May , 2004
Mr. Mark Pendlebury
Penmar Automation, Inc.
1151 Gorham Street, Unit 18
Newmarket, Ontario, Canada L3Y 7V1
Dear Mr. Pendlebury:
Thank you for your January 6, 2004 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP). This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any questions not delineated within your original correspondence. You are requesting a comparison analysis concerning the harmonization of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Z142-02 code with the 29 CFR 1910.212 and 1910.217 standards.
On January 22, 2004, Willie Robinson of my staff and Bernard Pasquet (Directorate of Science, Technology and Medicine) contacted you by telephone to better understand your request. At that time, we explained that OSHA does not perform comparison analyses of its standards with Canadian or other standards. However, you clarified that you merely wanted to know the OSHA requirements applicable to the equipment you want to sell in the United States (US). You indicated that this equipment was an electrical control panel or set of electrical controls for a certain kind of industrial machine.
Based on the facts in the above paragraph, it appears your control equipment would meet our definition of electrical equipment. As such, please be advised that electrical equipment must be approved by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) in accordance with the OSHA requirement at 29 CFR 1910.303(a). In addition, NRTLs must approve this equipment using US recognized test standards, based on requirements under 29 CFR 1910.7. As a result, electrical equipment required to be NRTL approved and used in the US and its territories must conform to US recognized test standards. Moreover, an employer must install and use electrical equipment in accordance with instructions included in the listing and labeling provided by the particular NRTL, as required under 1910.303(b). Considering your clarification, these are the OSHA requirements applicable to the equipment you described. However, please note that employers also may be subject to other requirements applicable to electrical equipment depending on the specific circumstances of its use or installation.
You indicated that your controls have been approved by CSA, an OSHA recognized NRTL, but the approval was done using the Canadian test standard. Mr. Pasquet indicated that he believed the US test standard applicable to your equipment, and which we have approved NRTLs to use, is Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 508 Industrial Control Equipment. You should contact UL if you are interested in any comparison of UL 508 to a comparable Canadian standard. This action would not require any intervention by OSHA. Please note that UL, CSA, or any other NRTL that is approved to use UL 508 may determine whether your equipment conforms to that standard and thus approved for use in the US and its territories.
Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Enforcement at (202) 693-1850.
Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs
[Corrected October 11, 2012]