We have some control panel bench-boards, built in the mid 1980's. The front is about 8 ft high and 30 ft wide with an assortment of controls and such. They are totally enclosed with access doors on the back (that are *not* lockable).
All the power/circuits going in/out are in conduit or armored cable. But *inside* the panel, the wiring between terminal boards and components is just single conductor or paired conductor wiring of appropriate size, routed neatly in trays and harnesses.
Also *inside*, are some simple duplex receptacles (standard, 3-prong,120V). On the drawings, these are labeled simply, 'convenience receptacles' for maintenance personnel when working in the panel. They have a pair of 12 gauge wires (twisted pair) for the hot and neutral, and a separate 12 gauge wire tied to the frame ground bus-bar in the panel (the frame ground is 1/4 x 2 copper bar that runs the length of the panel, and is tied to building grounding with large copper strand).
So, along comes an OSHA inspector who says, "Since that is a 120V receptacle, the feed to it must be in conduit as per NEC for all commercial buildings." And he promptly quotes the paragraph for receptacle outlets used in building wiring. He seems to think that since the wires are single conductor, there is some sort of increased risk that the user could come in contact with a frayed wire feeding the receptacle (never-mind all the other wires and terminals inside the panel!!!)
I'm trying to argue that when this panel was built, it supposedly was built to all codes, and the wiring *inside* the panel is not 'building wiring' that needs to be encased in separate conduit. I thought the reason for armor/thin-wall was to protect the wiring inside walls/floors from damage because you can't see exactly where they are. Like when a carpenter drives in a nail or plumber drills a hole for pipe. These wires, inside the panel, are protected by the panel itself, right?
The OSHA inspector didn't think the other 120V and 208V wiring in the panel was a problem, just the wiring to the receptacles.
Any thoughts/opinions about the receptacle wiring? Do we need to go back and re-wire those specific circuits, even inside this bench-board / panel with armored cable or thin-wall conduit?
Thanks for any constructive comments, I could use a citation or something to get this guy off my back (he's not a master electrician, nor EE, just some guy with a copy of NEC and OSHA safety regs).
daestrom P.S. Considering all the other wiring *inside* I don't see the point, but some OSHA inspector seems to think it makes a difference.
P.P.S. Forgot to also mention that all the receptacle circuits are protected by 15A GFCI's