Safe Control of Hazardous Energies

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Safe Control of Hazardous Energies

Contractors are responsible for managing the risks associated with work near overhead electricity wires, underground cables, gas and water pipelines, and other infrastructure. Competent persons need to review past site records and utility drawings in advance of works and to liaise with the respective utility providers.

According to Michael Murray, Public Safety Manager for ESB Networks, “Overhead electricity wires and underground cable are some of the main construction hazards that have the potential to seriously impact the safety of workers and the public. ESB Networks, in conjunction with CIF, are reminding everyone of the dangers of working too close to overhead electricity wires or striking underground cables. Please take time to review the accompanying safety codes of practice and advice so that we can all go home safe to our families each and every day”.

It is important to note a variance of voltages for overhead electricity lines on ESB Networks distribution and transmission systems, ranging from 230 volts to 400,000 volts. The minimum safe distances for plant and machinery are dictated by the voltage carried. It is always recommended to check the voltage carried and then consult the respective Code of Practice for Avoiding Danger from Overhead Electricity Lines. Always assume utilities as live unless otherwise confirmed; if planning work near overhead electricity wires, contact ESB Networks (1800 928 960 / [email protected]) in advance so that the necessary safety precautions can be evaluated. Check out guidance from ESB Networks’ Information on Dial Before You Dig – Digging and Excavation Work and ESB Networks’ Contractor Safety Website: Overhead Wires before undertaking works in the likely vicinity of electrical services. In the event of emergency, contact ESB Networks immediately on 1800 372 999.

“Transporting large amounts of energy is Gas Networks Ireland’s core business and doing that safely is fundamental to our success, which is why we are proud to support Construction Safety Month for another year,” says Owen Wilson, Gas Networks Ireland Networks Safety Manager.

“Energy, such as gas, is safe when treated with respect, but accidental damage to gas pipelines and other energy infrastructure can not only cause major disruption to your work, but also pose a danger to those in the vicinity, resulting in serious injury or even death. Any responsible contractor will want to make sure that they operate a safe site. Obtaining maps of underground services and checking for the location of gas pipelines is a critical step when planning any excavation. Our online Dial Before You Dig service provides access to these drawings far quicker and easier than ever before. The online service provides virtually instant access to vital gas network drawings that would normally take 48 hours or longer to arrive, in minutes or even seconds, day or night, without the hassle of having to email in a map of the location for which drawings are needed.”

Despite extensive advertising campaigns and its award-winning Dial Before You Dig service, Gas Networks Ireland last year responded to over 400 incidents of damage to its underground gas network.

Refer to Gas Network Ireland’s Dial before you Dig webpage:

Safe Control of Hazardous Energies Quick Links

See useful links

Watch videos

Download resources

Access Member Only Content


Gas Networks Ireland – Construction Safety Month Webinar October 2023

12th October 2023 pdf (2.6MB)

ESB Networks – Code of Practice for Avoiding Danger from Overhead Electricity Lines

20th September 2023 pdf (1.93 MB)

ESB Networks – Safe Construction with Electricity

20th September 2023 pdf (6.70 MB)

ESB Networks – How you can avoid hitting electrical cables when digging and drilling

20th September 2023 (0.00 KB)

HSA – Code of Practice for Avoiding Danger from Underground Services

20th September 2023 pdf (837.26 KB)

HSA – Guide to SHWW (General Applications) Regs, Part 3: Electricity

20th September 2023 pdf (794.93 KB)

Safety Advice for working in the vicinity of Gas pipes

20th September 2023 pdf (4.21 MB)

Toolbox Talk – Safe Control of Hazardous Energies

20th September 2023 docx (138.28 KB)

Justin Manly’s Top Tips for Overcoming Adversity and Maintaining Resilience

21st September 2023 pdf (235KB)

Useful Videos

Recorded Webinar for CIF Construction Safety Week 2022

The CIF has pre-recorded a 30-min panel discussion with industry experts, specific to the theme of ‘Safe Control of Hazardous Energies’ for CIF Construction Safety Week 2022.

Owen Wilson (Gas Networks Ireland) is joined by Tom Quinlan (Designer Group), Jason Flannery (John Sisk & Son Ltd.), Timmy Harnett (Irish Water), Niall Lohan (Ward and Burke Construction Ltd.), and Michael Murray (ESB Networks).

A corresponding toolbox talk may be downloaded below:

Toolbox Talk – Safe Control of Hazardous Energies

20th September 2023 docx (138.28 KB)

Useful Links

ESB Networks – Contractor Safety

Gas Networks Ireland – Dial Before You Dig

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