ESB and Public Safety

The safety of the public in using our services is of huge importance to us. The key focus of our public safety programme concerns the risk management of people coming into contact with our network, plant and equipment.

Our on-going network refurbishment programme continues to have a significant and beneficial impact on public safety. While ESB is not responsible for public safety beyond the customer’s meter, we deliver regular public safety campaigns to alert the general public to the potential dangers posed by electricity.

Examples of ESB Public Safety Actions and Programmes

  • We rigorously address the risks arising from our generation activities, in particular head and tail races associated with hydro-electric power stations.
  • ESB’s plant and equipment is operated in line with international standards and legislation, including standards dealing with the risk of harm associated with electric and magnetic fields.
  • Our ESB Networks’ Public Safety Plan (2013-2015) includes initiatives aimed at the “at risk” groups, including construction, farming and leisure.
  • Public safety programmes for children, including school visits.
  • Public safety information circulated through the National Customer Contact Centre with safety booklets and other content mailed in response to specific requests.
  • Regular public safety campaigns to alert of the potential dangers posed by electricity.

Electric Ireland supplies electricity and gas into homes around Ireland. However, it is up to you, the consumer, to make sure that all the electrical and gas equipment in your home or property is maintained and functioning correctly.

Guidelines for Basic Electrical Safety in the Home

Guidelines for Basic Gas Safety in the Home

Just like other aspects of farm life - handling animals, working with machinery or handling chemicals - electricity can pose serious risks, if not treated with respect. You should make sure that you or anyone working with you is aware of the safety risks to reduce the danger of accidents on the farm.

Common Electrical Hazards

There are two distinct electrical dangers associated with electricity on the farm:

Farm Safety Guidelines

ESB Networks have produced a booklet, Farm Well, Farm Safely (PDF | 1061KB), with detailed advice on using electricity safely in and around the farm.

Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees and visitors to their premises. The Construction Regulations 2013 makes contractors in charge of construction sites responsible for protecting their workers from the dangers associated with electricity.

At ESB, we work closely with organisations including the Health and Safety Authority, the Electro-Technical Council of Ireland and contractor organisations to promote safety and safe practices.

Common Hazards in Construction Work

There are two distinct electrical dangers associated with electricity in construction work:

Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) can arise from a wide range of electrical equipment including power lines, appliances used in the home and workplace, and telecommunications equipment.

The health, safety and welfare of the general public and our workers are a core company value at ESB. We recognise the concerns of some members of the public in relation to EMF and possible health effects. In response, we continue to:

  • Fully comply with all legal requirements relating to EMF, including conditions set in transmission and distribution system licences issued by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) and in licenses issued by the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg).
  • Design and operate its generation, transmission and distribution networks and telecommunications infrastructure in compliance with legislation and with due regard to the most up-to-date recommendations and guidelines of the leading expert and independent international bodies.
  • Closely monitor and support engineering and scientific research in the area.
  • Provide advice and information to its workers and the general public on the issue.

Related Links

* ESB complies with all statutory obligations regarding the reporting of accidents, injuries and dangerous occurrences to Health and Safety Authority (Republic of Ireland), Health & Safety Executive (UK) or equivalent bodies in other jurisdictions of operation.