safety and to describe protective measures that are available to reduce the risk of being injured by electricity. This latter Guide also has an associated training course.

  • Production of the safety video "RCDs Saving Lives" which explains the operation of RCDs, the role of RCDs in protecting the person from electrocution, emphasises the importance of regular testing of RCDs and illustrates the method by which this testing should be carried out.
  • Participation in the production of three training videos* - "Lifelines"', "Bright Sparks" and "Power2Shock" . The DVDs 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 DVDs are available free of charge and more than 20,000 copies have been delivered to companies, contractors, organisations, schools and individuals.

  • 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 cooperation with ESB Networks, 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.

*Publications may be ordered or downloaded from ESB Networks website

Visit ESB Networks website for information on:

ESB Networks website also has Safety Booklets freely available:

ESB Networks website also has Safety Video / DVD's available for order:

ESB Networks website also has Safety Posters freely available:

ESB Networks website also has Safety Cab Stickers available for order:

ESB Networks website also has Safety Job Aids freely available:

ISSA Publications

The ISSA Electricity Section has published the "Guideline on Managing Safety in the Use of Portable Electrical Equipment in the Workplace". This Guideline describes safe practices that should be followed by those involved with portable electrical equipment. The Guideline is not designed as a training manual, but contains information, best practices and general recommendations deemed appropriate for the safe use of portable electrical equipment. Click here to download this publication



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