Lockout/Tagout Disconnecting Means Within Sight

Situation: Circuit breaker "Disconnecting Means" to deenergize equipment to be worked on is on a different floor, out of sight from the equipment to be worked on. The equipment to be worked on is a Main Disconnect Panel (which itself is a "Disconnecting Means") for a medical system, located in an equipment room adjoining the medical system. There is adequate space in the equipment room for a circuit breaker within line-of-sight of the Main Disconnect Panel.

1. Is it an NEC code violation for the Disconnecting Means of this Main Disconnect Panel to not be within line-of-sight?
2. Is the Disconnecting Means being within view of the equipment to be worked on required by the OSHA rules for lockout/tagout.
3. Are there any other applicable codes or rules covering this?

Comment: I see multiple instances of the phrase "disconnecting means shall be located within sight" in NFPA 70, including for motor controllers, carnival games, electric signs but none specifically for medical equipment.

Thank you in advance.


Senior Member
Union, KY, USA
Don't most of the 'disconnecting means within site' include a exception for lockout/tagout capable?

How does the AHJ verify the lockout/tagout actually gets used? Surprise inspections?? I'm assuming that would be OSHA, not NEC.


Staff member
On any disconnect the line side will be live when it is in the open position. It sounds as if the existing "Main Disconnecting Panel" is all you need. Medical equipment is treated like the other items you mentioned as far as disconnecting means.



Staff member
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Electrical Engineer
If you were to need a disconnect within sight of a disconnect, where does it stop? What if you have to work on the in-sight disconnect? You would have a continuous string of disconnects in line-of-sight with each other then?


The disconnect within sight is for machinery and equipment that might be serviced by NON electricians. It’s assumed that distribution systems themselves will only be opened and worked on by qualified electrical workers, who ostensibly know what they are doing.

bobby ocampo

Senior Member
Code is only minimum requirement for safety. Only essentially safe. Not completely safe. Exceeding the requirement of the code is SAFER.