Construction Industry highlights dangers of working close to utilities  

24 Oct 2018

The construction industry will mark the third day of Construction Safety Week 2018 today with a focus on the dangers of working close to utilities such as water, electricity and gas.

Dermot Carey, Director Safety and Training, with the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) said:

“Today we focus on the danger posed by working close to utilities – watermains, electricity and gas. Three of our sponsors this year are Gas Networks Ireland, ESB Networks and Irish Water and they advise strikes of these services are on the rise. So the message today is check before you dig! The increased spend in the construction sector is welcome, but with that comes more likelihood of unwittingly exposing yourself to the dangers posed by utilities. We must use the information that is available from the utility companies and follow safe digging techniques when working near these services because as the slogan says “Energy = Danger “ – visit to view our webinar on safely locating underground services delivered by Sean Mannion of Ward & Burke.”

Mark Madigan, Chair of the Joint Utility Safety Forum, involving ESB Networks, Gas Networks Ireland, Eir and Irish Water said:

“We would like to emphasise the importance of obtaining utility maps. Underground services can pose a significant hazard to those working in the construction industry, if adequate precautions are not taken to identify service routes and apply safe digging practices.”

Architect and RTE star Dermot Bannon, is lending his support to Construction Safety Week this year to drive home the 2018 week’s theme- ‘Better Safety for Smaller Contractors.’

Dermot Bannon said:

“Contractors working on domestic renovations face many difficult safety challenges. In addition to working within a tight site footprint, they have to ensure subcontractors and suppliers, who may only be on site temporarily, adhere to their rules. They also have to ensure that their clients- the homeowners- are safe when on site.”

“No matter what rules and processes are in place, construction sites are dangerous. If you are working on one, you are responsible for your personal safety and that of those around you. In turn, you should expect that those working around you are equally aware of your safety.”

“I see how high the standards are in Ireland, particularly when I get to work abroad. Our industry has a lot to be proud of, but as any Health and Safety Officer would advise, one should not get complacent and that is why Construction Safety Week is so important for the Irish construction industry.”

Construction Safety Week is an initiative of the Construction Safety Partnership Advisory Committee (CSPAC). This is a grouping of all the main stakeholders in the construction sector in Ireland – Employers, Unions, State Bodies (in conjunction with the Health & Safety Authority) and Professional Bodies.

Our collective objective is to continue to highlight the issues of health and safety in the Irish construction industry and to drive continual improvement.

Good health and safety depend on co-operation between all parties on a project – from client to designers and contractors – everyone’s safety depends on their co-workers or the person working beside you or above you.

The mission for this week is to refocus on health and safety and it’s a call to action for companies of all sizes to run a safety event this week.

Construction Safety Week 2018 is sponsored by the Construction Workers Sick Pay Trust (CWPS), DRS Bond Management, Jacobs Engineering, Walls Construction, Glenveagh Properties, Collen Construction, Irish Water, Gas Networks Ireland and ESB Networks.

Stephen Garvey, Chief Operations Officer of Glenveagh Properties said :“Safety is a cornerstone of our operations at Glenveagh. We’re starting as we mean to go on, instilling a focus on safety amongst our employees in everything we do. We also want to contribute to the creation of a safety culture and the promotion of greater safety awareness in the wider industry. We are delighted to partner with the Construction Industry Federation on this initiative and we are looking forward to taking an active role in the week’s activities.”

Chris Davies, Managing Director, DRS Bonds Management said: 

“Irish construction companies are very committed to protecting their employees and promoting safety on sites all across Ireland. We’re delighted to support the CIF’s national week-long awareness campaign; Construction Safety Week. This initiative has played a major role in promoting safety, reducing accidents and eliminating fatalities in the construction industry over the past 5 years. Safety, security, certainty are all concepts that DRS understands and supports within the Irish construction.  We’re a big believer in this industry and we can see it growing from strength to strength.  Activity is on the up and set to continue over the next decade. It’s critical now that as more people start working in the industry to meet growing demand for residential, commercial, industrial and infrastructure construction, every single worker is aware of the importance of safety.”

For more information see: , check out activity on @CIF_ireland or by using #CIFsafety18

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