CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY, IT'S FREE!
Go Back   Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum > Electrical Forum > General Electrical Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-23-2011, 04:45 PM   #1
Dr Electron
 
dr electron's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: SC
Posts: 35
Rewards Points: 25
Default UPDATE: Locked Panel Door an OSHA Violation?

I was told today, by an electrical contractor, that they were fined for having the door to a branch circuit panel locked. The explanation was that if anyone needed to shut a circuit off they couldn't. Has anyone heard of this? South Carolina has their own OSHA which, in my experience, is not as strict as the fed (does that surprise anyone )


Last edited by dr electron; 09-30-2011 at 03:17 AM. Reason: Update
dr electron is offline   Reply With Quote
Join Contractor Talk

Join the #1 Electrician Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

ElectricianTalk.com - Are you a Professional Electrical Contractor? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's the leading place for electricians to meet online. No homeowners asking DIY questions. Just fellow tradesmen who enjoy talking about their business, their trade, and anything else that comes up. No matter what your specialty is you'll find that ElectricianTalk.com is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally free!

Join ElectricianTalk.com - Click Here JOIN FOR FREE


Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ElectricianTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

Old 09-23-2011, 04:52 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,502
Rewards Points: 520
Default

I have heard the opposite. where you have to lock the panel and only "qualified personnel" can turn on the breakers. The job I am currently the inspector has told me to keep the panel doors locked

__________________
'I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies"
Thomas Jefferson
electricalwiz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2011, 05:09 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
jbfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bobby Dodd Staduim
Posts: 2,492
Rewards Points: 1,072
Default

I have both locking and nonlocking covers in my facility.

I haven't heard either way.
__________________
Go Jackets! What's the good word? To Hell With GA!
jbfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2011, 05:27 PM   #4
Donuts > Fried Eggs
 
Big John's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Portland
Posts: 15,100
Rewards Points: 2,414
Default

How does this reconcile with permanently installed breaker locks and electrical room door locks?

A circuit breaker is not an emergency disconnect. I would want to see what OSHA cited as evidence that breakers must be totally accessible to everyone.

EDIT: See this OSHA interpretation, it answers your question.

-John
__________________
Spend $86 to keep yourself safe. Always wear your gloves.

Last edited by Big John; 09-23-2011 at 05:29 PM.
Big John is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Big John For This Useful Post:
BBQ (09-23-2011)
Old 09-23-2011, 05:49 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Fiftyeggs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Austin Texas lu520
Posts: 27
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Nice big John
Fiftyeggs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2011, 06:49 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
goose134's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,037
Rewards Points: 500
Default

That was a little bit on the nose. Nice find.
__________________
A professional in an amateur world.
goose134 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2011, 07:34 PM   #7
toothless peckerhead
 
chicken steve's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: cooped up
Posts: 22,829
Rewards Points: 2,986
Default

most post worthy BJ>

Question: Does locking the electrical panels operating at 600 volts or less (to control access by unauthorized employees) violate OSHA electrical requirements for not being "Readily accessible" in the event of an emergency?

Response: In accordance with 29 CFR 1910.399, Readily accessible is defined as "capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections, without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable ladders, chairs, etc." This definition, however, does not preclude the use of a lock on the disconnecting means (circuit breakers panel), provided those, for whom ready access may be necessary, have a key (or lock combination) available. Additionally, the National Electrical Code (NEC) 2005, Article 110.26, partly states, "Enclosures housing electrical apparatus that are controlled by a lock(s) shall be considered accessible to qualified persons." Please note that the use of multiple locks, which requires different keys or combinations, on disconnecting switches may preclude the installation from being accessible or readily accessible to a particular individual who is authorized to access the panel.


am i going down the wrong road, or didn't we already address the panel door lock vs. individual OCPD lock debacle?

~CS~
chicken steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2011, 11:46 PM   #8
cog
 
stuiec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: cana-duh
Posts: 4,287
Rewards Points: 54
Default

Up here there is an exception for the disconnect for a furnace in a single dwelling where, if the panel containing the CB for the furnace is between the door to the room and the furnace, then the disconnect is not required. Pretty sure this panel ought not be locked.
stuiec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 06:07 AM   #9
toothless peckerhead
 
chicken steve's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: cooped up
Posts: 22,829
Rewards Points: 2,986
Default

110.26F Locked Electrical Equipment rooms or Enclosures seems to be addressing places where electrical equipment may be, in rooms, or dedicated electrical equipment "closets"

Not sure if the intent is to address the individual electrical panel as "enclosure" here.....

~CS~
chicken steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 06:22 AM   #10
Dr Electron
 
dr electron's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: SC
Posts: 35
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Thanks for all of the input. I'm going to try to find out which section the inspector cited. It very well could be his interpretation of 1910.399, but again, they have their own set of rules here so who knows.
dr electron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 06:54 AM   #11
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: florida
Posts: 1,767
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Well when OSHA comes to our jobs and weve had a few inspections in the last few months you better have your panel locked out meaning cover locked on a construction site .

With a sign that gives info of who to get in the event of a tripped breaker no one can open that panel door but a electrician assigned .

This is temp power or permanent power .

If a breaker trips they wait until we turn it back on if they go in panel like cut the lock there fired from job site .

And you said this was a OSHA inspection hummmm .
piperunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 07:23 PM   #12
Dr Electron
 
dr electron's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: SC
Posts: 35
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by piperunner View Post
Well when OSHA comes to our jobs and weve had a few inspections in the last few months you better have your panel locked out meaning cover locked on a construction site .

With a sign that gives info of who to get in the event of a tripped breaker no one can open that panel door but a electrician assigned .

This is temp power or permanent power .

If a breaker trips they wait until we turn it back on if they go in panel like cut the lock there fired from job site .

And you said this was a OSHA inspection hummmm .
That's the way I learned it too. Panel covers always stay locked whether during construction or after.
Like I said it was a South Carolina OSHA inspection.
dr electron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 09:07 PM   #13
Dr Electron
 
dr electron's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: SC
Posts: 35
Rewards Points: 25
Default

UPDATE: I found out what section the inspector was citing:
1926.404(e)(1)(iv) "Location in or on premises. Overcurrent devices shall be readily accessible. Overcurrent devices shall not be located where they could create an employee safety hazard by being exposed to physical damage or located in the vicinity of easily ignitable material."

I can't find an interpretation online. Does anyone know the procedure to get one?
My interpretation is that they are talking about stuff piled up in front of a panel, switchboard, etc.
Personally I think the guy was trying a little too hard to find something wrong.
dr electron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2011, 08:14 PM   #14
tkb
Senior Member
 
tkb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: MA
Posts: 1,369
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr electron View Post
UPDATE: I found out what section the inspector was citing:
1926.404(e)(1)(iv) "Location in or on premises. Overcurrent devices shall be readily accessible. Overcurrent devices shall not be located where they could create an employee safety hazard by being exposed to physical damage or located in the vicinity of easily ignitable material."

I can't find an interpretation online. Does anyone know the procedure to get one?
My interpretation is that they are talking about stuff piled up in front of a panel, switchboard, etc.
Personally I think the guy was trying a little too hard to find something wrong.
See the link in Big Johns post #4 above.
OSHA allows for readily accessible overcurrent devices to be behind closed doors.

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...ONS&p_id=25159
__________________
Cathedra mea, regulae meae
tkb is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to tkb For This Useful Post:
dr electron (10-16-2011)
Old 10-16-2011, 10:01 AM   #15
Dr Electron
 
dr electron's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: SC
Posts: 35
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Thanks tkb. I read that earlier but it didn't click that although it references a different section that is the issue. Unfortunately, this being SC OSHA, they can ignore fed interpretations and make up their own. And with the good ole' boys in charge they are definitely going to look after their own. I told the contractor that, in my opinion, he should take this all the way for two reasons: 1 Avoid creating a precedent which can make things hard on other contractors down the road
2 Try to send a message that contractors won't just sit back and let them make up rules as they go
dr electron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 10:11 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Above the ceiling
Posts: 868
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Alittle off subject from a different angle.

Around here they lock the panels to try to protect their work.

Ex. High Rise.

In house electrician locks panels so outside contractors do not have access to do a service call. Tenant is almost forced to call maintenance. The maintenance guy comes up and tries to charge them for a service call.

This usually starts to happen when the in house contractor is on his way "out" as a last ditch effort to hold on to what they have or maybe use to have. Yup even Corporations get tired of getting screwed. If you have in house accounts do not take them for granted.
Island Electric is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2012, 03:02 PM   #17
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 11
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr electron View Post
I was told today, by an electrical contractor, that they were fined for having the door to a branch circuit panel locked. The explanation was that if anyone needed to shut a circuit off they couldn't. Has anyone heard of this? South Carolina has their own OSHA which, in my experience, is not as strict as the fed (does that surprise anyone )
The following is a letter from OSHA regarding locking an electrical panel:

October 24, 2005

Mr. Jimmy Hill
Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate
Industrial Safety Department
Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, AL 35812

Dear Mr. Hill:

Thank you for your inquiry dated May 24, 2005, regarding clarification of the definition for "Readily accessible" as contained in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) electrical standards. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not delineated within your original correspondence. We apologize for the delay in our response. Your paraphrased scenario, question, and our response are provided below.

Scenario: It is not a standard practice at the Marshall Space Flight Center to lock electrical panels operating at 600 volts or less, but a request has been received from our Facilities Department to place locks that require a key to open all electrical panels. Locking the panels is to control access by unauthorized employees. A majority of these panels are lighting panels operating at 277 volts and are located throughout the center in office buildings, shop areas, and testing facilities. The breakers in these electrical panels are not used by employees as switches to turn equipment on and off daily.

Question: Does locking the electrical panels operating at 600 volts or less (to control access by unauthorized employees) violate OSHA electrical requirements for not being "Readily accessible" in the event of an emergency?

Response: In accordance with 29 CFR 1910.399, Readily accessible is defined as "capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections, without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable ladders, chairs, etc." This definition, however, does not preclude the use of a lock on the disconnecting means (circuit breakers panel), provided those, for whom ready access may be necessary, have a key (or lock combination) available. Additionally, the National Electrical Code (NEC) 2005, Article 110.26, partly states, "Enclosures housing electrical apparatus that are controlled by a lock(s) shall be considered accessible to qualified persons." Please note that the use of multiple locks, which requires different keys or combinations, on disconnecting switches may preclude the installation from being accessible or readily accessible to a particular individual who is authorized to access the panel.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Enforcement at 202-693-1850.

Sincerely,



Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs
rikoshaprl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2012, 04:25 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Eighty Four,Pa.15330
Posts: 7,243
Rewards Points: 2,244
Default

Are you confusing this with ways to loto? Then you can't lock a panel door to comply.
bobelectric is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2012, 11:13 AM   #19
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 11
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobelectric View Post
Are you confusing this with ways to loto? Then you can't lock a panel door to comply.
http://search.nsf.gov/search?access=...outsop-717.pdf
"Personnel should place hasps and locks on main breakers, electrical panel doors, valve handles and other devices. These measures prevent the accidental activation of energy sources that could result in injury or death to anyone exposed to them."

The panel door must be locked with the electrician's own lock and tag. You could use this device: Electrical Panel Lockout -
www.Panellockout.com

Last edited by rikoshaprl; 02-26-2012 at 12:09 PM.
rikoshaprl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2012, 12:05 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Eighty Four,Pa.15330
Posts: 7,243
Rewards Points: 2,244
Default

Interesting,but I just go by O.S.H.A 2012 Not N.F.S.

bobelectric is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Had to screw panel door shut Shockdoc General Electrical Discussion 54 06-19-2011 11:11 PM
violation of OSHA- 1/0 AWG not in conduit maryleahclark General Electrical Discussion 16 12-21-2010 10:34 PM
For Sale: 2004 door panel BIGRED Electrician Swap 7 02-16-2010 09:14 PM
Locked:Low voltage... leland General Electrical Discussion 9 10-03-2008 07:10 AM
Grounding the panel door JBIRD General Electrical Discussion 12 04-13-2008 08:09 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:23 AM.


Copyright 2006-2014 Escalate Media LP. All Rights Reserved
Our Pro Sites Network
ContractorTalk.com | DrywallTalk.com | HVACSite.com | PaintTalk.com | PlumbingZone.com | RoofingTalk.com