Philippine Electrical Code – Accessibility and emergency exit facilities

The provisions of the Philippine Electrical Code do not clearly state the requirements for accessibility and emergency exits around switchboards or switchboard doors. The PEC have two (2) clauses that provide the minimum requirements of working spaces.

Section 1.10.2.1(a)(1) Depth of Working Space. The depth of the working space in the direction of live parts shall not be less than that specified in Table 1.10.2.1(a)(1) unless the requirements of 1.10.2.1(a)(1)a, (a)(1)b, or (a)(1)c are met. Distances shall be measured from the exposed live parts or from the enclosure or opening if the live parts are enclosed.

Section 1.10.2.1(a)(2) Width of Working Space. The width of the working space in front of the electric equipment shall be the width of the equipment or 750 mm, whichever is greater. In all cases, the work space shall permit at least a 90 degree opening of equipment doors or hinged panels.
Figure 1 Depth of Working Space

The above sections only provide the requirements for working spaces but fails to set the minimum requirement for unimpeded access around switchboards and the width of emergency escape routes when working around or with switchboards. Emergency exit facilities do not only include means of egress but also an unimpeded escape routes which can be utilized during abnormal operating conditions.

Hopefully, the PEC committee will be able to include these provisions in the next publication of the PEC.

About the Author

Ver Pangonilo
A Filipino Engineer, Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) - Australia and Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE) - Philippines with extensive experience in concept select, front-end engineering, HV & LV detail design, construction and commissioning of Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Area electrical installations in water and waste water pipeline and pumping facilities, offshore platforms, hydrocarbon process plants and pipelines including related facilities. Hazardous area classification and design certification (UEENEEM015B, UEENEEM016B, UEENEEM017B).
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