(a) Approval. All electrical conductors and equipment shall be approved.
(b) Examination, installation, and use of equipment—(1) Examination. The employer shall ensure that electrical equipment is free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. Safety of equipment shall be determined on the basis of the following considerations:
(i) Suitability for installation and use in conformity with the provisions of this subpart. Suitability of equipment for an identified purpose may be evidenced by listing, labeling, or certification for that identified purpose.
(ii) Mechanical strength and durability, including, for parts designed to enclose and protect other equipment, the adequacy of the protection thus provided.
(iii) Electrical insulation.
(iv) Heating effects under conditions of use.
(v) Arcing effects.
(vi) Classification by type, size, voltage, current capacity, specific use.
(vii) Other factors which contribute to the practical safeguarding of employees using or likely to come in contact with the equipment.
(2) Installation and use. Listed, labeled, or certified equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with instructions included in the listing, labeling, or certification.
(c) Interrupting rating. Equipment intended to break current shall have an interrupting rating at system voltage sufficient for the current that must be interrupted.
(d) Mounting and cooling of equipment—(1) Mounting. Electric equipment shall be firmly secured to the surface on which it is mounted. Wooden plugs driven into holes in masonry, concrete, plaster, or similar materials shall not be used.
(2) Cooling. Electrical equipment which depends upon the natural circulation of air and convection principles for cooling of exposed surfaces shall be installed so that room air flow over such surfaces is not prevented by walls or by adjacent installed equipment. For equipment designed for floor mounting, clearance between top surfaces and adjacent surfaces shall be provided to dissipate rising warm air. Electrical equipment provided with ventilating openings shall be installed so that walls or other obstructions do not prevent the free circulation of air through the equipment.
(e) Splices. Conductors shall be spliced or joined with splicing devices designed for the use or by brazing, welding, or soldering with a fusible metal or alloy. Soldered splices shall first be so spliced or joined as to be mechanically and electrically secure without solder and then soldered. All splices and joints and the free ends of conductors shall be covered with an insulation equivalent to that of the conductors or with an insulating device designed for the purpose.
(f) Arcing parts. Parts of electric equipment which in ordinary operation produce arcs, sparks, flames, or molten metal shall be enclosed or separated and isolated from all combustible material.
(g) Marking. Electrical equipment shall not be used unless the manufacturer's name, trademark, or other descriptive marking by which the organization responsible for the product may be identified is placed on the equipment and unless other markings are provided giving voltage, current, wattage, or other ratings as necessary. The marking shall be of sufficient durability to withstand the environment involved.
(h) Identification of disconnecting means and circuits. Each disconnecting means required by this subpart for motors and appliances shall be legibly marked to indicate its purpose, unless located and arranged so the purpose is evident. Each service, feeder, and branch circuit, at its disconnecting means or overcurrent device, shall be legibly marked to indicate its purpose, unless located and arranged so the purpose is evident. These markings shall be of sufficient durability to withstand the environment involved.
(i) 600 Volts, nominal, or less. This paragraph applies to equipment operating at 600 volts, nominal, or less.
(1) Working space about electric equipment. Sufficient access and working space shall be provided and maintained about all electric equipment to permit ready and safe operation and maintenance of such equipment.
(i) Working clearances. Except as required or permitted elsewhere in this subpart, the dimension of the working space in the direction of access to live parts operating at 600 volts or less and likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while alive shall not be less than indicated in Table K-1. In addition to the dimensions shown in Table K-1, workspace shall not be less than 30 inches (762 mm) wide in front of the electric equipment. Distances shall be measured from the live parts if they are exposed, or from the enclosure front or opening if the live parts are enclosed. Walls constructed of concrete, brick, or tile are considered to be grounded. Working space is not required in back of assemblies such as dead-front switchboards or motor control centers where there are no renewable or adjustable parts such as fuses or switches on the back and where all connections are accessible from locations other than the back.
Table K-1—Working Clearances
Nominal voltage to ground
Minimum clear distance for conditions 1
1 Conditions (a), (b), and (c) are as follows: (a) Exposed live parts on one side and no live or grounded parts on the other side of the working space, or exposed live parts on both sides effectively guarded by insulating material. Insulated wire or insulated busbars operating at not over 300 volts are not considered live parts. (b) Exposed live parts on one side and grounded parts on the other side. (c) Exposed live parts on both sides of the workspace [not guarded as provided in Condition (a)] with the operator between.
2 Note: For International System of Units (SI): one foot=0.3048m.
(ii) Clear spaces. Working space required by this subpart shall not be used for storage. When normally enclosed live parts are exposed for inspection or servicing, the working space, if in a passageway or general open space, shall be guarded.
(iii) Access and entrance to working space. At least one entrance shall be provided to give access to the working space about electric equipment.
(iv) Front working space. Where there are live parts normally exposed on the front of switchboards or motor control centers, the working space in front of such equipment shall not be less than 3 feet (914 mm).
(v) Headroom. The minimum headroom of working spaces about service equipment, switchboards, panelboards, or motor control centers shall be 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m).
(2) Guarding of live parts.(i) Except as required or permitted elsewhere in this subpart, live parts of electric equipment operating at 50 volts or more shall be guarded against accidental contact by cabinets or other forms of enclosures, or by any of the following means:
(A) By location in a room, vault, or similar enclosure that is accessible only to qualified persons.
(B) By partitions or screens so arranged that only qualified persons will have access to the space within reach of the live parts. Any openings in such partitions or screens shall be so sized and located that persons are not likely to come into accidental contact with the live parts or to bring conducting objects into contact with them.
(C) By location on a balcony, gallery, or platform so elevated and arranged as to exclude unqualified persons.
(D) By elevation of 8 feet (2.44 m) or more above the floor or other working surface and so installed as to exclude unqualified persons.
(ii) In locations where electric equipment would be exposed to physical damage, enclosures or guards shall be so arranged and of such strength as to prevent such damage.
(iii) Entrances to rooms and other guarded locations containing exposed live parts shall be marked with conspicuous warning signs forbidding unqualified persons to enter.
(j) Over 600 volts, nominal—(1) General. Conductors and equipment used on circuits exceeding 600 volts, nominal, shall comply with all applicable provisions of paragraphs (a) through (g) of this section and with the following provisions which supplement or modify those requirements. The provisions of paragraphs (j)(2), (j)(3), and (j)(4) of this section do not apply to equipment on the supply side of the service conductors.
(2) Enclosure for electrical installations. Electrical installations in a vault, room, closet or in an area surrounded by a wall, screen, or fence, access to which is controlled by lock and key or other equivalent means, are considered to be accessible to qualified persons only. A wall, screen, or fence less than 8 feet (2.44 m) in height is not considered adequate to prevent access unless it has other features that provide a degree of isolation equivalent to an 8-foot (2.44-m) fence. The entrances to all buildings, rooms or enclosures containing exposed live parts or exposed conductors operating at over 600 volts, nominal, shall be kept locked or shall be under the observation of a qualified person at all times.
(i) Installations accessible to qualified persons only. Electrical installations having exposed live parts shall be accessible to qualified persons only and shall comply with the applicable provisions of paragraph (j)(3) of this section.
(ii) Installations accessible to unqualified persons. Electrical installations that are open to unqualified persons shall be made with metal-enclosed equipment or shall be enclosed in a vault or in an area, access to which is controlled by a lock. Metal-enclosed switchgear, unit substations, transformers, pull boxes, connection boxes, and other similar associated equipment shall be marked with appropriate caution signs. If equipment is exposed to physical damage from vehicular traffic, guards shall be provided to prevent such damage. Ventilating or similar openings in metal-enclosed equipment shall be designed so that foreign objects inserted through these openings will be deflected from energized parts.
(3) Workspace about equipment. Sufficient space shall be provided and maintained about electric equipment to permit ready and safe operation and maintenance of such equipment. Where energized parts are exposed, the minimum clear workspace shall not be less than 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) high (measured vertically from the floor or platform), or less than 3 feet (914 mm) wide (measured parallel to the equipment). The depth shall be as required in Table K-2. The workspace shall be adequate to permit at least a 90-degree opening of doors or hinged panels.
(i) Working space. The minimum clear working space in front of electric equipment such as switchboards, control panels, switches, circuit breakers, motor controllers, relays, and similar equipment shall not be less than specified in Table K-2 unless otherwise specified in this subpart. Distances shall be measured from the live parts if they are exposed, or from the enclosure front or opening if the live parts are enclosed. However, working space is not required in back of equipment such as deadfront switchboards or control assemblies where there are no renewable or adjustable parts (such as fuses or switches) on the back and where all connections are accessible from locations other than the back. Where rear access is required to work on de-energized parts on the back of enclosed equipment, a minimum working space of 30 inches (762 mm) horizontally shall be provided.
Table K-2—Minimum Depth of Clear Working Space in Front of Electric Equipment
Nominal voltage to ground
601 to 2,500
2,501 to 9,000
9,001 to 25,000
25,001 to 75 kV
1Conditions (a), (b), and (c) are as follows: (a) Exposed live parts on one side and no live or grounded parts on the other side of the working space, or exposed live parts on both sides effectively guarded by insulating materials. Insulated wire or insulated busbars operating at not over 300 volts are not considered live parts. (b) Exposed live parts on one side and grounded parts on the other side. Walls constructed of concrete, brick, or tile are considered to be grounded surfaces. (c) Exposed live parts on both sides of the workspace [not guarded as provided in Condition (a)] with the operator between.
2Note: For SI units: one foot=0.3048 m.
(ii) Lighting outlets and points of control. The lighting outlets shall be so arranged that persons changing lamps or making repairs on the lighting system will not be endangered by live parts or other equipment. The points of control shall be so located that persons are not likely to come in contact with any live part or moving part of the equipment while turning on the lights.
(iii) Elevation of unguarded live parts. Unguarded live parts above working space shall be maintained at elevations not less than specified in Table K-3.
Table K-3—Elevation of Unguarded Energized Parts Above Working Space
Nominal voltage between phases
8 feet 6 inches. 1
9 feet 0.37 inches per kV above 35kV.
1Note: For SI units: one inch=25.4 mm; one foot=0.3048 m.
(4) Entrance and access to workspace. At least one entrance not less than 24 inches (610 mm) wide and 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) high shall be provided to give access to the working space about electric equipment. On switchboard and control panels exceeding 48 inches (1.22 m) in width, there shall be one entrance at each end of such board where practicable. Where bare energized parts at any voltage or insulated energized parts above 600 volts are located adjacent to such entrance, they shall be guarded.
[51 FR 25318, July 11, 1986, as amended at 61 FR 5510, Feb. 13, 1996]
Title 29 published on 2012-07-01
The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 29.
For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.
This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.