Alliance -- An OSHA Cooperative Program << American Council of Independent Laboratories (ACIL)


I. Alliance Background

Date Signed

July 23, 2003

Date Renewed

November 18, 2005; July 17, 2007

Overview

Recognizing the value of enhancing public safety through quality testing, OSHA and ACIL are using their collective expertise to help increase awareness of OSHA's Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) program that is a part of OSHA's Directorate of Science, Technology, and Medicine (DSTM). The OSHA recognized laboratories determine if equipment and products that are required to be approved by the Agency's regulations meet consensus-based product safety test standards. Approval helps ensure the equipment or products can be used safely in the workplace. Each NRTL puts its nationally registered mark on the products it tests, which certifies that the products meet OSHA standards for approval of equipment.

Implementation Team Members

OSHA:  
Maryann Garrahan
Greg Goff
Rick Harris
Bob Isiminger
Lee Anne Jillings
Bernard Pasquet
Lisa Ramber
Directorate of Science, Technology and Medicine (DSTM)
DSTM
Office of Outreach Services and Alliances (OOSA)
Directorate of Standards and Guidance (DSG)
OOSA
DSTM
OOSA
   
ACIL:  
Bob Baker
Joan Cassedy
Doug Geralde
Eddie Van Aken
Walt Vance
Emerson Process Management
Executive Director
CSA International (CSA)
Acting Executive Director and Deputy Director
CSA

Evaluation Period

July 23, 2006 July 22, 2007

II. Implementation Team Meetings

November 17, 2006
March 15, 2007
May 3, 2007
Implementation Team Meeting
Implementation Team Meeting
Alliance Renewal and Status Workgroup

III. Results

  1. Events and Products

    Outreach and Communication Goals


    • Work with OSHA to provide expertise in developing information on the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards and ways of communicating such information (e.g., print and electronic media, electronic assistance tools and OSHA's and ACIL's Web sites) to employers and employees in the industry.
    Products

    OSHA and ACIL Alliance Web Page


    OSHA continues to update the OSHA and ACIL Alliance Web page on the Agency's Web site. The page includes a copy of the OSHA and ACIL Alliance agreement, photographs of the signing ceremonies, news releases and activities and events; products and resources; and milestones and successes. Information on the OSHA and ACIL Alliance renewal agreement signing and the OSHA news release announcing the renewal agreement signing was added the page during the reporting period. The OSHA and ACIL Alliance Web page also links to two products of the Alliance, Identifying Counterfeit Quick Tips and a white paper, The Threat of Counterfeit Product Approval Marks Warrants Aggressive Detection and Enforcement Action which are posted on the ACIL Web site. In addition, the OSHA and ACIL Alliance Web page averaged 488 visitors per month during the reporting period.

    ACIL Web Site

    ACIL created an OSHA and ACIL Alliance Web page on the association's Web site. The page has a link to the OSHA and ACIL Alliance Web page on the Agency's Web site. In addition, the Web page also links to two products, Identifying Counterfeit Quick Tips and a white paper, The Threat of Counterfeit Product Approval Marks Warrants Aggressive Detection and Enforcement Action, developed through the OSHA and ACIL Alliance.

    NRTL Certification Marks Pocket Card

    The OSHA and ACIL implementation team finalized the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Certification Marks pocket card, which shows the product safety certification marks used by testing laboratories within the OSHA NRTL Program. The pocket card contains certification marks from each of the NRTLs; the Alliance Program and ACIL logos; the Web site addresses for ACIL, OSHA and its Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory Safety and Health Topics page and information from OSHA's standard, 29 CFR 1910 subpart S.

    OSHA's National Office distributed approximately 2,500 copies of the card to OSHA's Training Institute, Agency Regional and Area Offices as well as State Plan State representatives and OSHA's On-site Consultation Program personnel.

    Publications and News Releases

    ACIL's Newsletter News from...


    ACIL publishes a monthly newsletter, News from, for its members, associate members and others, to inform them about current industry-related events; new electrical safety and health resources and pertinent testing and engineering laboratory issues. ACIL continued to share information on OSHA's compliance assistance resources in several issues during the reporting period.

    For example, in its December 2006/January 2007 edition of News from, ACIL published an article, "OSHA on Avian Flu" based on guidance in OSHA's handbook, "OSHA Guidance Update on Protecting Employees from Avian Flu Viruses." In addition, this edition informed ACIL's members about an OSHA letter of interpretation on workplace violence in an article, "Workplace Violence," based on an Alliance Program email alert to Alliance Program participants.

    Further, in it June/July 2007 edition, ACIL published an article, "ACIL Participated in the U.S. Department of Labor's Safety Day," which highlighted the ACIL exhibit at the Seventh Annual DOL Safety Day, products developed through the OSHA and ACIL Alliance and OSHA's NRTL Program.
    For more information on the print and electronic media, please see the Alliance Program Reach table in Section C of this report.

    • Speak, exhibit, or appear at OSHA's or ACIL's conferences, local meetings, ACIL's annual meetings, legislative conferences or other NRTL related events.
    Events

    ACIL's 2007 Mid-Winter Meeting, February 12, 2007, Arlington, VA


    On February 12, 2007, Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., USDOL-OSHA, gave a presentation, "OSHA and ACIL Alliance," to ACIL's members during the association's 2007 Mid-Winter Meeting in Arlington, VA. The Assistant Secretary updated the attendees on the achievements of the OSHA and ACIL Alliance, and discussed major OSHA initiatives.

    American Council on Electrical Safety (ACES) Meeting, November 16, 2006, Baltimore, MD

    The American Council on Electrical Safety (ACES), organized and hosted by ACIL, is an electrical safety forum which includes sharing information about OSHA's NRTL product approval issues. The following OSHA and ACIL Alliance implementation team members attended the November 16, 2006 meeting in Baltimore, MD: Maryann Garrahan, Director; Bernard Pasquet, Electrical Engineer; and Greg Goff, General Engineer, from the Office of Technical Programs and Coordination Activities, Directorate of Science, Technology and Medicine, USDOL-OSHA.

    During the meeting, Bernard Pasquet shared information on OSHA's NRTL Program. Patrick Kapust, General Engineer, Office of General Industry Enforcement, Directorate of Enforcement Programs, USDOL-OSHA, gave an update on OSHA's enforcement activities. In addition, OSHA and ACIL continued to share information through informal discussions immediately following the meeting.

    • Share information among OSHA personnel and industry safety and health professionals regarding effective approaches and publicize results through outreach by ACIL and through OSHA- or ACIL-developed materials, training programs, workshops, seminars, and lectures (or any other applicable forum).
    Event

    Annual Department of Labor Safety Day, June 6, 2007, Washington, D.C.


    OSHA and ACIL Alliance implementation team members and a representative from the US Chamber of Commerce staffed in exhibit booth during the Department of Labor Safety Day, June 6, 2007 in Washington, DC. The event highlighted safety and health issues at work and at home, for DOL employees, with a number of organizations sharing safety and health information.

    The organizations displayed a number of counterfeit products next to genuine products to raise awareness to the growing number of counterfeit products in the workplace. ACIL distributed safety and health information including the NRTL Pocket card and promoted the OSHA and ACIL Alliance.

    In addition, ACIL's then Executive Director Joan Walsh Cassedy and ACIL representatives on the Alliance's implementation team, Walt Vance and Eddie Van Aken answered questions on electrical safety from DOL employees.

    Products

    Identifying Counterfeit Items Quick Tips Sheet


    Through the Alliance, OSHA and ACIL developed a Quick Tips Sheet, "Identifying Counterfeit Items Quick Tips." The Tips Sheet provides information on how to identify counterfeit products in the workplace and discusses ways to determine if an item is counterfeit. ACIL posted the Quick Tips Sheet on its Web site in July 2007.

    The Threat of Counterfeit Product Approval Marks Warrants Aggressive Detection and Enforcement Action Whitepaper

    Developed through the Alliance, ACIL completed a white paper, with input from OSHA, "The Threat of Counterfeit Product Approval Marks Warrants Aggressive Detection and Enforcement Action." The white paper discusses the worldwide problem of counterfeit products and equipment in workplaces. In addition, the white paper offers information on counterfeit certification marks and how to detect them on products. ACIL posted the White Paper on its Web site in July 2007.

    • Encourage ACIL members and OSHA's Regional and Area Offices to build relationships to address health and safety issues relating to OSHA's NTRL Program.
    Product

    ACIL Member Contact List


    Through the Alliance, ACIL provided OSHA with an updated member contact list which has information on ACIL members in the United States who can serve as a resource on OSHA's Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) program. The list is posted on OSHA's Intranet for use by OSHA On-site Consultation Program and State Plan States staff. The Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs sent an email to the agency's regional administrators, executive staff, state plan state representatives and On-site Consultation personnel informing them of its availability.

    Promoting the National Dialogue Goals:

    • Develop and disseminate case studies illustrating the business value of safety and health and publicize their results.

      The OSHA and ACIL Alliance agreed to no longer pursue this goal due to a lack of information available to develop a case study.

    • Convene or participate in forums, round table discussions, or stakeholder meetings on NRTL product approval and electrical safety issues to help forge innovative solutions in the workplace or to provide input on safety and health issues.
    Event

    Alliance Program Small Business Roundtable, February 1, 2007, Washington, DC


    On February 1, 2007, ACIL representative Eddie Van Aken attended the OSHA Alliance Program Small Business Roundtable in Washington, DC. During the meeting, OSHA and On-site Consultation Program representatives updated the Alliance Program participants on the status of the Agency's efforts to enhance small business compliance assistance resources based on recommendations that were made by Alliance Program participants during the Alliance Program Small Business Roundtable held September 8, 2005.

  2. Executive Summary

    Through the OSHA and ACIL Alliance, the organizations continue to share information related to the NRTL Program and OSHA's compliance assistance resources. For example, ACIL published articles on OSHA's guidance on avian flu and workplace violence in the association's newsletter during the reporting period. In addition, ACIL provided OSHA with an updated ACIL contact member list, which OSHA posted on the Agency's Intranet.

    OSHA and ACIL representatives also sought opportunities to exhibit and speak at events. For instance, ACIL implementation team members staffed an exhibit booth during DOL Safety Day in June 6, 2007 and distributed information to DOL employees. In addition, OSHA's Bernard Pasquet and Patrick Kapust spoke about OSHA's NRTL Program and OSHA's enforcement activities at the ACES meeting on November 16, 2006 in Baltimore, MD. Further, OSHA's Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. gave a presentation to ACIL's members during the association's 2007 Mid-Winter Meeting on February 12, 2007 in Arlington, VA.

    The OSHA and ACIL implementation team members also completed two documents, a quick tips sheet and a white paper, on the growing problem of counterfeit products, equipment and counterfeit NRTL certification marks on products. These products are available for use in workplaces throughout the U.S.

    In addition, the implementation team finalized and distributed a pocket card with information and the certification marks from each NRTL. The card contains OSHA's and ACIL's Web site addresses and logos from the organizations. To date, OSHA has distributed about 2,500 copies of the pocket card.

    Finally, an ACIL representative attended the Alliance Program's Small Business Roundtable II in February 2007 in Washington DC which addressed efforts to update OSHA's compliance assistance resources.

    As a part of these successful efforts, the implementation team worked together to develop and sign the OSHA and ACIL Alliance renewal agreement on July 17, 2007.

  3. Alliance Program Reach
Type of Activity Number of Individuals Reached
November 16, 2006, American Council for Electrical Safety (ACES) Meeting

"OSHA's NRTL Program"
OSHA Speaker:
Bernard Pasquet, Electrical Engineer, Office of Technical Programs and Coordination Activities, DSTM, USDOL-OSHA
35
November 16, 2006, American Council for Electrical Safety (ACES) Meeting

"OSHA Enforcement Activities"
OSHA Speaker:
Patrick Kapust, Safety and Occupational Health Specialist, Office of Technical Programs and Coordination Activities, Directorate of Enforcement Programs, USDOL-OSHA
35
December 2006/January 2007 edition, "Workplace Violence"
ACIL Newsletter News from...
667
December 2006/January 2007 edition, "OSHA on Avian Flu"
ACIL Newsletter News from...
667
December 2006/January 2007 edition, "OSHA ACIL Alliance"
ACIL Newsletter News from...
667
ACIL 2007 Mid-Winter Meeting
February 12, 2007, Arlington, VA

"OSHA and ACIL Alliance"
OSHA Speaker:
Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., USDOL-OSHA
70
OSHA and ACIL Alliance Web page 5,849
ACIL and OSHA Web Page 2,100
June 6, 2007, Seventh Annual Department of Labor Safety Day, Washington, D.C.

ACIL Exhibit
250
June/July 2007 edition, "ACIL Participated in the U.S Department of Labor's Safety Day",
ACIL Newsletter News from...
667
July 27, 2007, "OSHA Renews Alliance With American Council of Independent Laboratories"
OSHA News Release
68 News Services
TOTAL 11,075

IV. Upcoming Milestones

OSHA and ACIL remain committed to working and will work on number of projects to support the renewal agreement.

The OSHA and ACIL implementation team will continue to distribute the NRTL pocket card, with the NRTL approved certification marks from the testing laboratories throughout the U.S. The pocket card will continue to be issued as an informational resource for students who attend OTI's courses and the Agency's National, Regional and Area Offices staff, On-site Consultation Program and State Plan State personnel.

In addition, ACIL may conduct training sessions on the NRTL Program for OSHA staff and others in several of the Agency's regions. Topics that will be discussed during the training sessions may include: how to identify genuine and counterfeit NRTL certification marks, the location of genuine NRTL certification marks on approved equipment, and detecting counterfeit NRTL certification marks on electrical equipment.

OSHA and ACIL will also continue to work together to identify opportunities to promote and educate others on the NRTL program through speaking and exhibiting opportunities. For example, OSHA representatives will invite ACIL to exhibit during the Agency's DOL Safety Day in June 2008. Further, ACIL will invite OSHA to speak and exhibit at its Annual Meeting in October 2007 in Atlanta, GA.


Report prepared by: Richard L. Harris, Alliance Coordinator, Office of Outreach Services Alliances, July 30, 2007