Construction Industry urges Contractors to Check Before You Dig!

23 Oct 2019

Construction Safety Week Day 2 (Tuesday 22nd October) focus is on Working Safely with Electricity, which includes a clear message to all construction personnel to ‘check before you dig’, which relates to the importance of liaising with the respective utility service provider in advance of undertaking works in near proximity.

For example, ESB Networks welcome enquiries on voltage and location information, network maps and records and are contactable by email at [email protected] or by phone at 1850 928 960. A recorded webinar on ‘Working Safely Near Overhead Electricity Networks’ is provide courtesy of ESB Networks.

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

“On Tuesday, the second day of Construction Safety Week 2019, we concentrate on the potential hazards associated with working on or close to live utility services, principally electricity. Four of our sponsors for this year represent utility services: SSE Airtricity, Gas Networks Ireland, ESB Networks and Irish Water. They advise that strikes of utility services continue to occur, hence the clear message is to check before you dig.

Contractors are responsible for managing the risks associated with work near overhead electricity wires and underground cables, thus competent persons need to review past site records and utility drawings in advance of works, liaise with the respective utility providers (where applicable) and to follow safe digging techniques near these services”.

Michael Mc Donagh, Senior Inspector for Construction with the HSA said:

“Many serious and fatal injuries have occurred as a result of construction workers coming in to contact, directly or indirectly, with electricity. Employers must ensure they manage work safely and follow the relevant Codes of Practice when working near overhead and underground electricity cables. All electrical equipment used on site should be at the appropriate voltage and equipment must be maintained in a safe working order.”

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

Our collective mission for Construction Safety Week 2019 is to partner together to;

  • Eliminate accidents and incidents on construction sites in Ireland.
  • Promote a healthy culture of sharing lessons learned and best practice case studies in safety, health and wellbeing.
  • Reflect on the positive initiatives taken and celebrate achievements in good safety performance, whilst appreciating the potential consequences of failing to act responsibly in terms of safety and health.
  • Continue to work with colleagues and others to strengthen the construction industry’s safety and wellbeing culture.


 “ESB Networks welcomes the opportunity to be a sponsor of Construction Safety Week and to highlight the significant health and safety risks involved in construction work. Electricity is one of the main risks that is ever present on construction sites particularly when using tall machinery and carrying out ground works.

Safety week is an important opportunity for everyone involved in construction to focus on how to reduce risk by focusing on each of the five topics and leading by example. We are delighted to work with CIF and to collaborate with Gas Networks Ireland to support Construction Safety.

Electricity wires and cables are always live – always keep a safe distance. For specific information on Electricity and Construction, please visit –

Arthur Byrne, Public Safety Manager, ESB Networks, Construction Safety Week Sponsors 2019.


“Irish Water are yet again a proud sponsor of construction safety week for 2019.

This highlights our continued commitment to driving improved safety performance and a positive safety culture both internally in IW and externally across the construction industry.

Last year the campaign was extremely successful with huge participation from our contracting partners. From feedback we received, during the course of CSW 2018 over 30 IW contractors participated in safety week. Almost 600 toolbox talks were held with over 5000 people attending them. These figures are extremely powerful and send a strong message on our commitment to safety throughout the industry.

Construction Safety Week is a great opportunity for us all to take stock of safety and work together to drive home the positive safety message.

Construction safety week should be used as a time for you to reflect on your role in your organisation and to look at how you can positively influence your stakeholders, projects and colleagues.

We want CSW 2019 to be even more successful and we have reached out to all our delivery partners again this year, to get involved.”

 Irish Water, Construction Safety Week Sponsors 2019


Construction Safety Week 2019 is sponsored by Walls Construction, Collen Construction, SSE Airtricity, Irish Water, Hilti, IOSH, Keating Construction, Gas Networks Ireland, Kirby Group Engineering and ESB Networks.

For more information, see: , check out activity on @CIF_ireland or by using #CIFSafety19

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