Electrical Panels: May 2023 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question: We have several electrical panels in our facility. What are the OSHA basic requirements for safety
when working near the panel?

Answer: OSHA requires sufficient access and working spaces around all electrical equipment, or panels, serving
600 volts or less according to 1910.303(g). For equipment operating at 600 volts, nominal or less to
ground, the width of working space in front of the electric equipment shall be the width of the
equipment or 2.5 feet, whichever is greater. In all cases, the working space shall permit at least a 90-
degree opening of equipment doors or hinged panels. This assures that in case of an electrical
emergency, there is a clear working space in front of the panel for quick access to the circuit breakers.
Electrical panels should also have secure covers and no openings to ensure no wires are exposed that
could cause electrical shock. This also prevents the internal mechanisms from being exposed to dust,
dirt, and moisture. Electrical panel boxes in commercial buildings should be secured and accessible by
trained personnel only.

*Brought to you by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.