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Joined: Oct 2000
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What is the OSHA rule that covers the minimum lumens or footcandles required about electrical equipment and working spaces?


Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
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Joe,

Unfortunately there are several answers to your question, all depending on what industry you are working in (General, Construction or Maritime). Since this is an electrical contractor forum I will cover OSHA construction industry standard 29CFR 1926.56. Here is the link to that standard.
http://www.osha-slc.gov/OshStd_data/1926_0056.html

If you are employed in the maritime industry then you would fall under 29CFR1917.123. Here is a link to that standard
http://www.osha-slc.gov/OshStd_data/1917_0123.html

OSHA bases their illumination requirements on the American National Standards Institute and Illuminating Engineering Society standard, ANSI/IES-RP-7-1991 which is copyrighted by IESNA. It may be purchased by Order # ANSI-RP-7-91 from IESNA, 345 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017. I would strongly suggest that this be used to assure proper lighting is maintain in all workplaces.

If this does not answer your question, please contact me via e-mail or by posting on this board.

Thanks!

Bryan

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Bryan: Thanks for the information. I believe that the 10 footcandles required for electrical equipment rooms is what we should use when enforcing rules in NEC Article 110 where "illumination" is required by 110-26
(d) Illumination.

Illumination shall be provided for all working spaces about service equipment, switchboards, panelboards, or motor control centers installed indoors.

Additional lighting fixtures shall not be required where the work space is illuminated by an adjacent light source.

In electrical equipment rooms, the illumination shall not be controlled by automatic means only.

I will recommend that a proposal be submitted for the 2005 NEC to add a reference that will call attention to this rule in the OSHA standards.


Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
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Joe,

It would be nice to have some decent lighting requirements for Residential service equipment also.

Bill


Bill
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Bill
Art 110 is all general rules. Thus, being general, they do apply to residential as well as industrial establishments. I am not an AHJ, but IF I were, I would not let a residential panelboard pass if it did not have a reasonable amount of lighting for observations and maintenance.
Just my ideas.

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Warren,

I agree that lighting around Residential Services should be the same. It seemed to be ignored in the code though until recently. (Resi services 200A and under were previously exceptioned from illumination requirements)

I think that poor lighting is the cause of many accidents.

Bill


Bill

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