Working Clearances

Categories: Electrical Safety

Although this is not a code change it is very important to understand the requirements of this section.

I know we where looking at the one of most violated section of the code 110.26 Spaces About Electrical Equipment several months back and I would like to continue on with that section and examine the safety factors built into these minimums.  There are several clearances that come into play when placing equipment for an electrical installation.  The first is the obvious one of being able to walk up to a panel or some other piece of equipment and service or examine it.  Directly in front of a panel is a minimum of 3’.  That 3’ is the absolute minimum and nothing less, this gives you a quick escape incase something happens and it blows up or shorts out , that 3’ gives you a chance to escape.  I don’t know how equipment can be left with any measurement less than 3’ because it is your life and safety that is the reason for this requirement.  The crews that I work with have come to understand the minimum working clearance in front of equipment, and how important it is, and the reasons behind the requirements of the code.  So over the next couple of weeks and months I will try to examine the clearances and what the minimums are, and why they are so important. 

One of the best teaching tools I have found in the last ten years is my camera and the pictures it takes in order to document our quest for a safer electrical installation. Showing you what I find and how to correct it, is better understood than telling you that you violated a section of the Code. 

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I know it has been a while since I have posted anything but my transition back into the private sector has take more time than I thought it would, so I hope to be back on track now that I have settled in to my new job.

  Till the next time, work safe, be safe



Former Chief Electrical Inspector WPB

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