Utilities - Electrical Panels Risk Assessment

Are electrical panels required to be locked?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only. 

The Joint Commission does not require electrical panels to be locked. The organization is to conduct a risk assessment, per EC.02.01.01, to determine the most appropriate policies for their circumstances. 

Generally, electrical panels in certain patient care areas, such as pediatrics, geriatrics and behavioral health units, public spaces and corridors not under direct supervision are to be secure. This is the information to be considered on the risk assessment.  Although emergency power panels should be given heightened scrutiny during the assessment process, there is not particular requirement to treat them differently. Electrical panels located in secure areas that are accessible to authorized staff may not need to be locked. 

If an electrical panel is found to be unlocked during the survey process, and the surveyor evaluates the condition to be at-risk, then the organization should share their risk assessment with the surveyor.  If the surveyor determines that the risk is still valid, then the organization would receive an observation(s) under EC.02.05.05 EP 6.

Reference EC.02.05.05 EP 6 
Last updated on July 29, 2020
Manual: Nursing Care Center
Chapter: Environment of Care EC

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