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Electro - Technical Council of Ireland - the Irish Member of CENELEC, IEC and ISSA

NewsLetter ISSUE 11. JULY 2009

CER - ETCI Memorandum of Understanding On 6th April 2009 ETCI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Commission of Energy Regulation (CER). The MoU acknowledges the functions of each organisation towards the development and operation of the current certification system and the promotion of safety in electrical equipment and installations. The MoU ensures the co-ordination and synergy in CER’s and ETCI’s activities towards protecting public safety with respect to electrical installation works.

Seated are Gerard Buckley (Chairman ETCI) and Tom Reeves (Commissioner for Energy Regulation) at the signing of the CER-ETCI MoU, with Patrick Hession (Chief Executive Officer ETCI) and Karen Trant (Manager – Regulation of Electrical Safety, CER).

Presence of Sub-standard Cables on Irish Market To address the problem of sub-standard electrical cable on the Irish market, ETCI invited Dr. Jeremy Hodge, Chief Executive, British Approval Services for Cables (BASEC), to address its Annual Workshop on sub-standard cables. During his presentation, Dr. Hodge cited the skimming of copper, poor markings, thin insulation, poor cured polymer, aluminium conductors and unsuitable armour as some of the problems that lead to inferior cables getting into the marketplace. The Low Voltage Directive, implemented in Ireland as S.I. No.299:2007, lays down the criteria for the safety of electrical equipment up to 1,000 Volts rating. Compliance with the Directive is achieved by complying with the harmonised standards of the member countries of the European Union or, in special cases, similar means giving an equivalent safety level. In the case of electric cables, most European countries (except Ireland) have testing and certification procedures to ensure that the cables are up to standard, and a special marking is used to identify such cables, issued, for example, by BASEC in the UK, OVE in Austria, and VDE in Germany. BASEC provides product certification services to the Irish cable manufacturers. Dr. Hodge has offered to assist Irish electrical contractors and wholesalers regarding the problem of sub-standard cables. Further information can be found by visiting the ETCI website,, or by visiting the BASEC website,

Fourth Edition Seminars in October ETCI ran a series of very successful seminars throughout Ireland on the new Fourth Edition of the National Rules for Electrical Installations in February and March (see page 2). Since the seminars, ETCI has received queries about future seminars on the new Rules. Because of the demand from people who are disappointed in having missed these seminars, ETCI has decided to hold four more seminars later this year. These will be held in Dublin (14th October), Limerick (21st October), Dundalk (22nd October), and Cork (28th October). The selection of these dates is significant as 1st October 2009 is the date when new installations can no longer be constructed to the Third Edition. New installations must be constructed in accordance with the Fourth Edition with effect from 1st October 2009. Further information on these seminars can be founded on the ETCI website (

TC6 to Host International Meeting in Dublin ETCI’s Technical Committee 6 (Equipment for Potentially Explosive Atmospheres) is to host the joint CENELEC TC31/CEN TC305 meeting in Dublin next October.

relating to equipment for use where there is a hazard due to the possible presence of explosive atmospheres of gases, vapours, mists or combustible dusts.

CENELEC TC31 and CEN TC305 are both involved in the development of standards

As part of TC6’s contribution to the international standardisation endeavour, the

ETCI, in close co-operation with NSAI (www., will host the international committee meetings of IEC TC31 and CEN TC305. The meetings will take place on 29th and 30th October 2009 in the Engineers Ireland conference facilities at Clyde Road, Dublin 4 (

ETCI NewsLetter

July 2009

ETCI Seminars on New Wiring Rules

At the launch of the ETCI National Rules for Electrical Installations, Fourth Edition on 9th December 2008 were Tony O’Doherty (Secretary TC2), Wilf Higgins (TC10), Gerard Buckley (ETCI Chairman), Jim Keogh (Chairman TC2), Billy Kelleher T.D. (Minister for Labour Affairs), Charlie O’Neill (TC10), Conal McConnell (TC2) and Paddy Thunder (TC2). During last February and March, ETCI ran a series of very successful seminars throughout Ireland on the new Fourth Edition of the National Rules for Electrical Installations, also known as the National Wiring Rules. These seminars were held in Dublin, Kilkenny, Cork, Galway, Mullingar and Carrickmacross. The objective of the seminars was to introduce and to give an overview of the Fourth Edition. Topics discussed at the seminars included: • the new restructuring of the Rules, • new sections not previously covered, such as marinas, amusement parks, photoelectric equipment and extra-low voltage equipment, • changes in the Rules due to new developments in types of equipment, work practices and building practices, and • changes and additions to the certification process. The make up of those who attended the seminars was: electrical contractors (40%), electricians (35%), consulting engineers (7%) and other classifications (18%). The ‘other classifications’ included representatives

from project management companies, local authorities, educational establishments, FAS, industry facilities management, HSA, HSE, and the insurance industry. From ETCI’s analysis of seminar survey results, it is evident that the vast majority of attendees were very satisfied with the content, the structure and the delivery of the seminar. Below are some of the comments made by those who attended the seminar: “Overall the seminar was well organised and worthwhile. The four presentations were to the point and educational. I found the question and answer sessions very beneficial because they gave the participants the opportunity to clarify any matters arising.” (Pat Kearney, Electrical Instructor, FÁS Ballyfermot). “A number of Dublin City Council staff recently attended the briefing seminars run by ETCI on the new edition of ET101. The staff found the seminars extremely useful and the changes from the previous edition were clearly explained and illustrated by the presenters. The seminars proved to be a cost effective way of bringing staff up to speed on the new edition as opposed to leaving staff to read

through the new edition by themselves.” (Pat Caden, Senior Engineer, Dublin City Council) “A number of technical staff from Webprint attended the recent ETCI workshop on the National Rules for Electrical Installations, ET101:2008. This workshop was very worthwhile in terms of getting to grips with the changes that this new publication has brought about. The workshop was very informative and it afforded the perfect platform to partake in an interactive discussion on the implications for industry of the new Rules.” (Eric Bergin, Engineering Manager, Webprint Concepts Ltd., Cork) “The presenters were very good and very knowledgeable, with excellent presentations that were accompanied by a clear PowerPoint presentation. The Q&A session was very informative – any grey areas concerning queries on the implementation of the new rules were dealt with.” (Edward Heazle, Electrical Contractor, Waterford)

ETCI Guide for Users of Electrical Equipment in Medical Practice ETCI’s TC10 (Electrical Equipment in Medical Practice) has produced an educational Guide for users of electrical equipment in medical practice. This booklet is intended to raise awareness of electricity in the medical workplace. It discusses electricity as it affects the human

body, referring to beneficial aspects as well as not so beneficial aspects. The Guide explores electricity and its usage in the medical workplace and looks at important aspects of electrical equipment in medical practice. Tips and guidelines for users of electrical equipment in medical practice are offered.

Nurses, allied health professionals, doctors and consultants will find this booklet useful and informative. Further information is available from ETCI Offices or the ETCI website.

July 2009

ETCI NewsLetter

2008 ETCI Electrical Apprentice Awards Billy Kelleher T.D., Minister for Labour Affairs, presented the 2008 ETCI Apprentice Awards during the ETCI Annual Dinner at the Davenport Hotel, Dublin, on 9th December last.

safety, to recognise the achievements of Ireland’s top electrical apprentices and to strengthen ETCI’s links with the Electrotechnical Education Centres.

The Awards were presented to Thomas Sheridan, Roundstone, Co. Galway, in the Electrical Commercial Installation Category and to Martin Smith, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan, in the Electrical Industrial Installation Category.

ETCI is most appreciative and grateful for the kind support that it receives from Kevin O’Reilly, Electrofast, and from Paul Sharkey, Instrument Technology, for donating the prizes. Electrofast and Instrument Technology have donated prizes each year for the Awards since they were first started in 1994.

The purpose of the Awards is to foster a greater awareness of electrical

Billy Kelleher T.D. (Minister for Labour Affairs), Paul Sharkey (Managing Director, Instrument Technology) and John Sheridan, representing his brother Thomas, winner of the Electrical Commercial Installation Category Award.

Billy Kelleher T.D. (Minister for Labour Affairs), Kevin O’Reilly (Chairman and Chief Executive of Excel Electric Group) and Philip Smith at the presentation of the ETCI 2008 Electrical Apprentice Awards. Mr. Smith accepted the Electrical Industrial Installation Category Award on behalf of his son, Martin.

TC6 Updating ET 105:2001 ETCI TC 6, the Technical Committee responsible for equipment and installations within potentially explosive atmospheres, continues its work developing, reviewing and voting on international (TC31) and European (CENELEC TC31) standards. Currently the Committee, via a small Cork-based Task Group, is revising ET 105:2001 the National Rules for Electrical Installations in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres. The new ET 105 Installation Rules will incorporate elements of ET 202:2001 and ET 209:2003 (Guide to the Selection of Electrical Apparatus for use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres and Recommended Maintenance and Inspection Routine, respectively), together with requirements of the ATEX Directive and will be aligned with the international IEC installation requirements (IEC60079-14). The revised ET 105 will also include details of the Explosion Protection Levels (EPLs) that are now incorporated into all IEC Hazardous Area Equipment standards. These EPLs introduce a risk-based approach to the selection of equipment for hazardous areas. Publication of ET105 is due towards the end of the year or early 2010, and any specific comments on the existing ET 105, ET 202 or ET 209 would be welcome. Training continues to be an important part of the ETCI remit and members of TC6 have developed and presented a number of sessions of the ETCI ‘Foundation Course in Hazardous Areas’. The next course has not been scheduled as yet, but is expected to take place mid 2010. The Committee is actively involved in the generation and review of international standards associated with ATEX Certified equipment and Potentially Explosive Atmospheres. Standards are generally subject to a maintenance cycle that requires that they be reviewed on a regular basis. In addition, equipment standards for dusts and gases, which were separate documents, have generally been incorporated into single publications under the IEC / EN60079 series and a Group for dusts (Group III) is progressively being introduced into the standards.

International Meeting in Dublin Hosted by ETCI

ETCI’s TC15 (Human Exposure to EMF) recently hosted the CENELEC TC106X annual plenary meeting. TC106X is responsible for preparing standards on measurement and calculation methods to assess human exposure to electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields. The task includes the characterisation of the electromagnetic environments with regard to human exposure. It covers the whole frequency range from 0 Hz to 300 GHz. It applies to basic restrictions and reference levels. Excluded is the establishment of exposure limits. There were 25 attendees from around Europe. TC15 is grateful to ESBI for hosting the meeting at the ESB headquarters on Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin, which proved to be an excellent venue.

July 2009

ETCI NewsLetter

TC12 on International Standardisation ETCI TC12 provides a focal point for participation in international standardisation in the field of electronic communications systems. The Committee is responsible for standardisation covering a formidable range of products including coaxial cables, waveguides, RF connectors, fibre optic cables and systems and audio, visual and multimedia equipment. The primary IEC Technical Committees that TC12 monitors are TC46, TC86 and TC100 together with their various SubCommittees. TC12 is a relatively small Committee and it is a real challenge to do justice to the range and quantity of technical documents issued by IEC. To break the task down to more manageable proportions, individual committee members undertake to monitor specific aspects of the technology most relevant to their expertise and interest. Arguably, some of the most interesting work being undertaken in IEC today is being conducted in TC100 (Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment). The work of TC100 currently covers 10 main Technical Areas (TA) as follows: • TA1 Terminals for audio, video and data services • TA2 Colour measurement and management • TA4 Digital system interfaces and protocols • TA5 Cable networks for television signals, sound signals and interactive services

• TA6 Professional electronics storage media, data structures and equipment • TA7 Consumer electronics storage media, data structure and equipment • TA8 Multimedia home server systems • TA9 Audio, video and multimedia applications for end-user network • TA10 Multimedia e-publishing and e-book • TA11 Quality for audio, video and multimedia systems Recent important standards published by TC100 include IEC 62087 Edition 2 (Methods of measurement for the power consumption of audio, video and related equipment) and IEC 62216 Edition 1 (Digital terrestrial television receivers for the DVB-T system). Further information on TC100 may be obtained via the excellent dedicated website at while the standards output of all the IEC TCs in which TC12 participates can be monitored via the IEC RSS feeds. The Chairman of TC12 is Paddy Fitzsimons of Philips Electronics Ltd., while the Secretary is Brian Abbott, NSAI. The committee is currently seeking new members and interested parties are invited to contact the Secretary directly.

ETCI 2008 Workshop ETCI held a very successful workshop in the Davenport Hotel, Dublin, on 9th December last. The audience of approximately 80 represented all sectors of the electrotechnical industry in Ireland. The MC for the workshop was the ETCI Vice-Chairman, Michael Hanly, who introduced the following speakers: Eamon O’Flynn (Chairman, ETCI Safety Committee, TC5). His presentation on TC5’s annual report for 2008 included the committee’s ongoing proactive promotion of safety awareness, its input to safety legislation, its new publications and training courses on electrical safety and its analysis of fatalities and potentially fatal injuries and near misses caused by electricity. Tony O’Doherty (Secretary, ETCI TC2 – Wiring Rules Committee) who introduced the new Wiring Rules – the Fourth Edition to the National Rules for Electrical Installations. During this presentation reference was made to the new restructuring of the Rules, the technical changes resulting from decisions at CENELEC and IEC level, new sections of the Rules for areas not previously covered, and changes and additions to the certification process.

Karen Trant (Manager – Regulation of Electrical Safety, Commission for Energy Regulation) whose presentation included a progress report on the implementation of the electrical safety provisions of the Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006. Gerard Buckley (Chairman ETCI) who spoke on ETCI’s Three-Year Plan for the years 2009 to 2011. His presentation concentrated on initiatives and developments in the promotion of electrical safety and the development of electrotechnical standards and also focused on ensuring the continual operation of ETCI through the recessionary times that exist at present.

The speakers at the 2008 ETCI Workshop: Gerard Buckley (Chairman ETCI), Dr. Jeremy Hodge (Chief Executive BASEK (UK)), Karen Trant (Manager – Regulation of Electrical Safety, CER), Eamon O’Flynn (Chairman ETCI Safety Committee, TC5) and Tony O’Doherty (Secretary ETCI TC2).

Dr. Jeremy Hodge (Chief Executive, BASEC (UK)). Dr. Hodge’s presentation was eagerly awaited by the Irish electrical industry as it addressed the very serious situation of sub-standard cable in the Irish market. Full details of the presentation and possible solutions can be viewed on ETCI’s website at www.etci. ie/news/substdcables(2008).htm.

Dr. Jeremy Hodge, Chief Executive, British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC), addresses the ETCI Annual Workshop on the problems associated with sub-standard cables currently on the Irish market. A full report of Dr. Hodge’s presentation can be viewed on the ETCI website (

ETCI NewsLetter

July 2009

CER Develops Common Procedures With the advent of a new regulatory safety system for the regulation of Registered Electrical Contractors (RECs), the Commission for Energy Regulation’s recent focus regarding electrical safety has shifted towards facilitating the operation of the Regulatory System through the development of: • Common Procedures • Performance Monitoring Framework for Safety Supervisory Bodies (SSBs) •

Promotion and awareness campaign.

Common Procedures In April 2008, the Commission published a Criteria Document, which detailed the rules and obligations for parties operating within the regulatory safety regime. However, processes for dealing with Certification, Third Party Inspections, Change of Contractor, Transfer of Registration, Enforcement and Modifications were not finalised within the Criteria Document. Consequently, the Commission confirmed that it would develop a set of Common Procedures, in consultation with ETCI, ESB Networks and the respective SSBs, which when finalised would constitute a part of the Criteria Document. The Commission is at the latter stages of finalising the Common Procedures, which are currently undergoing a legal review. A summary of them is as follows: • Certification: The Certification System is essential for the development of the Regulatory System, as it provides a link from the work carried out by the REC for a customer to the Regulatory System. The certifying of ‘Controlled Works’ will provide the customer with assurance that the work carried out is compliant with the Technical Rules. The Certification Procedure common to both SSBs will also address the types and formats of Certificates to be used. Additionally, the responsibilities for preparing a valid Certificate, and the procedures to be used by the RECs, the SSBs, ESB Networks and the ETCI in managing, operating and interacting with the Certification System is also specified within the Common Procedure. • Third Party Inspection: The provision of the Third Party Inspection service is designed to facilitate the Certification of Controlled Works carried out by NonRegistered Electrical Contractors (RECs). Under this Common Procedure, a person who requests Controlled Works to be carried out by a Non-REC is obliged to

request that the SSB arrange for a Third Party Inspection of the Controlled Work. On receipt of a completed application form and fee, the SSB shall assign an Inspector to carry out the Third Party Inspection. The Inspector shall meet on the site of the Controlled Work with the Non-REC, verify completed documentation, witness the Non-REC carry out a range of pre-connection tests and countersign the appropriate Certificate, provided the Controlled Work complies with the Technical Rules. In the case where a new connection or reconnection to the network is involved, the Inspector will arrange to witness the post connection tests. • Change of Contractor: A Change of Contractor event refers to a situation whereby a customer requires another contractor to complete and/or certify an electrical installation, which was partially or totally completed by a different contractor. Consequently, in the event of a Change of Contractor, a person is required to seek approval from the SSB (of which the nominated REC is a member). However, the nominated REC shall not commence the Controlled Works until the SSB approves the Change of Contractor Application and the Customer receives the Change of Contractor Approval. • Transfer of Registration: The Transfer of Registration Common Procedure is concerned with the process for the transfer of the registration of an REC from one SSB to another. It includes measures to deal with SSBs sharing information on the REC and steps to ensure that the disciplinary record of the REC will be maintained. • Enforcement: The Commission aims to ensure compliance with electrical safety standards through education and promotion. However, in the event of non-compliance, the Commission, in conjunction with the relevant stakeholders, has developed a Common Procedure on Enforcement. The Common Procedure on Enforcement addresses the role of various parties in achieving the relevant safety standards including the SSBs, the REC, ESB Networks and the customer. The customer has a key role in Enforcement, as he/she is responsible for the electrical installation associated with the connection point and adhering to ESB Networks conditions of connection. • Modifications: The Modifications Common Procedure is concerned with the process of making amendments

to the Criteria Document through a Modifications Committee. The document provides a term of reference for the Modifications Committee, and clarifies the process for appointing a Chairperson, Committee Secretary and inviting members to the Committee. Additionally, the document addresses the frequency of meetings, and the process for submitting and evaluating a Modifications proposal.

Performance Monitoring The Commission is currently working towards the establishment of a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) reporting framework, and will be in discussions with the SSBs regarding the development of KPIs for the first six months of 2009. The rationale behind the development of a reporting framework is to enable the Commission evaluate the performance of the SSBs with respect to electrical safety and the cost of providing this service.

Promotion and Awareness With reference to the promotion of the new Regulatory Model, the Commission is committed to the development of a new enduring safety brand for Registered Electrical Contractors (RECs). The brand/logo will be the sole property of the Commission, and only RECs will be entitled to display the brand/logo or make reference to registration on stationary or electronic media. The Commission has been in discussions with the SSBs regarding the design of the brand/logo, and will be publishing the brand/logo and a guidelines document within the coming months.

Summary The publication of the Common Procedure documents will be a key milestone in the Commission’s strategy for the regulation of electrical contractors with respect to safety, as it provides a succinct and transparent process for the operation of the Regulatory System on a daily basis. Additionally, the development of a Performance Monitoring Framework will ensure that the SSBs are adhering to their Core Activities, while the design of a brand/logo for RECs will raise public awareness and the importance of electrical safety.

ETCI NewsLetter

ETCI Revises Guide on Management of Electrical Safety at Work

July 2009

Inaugural Keane Harley Award

ETCI Safety Committee, TC5, has revised its Good Practice Guide on the Management of Electrical Safety at Work (ET206). In undertaking the preparation and updating of this Guide, TC5 was conscious of the safety responsibilities placed on employers by the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and the General Application Regulations 2007. This Guide is particularly aimed at managers who may not be technically qualified in the electrical sense but who, nevertheless, within their wider legal responsibility for safety, health and welfare at work, are also responsible for electrical safety. The Guide is primarily a management guide aimed at employers, their employees and their management teams. It gives guidance on what is good practice in the management of electrical safety in the workplace. The publication can be purchased from ETCI Offices or online at ETCI is in the final stages of developing a training course based on the new Guide. This will be available for on-site locations or offsite in a location organised by ETCI. Further details are available from ETCI Offices.

Lyn Harley on the occasion of the inaugural presentation of the Keane Harley Memorial Award to Philip Smith during the ETCI Annual Dinner at the Davenport Hotel, Dublin, on 9th December 2008. Mr. Smith accepted the Award on behalf of his son, Martin Smith, who won the Award in the Electrical Industrial Installation Category.

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ETCI Newsletter, Issue 11, July 2009  

Occasional Newsletter of the Electro-Technical Council of Ireland