While electricity is an essential element of almost all workplaces in Ireland, it can cause significant harm and injury to persons in the workplace if electrical hazards are not controlled appropriately.

The following information will take you through several aspects concerning electrical safety; from electrical hazards and legal requirements to control of electrical hazards.


Electricity in workplaces is regulated by a number of acts and regulations, the most significant of those being:

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007, Part 3: Electricity

Employer Responsibilities

Employers are required to ensure that all electrical equipment and installations are:

  • Designed, constructed, installed, maintained, protected and used in a safe manner
  • Protected for moisture, particles (dust, dirt, soil) and impact
  • Protected from weather, outdoor hazards, corrosive conditions and temperature
  • Isolated from flammable and explosive substances
  • Identified with maker’s name and the necessary ratings (except cables)
  • Earthed appropriately to prevent electric shock during a fault

Employers must ensure that portable electrical equipment is:

  • Maintained in a manner fit for safe use
  • Portable equipment exposed to conditions which are likely to cause damage needs to be inspected by a trained and knowledgeable (competent) person

Employee Responsibilities

Employees also have duties, you need to:

  • Co-operate with your employers health and safety rules and procedures
  • Ensure you are not under the influence of any intoxicant which may cause danger to yourself or others
  • Use the control measures your employer have provided to eliminate or reduce your risk
  • Report any defects in your electrical equipment or installations
  • Report any accidents or incidents to your employer immediately

Do not engage in any unsafe behaviour that may put yourself or others at risk!

Page updated: 12/05/2015

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