Need some assistance

I am a system administrator for an unsaid company and my customer keeps insisting on temporarily storing a lectern in the LAN room. When ever this person puts this lectern in the LAN room, its in a place where it blocks an electrical panel. The lectern is not there all the time and stored there when not needed (is not often). One of the network engineers here at work does not like this practice and wants me to tell our customer that by putting the lectern infront of the electrical panel we are breaking code. Can anyone help me in finding the truth so I am not giving our customer false information?

Thanks in advance!


Your engineer is correct.

The code has specific data as far as clearances are concerned for the panel.

Sections 110.26 and 110.34 of the NEC require working clearance in front of any equipment that may require examination, adjustment servicing, or maintenance while energized. This requirement, intended to allow an electrician to safely work on energized equipment, applies to switchgear, distribution panels, motor control centers, standalone motor starters, and most control panels. Required depth depends upon the operating voltage of the equipment, as given in Table 1. The clear space must extend from the floor to the greater of the equipment height or 6-1/2 ft, with a width equal to that of the equipment, but not less than 30 in.

You’ll probably get some other responses to this, but here is my opinion.

Technically your engineer is correct, “code” says you need 3 ft of clearance. You have to be able to get the panel to work in it.

Practically… If the object in front of it is easy to move don’t worry about it. Bottom line, you need to be able to get to the panel quickly and easily if you need to.

I wouldn’t put a server tree, bookshelves, or refrigerator in front of it, but something like a lecturn wouldn’t be a big deal.

Perhaps a better person to ask is the local fire chief. Around here they do periotic inspections of commercial buildings and make various safety suggestions. Do whatever he says… (If he says you have to move it, you can blame him and still say in good graces with your customer.)

Here, take him this diagram.

Locate the Lectern to another room.
If this is an electrical room why are non authorized personel entering it?

Thanks for everyone’s responses. These were the answers I was looking for. I just needed some ammo for tomorrow to counter any questions my client would have regarding why he/she cant use this area to store items in.

“Locate the Lectern to another room.
If this is an electrical room why are non authorized personel entering it?”

Because our office is really low on space (old small building)