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Section 110.26(C)(2)'s requirement for “a continuous and unobstructed way of egress travel” is subject to different interpretations. A common interpretation is that it means that the pathway is directly away from the equipment and there are no obstructions, other than a door. Some AHJs, in considering the possible hazards and consequences of an arc flash incident, include other working spaces as possible obstructions. As with any NEC requirement, the AHJ should always be consulted when a rule is open to different interpretations.
More specific access requirements must be met when the equipment that will require examination, adjustment, servicing or maintenance is considered to be “large equipment,” defined as:containing overcurrent, switching or control devices, rated at 1200 amps or greater and over 6 ft (1.8 meters) wide.
In general, the working spaces for large equipment must have access and egress at both ends of the space, that is, on both ends of the full width of the working space. Alternatively, a single entrance for access and egress is permitted if:The depth of the working space is doubled and the entrances are at least as far from the equipment as the normal required depth, or The pathway from the working space to the entrance is a continuous and unobstructed path from the equipment.
© Hughes Associates,Inc. 2012