Standing on an Electrical Cabinet?


Santa Barbara, CA, USA
Electrical Engineer
We have a machine built in a frame with two control panels on the outside of the frame. The frame is 3x3 square steel tubing and the cabinets are standard NEMA 4x painted steel, 12gauge. The main panel is powered by 24VDC 40A from a remote source. The second one is houses pneumatic valves actuated from the first panel. No power bus is present in it. A fellow engineer said, "Well, we want to use that (second panel) as a place to step when you clime up the frame." Are there any safety or legal code restrictions to say that can't be done?

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
The NEC is an installation standard, not a safety standard.
However, look at working space 110.236 and product listing in 110. 3 B.
I understand your concern, but the NEC is limited in its scope, see 90.3


Senior Member
Northern illinois
I think there are some rules about how wide steps have to be. They may also be some safety rules about not using something that is as slippery as a painted metal surface like that as a step. Other than that I don't see a real problem with it.

Fred B

Senior Member
Upstate, NY
Better reference would be OSHA or NFPA 70E as to personnel safety. Default AFA NEC would be is the item listed, designed and or labeled for the use you intend to use it for