If the space you really need around equipment exceeds the minimum legally required spacing, how can you convince management to reallocate space from revenue-creating production to equipment maintenance?
Since they have no legal requirement to allocate more space, you must help them see they have a financial or operational requirement to do so. Sometimes, the operational requirement becomes a financial requirement.
As an example, suppose the equipment in question is a motor control panel. Due to the panel’s location, the legally required spacing greatly extends the time it takes to replace a motor. Instead of being able to drive up with a lift truck, a crew must roll a motor manually on short sticks of rigid conduit. Consequently, when the machine goes down a two hour changeout takes all day. Each hour, the facility isn’t making product it can sell.
But widening the aisle by two feet solves this problem. You can use many techniques to get this point across, such as a table contrasting the times and showing the revenue lost. Another technique is to make a video (even if staged and not in the actual area), you will drive your point home convincingly.
For inhouse maintenance people, doing the work to gain optimum space makes life much easier. Doing a two-hour changeout in two hours is much less stressful than doing it in eight hours due to suboptimal space issues.
Contractors who do this work enhance their relationship with the customer.