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Back to Press Releases 24 October 2018

Ireland's major utilities come together to launch new construction safety campaign

24th October 2018 – ESB Networks and Ireland’s other major utilities, Gas Networks Ireland, Irish Water and Eir have joined forces for Construction Safety Week with a new ‘dial before you dig’ campaign that encourages workers to contact utility owners to check the location of underground services before breaking ground. ESB Networks has also taken the opportunity of Construction Safety Week to publish a new guidebook for safe construction practices and the electricity network, which is accessible here.

So far in 2018 the construction industry have seen 439 instances where underground electrical cables were inadvertently hit. While none of these turned out to be fatal, some serious injuries resulted. At ESB Networks safety is of paramount importance. That’s why we are asking all construction workers to contact our Dial Before You Dig service before they start construction, and obtain the relevant, up-to-date cable maps so we can prevent underground cable Incidents.  

ESB Networks’ Dial Before You Dig service can be contacted by calling 1850 928 960 or emailing

At the launch of the Construction Safety Week Campaign, ESB Networks Senior Safety, Health and Wellbeing Manager , Mark Madigan said: “Electricity is a powerful and versatile source of energy but can be dangerous unless we use safe systems and procedures. Where safety procedures have not been followed, and where construction work has taken place too close to the electricity network, serious accidents have occurred.”

Commenting on the new dedicated ESB guidebook for construction workers, Safe Construction and the Electricity Network, Construction Federation of Ireland Director of Safety and Training, Dermot Carey said: “The new guidebook provides important additional safety information to help workers stay safe when working near underground cables, and I would encourage all construction workers to take the time this week in particular to download and read the guidebook to ensure they are up to speed on the important safety practices regarding working near electricity cables.”

ESB’s safety booklet provides practical advice to construction workers on avoiding harm on site including:

  • Always take essentially safety precautions before carrying out digging work, as there will often be buried electricity cables close by.
  • Contact ESB Networks ‘Dial Before You Dig’ service and obtain the relevant, up-to-date cable maps - or 1850 928 960
  • Look out for any indication of services such as gas, water etc.
  • Ensure a cable avoidance tool is used by a competent operator
  • Keep machinery clear and guard against working close to overhead wires, and allow enough clearance to avoid coming too close