Electrical panels represent one of the most important, but also most dangerous, items in any facility. When installed, managed, and labeled properly, they can work for years without problems and cause very little risk to those who work with or around them. If, however, a company fails to label them or does something else that could lead someone to touching energized areas on the panel, they can be deadly.
Having your electrical panel properly labeled is not only a good idea for improving safety, but it is also a requirement in many situations. In the United States, many aspects of electrical panel labeling are regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. OSHA, however, pulls many of their requirements from the American National Standards Institute, or ANSI.
ANSI does not have enforcement powers for their standards, but they are widely seen as experts in what they do. They will research the best practices for many different things, including how to label electrical panels, and then put out their regulations. OSHA closely watches the recommendations from ANSI to determine which ones should be seen as essential. They will then typically update their own regulations to match those that are put out by ANSI.
Having this informal partnership between OSHA, ANSI, and other safety and regulatory agencies is a great way to ensure workplace safety is a priority. The clear and proven standards put forth by ANSI and adopted by OSHA have helped to give companies the ability to know exactly what requirements they have for electrical panel labeling so that they can follow them without any issues. This has not only made managing workplace safety easier for the companies, but it has also helped to reduce accidents, injuries, and even fatalities caused by electrocutions at or near electrical panels.
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