The pictures here just make me say Hmmmm. They certainly demonstrate a potential ( and in a couple of circumstances definite) violations of various sections of the NEC as well as the OSHA regulations.
I hate to say this, but the intall might actually be legit, if messy looking.
Drop cords....those plugs coming down from the ceiling...are a common way to power machinery.
I think fundamentally I understand your position (as well as your later clarification on the "permanent" use of flexible cord. But, I would have to say that virtually all of these uses would violate 400.8(1). BTW, the equivalent OSHA standard is 1910.305(g)(1)(iii)(A).
The only exception to the above might (and I say might) be the second picture. In this circumstance I believe the cord is being properly used to provide a pendant receptacle in accordance with 400.7(1). The other pendants made with utility/handy boxes are a definite no...no and violations of listing and labeling.
Another interesting thing to consider with some of these pictures (although I don't see too much evidence of it) is the possibly of noise or vibration. Often with machinery, if its operation may transmit hazardous vibration to the electrical equipment, then you may need to use a flexible cord in accordance with 400.7(7). But... I don't think that was the reason it was use in this case. Here I think we have a lazy EC.
BTW, the equivalent sections of the OSHA regulations to NEC 400.7 and 400.8 are 1910.305(g)(1)(i) and (g)(1)(iii). Mr. Tanke if unable to convince the EC to change the installation based on the NEC should attempt to enforce the equivalent OSHA standards for his workplace or risk a citation during a "visit" from an OSHA CSHO.
Edited to correct spelling errors.
Gotta get my fat fingers limbered up before I start using the keyboard.
[This message has been edited by safetygem (edited 01-21-2005).]