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NRTL Program Improvement

The Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Program recognizes private sector organizations to test and certify certain types of equipment for use in the workplace. Recognition as an NRTL signifies that the organization has demonstrated that it has the capability to test and certify equipment, and has met the necessary qualifications specified in the regulations for the Program. An NRTL determines that specific equipment and products meet consensus-based standards of safety to provide the assurance, required by OSHA, that these products are safe for use in the U.S. workplace.

The program was created over 25 years ago, and OSHA is embarking on a multi-year plan to update and modernize the program, and position it for today's demands and future growth.

The references below provide background information for program improvement initiatives and are provided as a point of reference.

Current Initiatives
NRTL Directive Update NEW

To address some long needed program changes, OSHA has begun the process of aligning its NRTL directive with international standards. Proposed updates include:

  • Aligning program policies and the NRTL Directive with ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/IEC 17065
  • Adopting the impartiality requirements in ISO/IEC 17065 as one method for NRTLs to demonstrate that they are "completely independent" from employers, manufacturers and vendors.
  • Clarifying existing "supplemental program" requirements that allow NRTLs to accept evaluation and test data from equipment manufacturers and independent testing organizations.
  • Revisions to the definition of a "recognized site".

Milestones:

  • OSHA released an excerpt of the technical portion of the Draft NRTL Directive in August 2014 for informal comments.
  • OSHA published the draft NRTL Directive for public comment NEW
  • OSHA published NRTL Directive Update Q & As NEW
  • OSHA anticipates publishing the final version of the Directive in mid late 2016/early 2017.
Revised Fee Schedule

OSHA has proposed and sought public comment on a revised NRTL Fee Schedule and streamlined procedures for accepting and reviewing applications of organizations seeking to obtain, renew or expand NRTL recognition. The revised NRTL Fee Schedule will be released with the updated NRTL Directive.

NRTL Stakeholder Meetings

October 22, 2014:

March 15, 2013:

Details on future NRTL Stakeholder meetings will be announced in the Federal Register.

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