Q & A: Distance Between Transformers & Electrical Panels


Barrett Pryce

Barrett Pryce

Marketing Manager

Barrett Pryce is the Marketing Manager with Vivid Learning Systems, an online safety training provider making life a little easier for safety professionals.

Question: “What are the Distance from Transformers and electrical Panels on the shop floor?”

Answer: I’ll say there is no hard and fast rule on this, as local building codes are the determining factor behind location of transformers. It’s a given that the accepted standard clearance for electrical panels is 3 ft, but that doesn’t answer your question.

Generally, concerning both transformers and panels, distance is a good thing, and the more you have, the better. For some transformers, ventilation is a factor that must be considered.

To take this a little further, here’s a safety best practice from the construction standard…

OSHA – Construction - 1926.403(j)(2)(ii)

Installations accessible to unqualified persons. Electrical installations that are open to unqualified persons shall be made with metal-enclosed equipment or shall be enclosed in a vault or in an area, access to which is controlled by a lock. Metal-enclosed switchgear, unit substations, transformers, pull boxes, connection boxes, and other similar associated equipment shall be marked with appropriate caution signs. If equipment is exposed to physical damage from vehicular traffic, guards shall be provided to prevent such damage. Ventilating or similar openings in metal-enclosed equipment shall be designed so that foreign objects inserted through these openings will be deflected from energized parts.