- Record Type:OSHA Instruction
- Current Directive Number:PUB 8-1.9
- Old Directive Number:PUB 8-1.9
- Title:Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Accreditation Program (29 CFR 1910)
- Information Date:
OSHA Instruction PUB 8-1.9 Sept 10, 1991 Directorate of Technical Support
Subject: Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Accreditation Program (29 CFR 1910.7)
A. Purpose. This instruction provides information on the NRTL accreditation program which is administered by the Directorate of Technical Support and implemented by the Office of Variance Determination. As a result of the new program, additional laboratory organizations are now authorized to certify products.
B. Scope. This instruction applies OSHA-wide.
C. Background. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a final rule, "Safety Testing or Certification of Certain Workplace Equipment and Materials; 29 CFR 1907 and 1910", in the Federal Register of April 12, 1988. This document included two important facets: the modification of the language of those provisions in 29 CFR 1910 that require product "certification" (by whatever term used) by organizations such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc. and Factory Mutual Engineering Corporation, to specify that these certifications be accomplished by a nationally recognized testing laboratory (NRTL), and; the establishment of criteria by which a testing organization could apply for and be accredited as an NRTL to test and certify these products.
- While our program refers to the "recognition" of applicants, the
term is used in the sense that most within the testing and certification
community use "accreditation." For consistency and accuracy, we will also
refer to "accrediting" rather than "recognizing" an applicant. We refer to
the program, as the "NRTL accreditation program" and the laboratories that
are accredited under this program are "nationally recognized testing
laboratories" or "NRTLs."
- Prior to June 13, 1988, Section 1910 referenced Underwriters
Laboratories, Inc. (UL) and Factory Mutual Research Corporation (FM) as the
only two laboratory organizations authorized to certify products for use in
the workplace. UL and FM were temporarily recognized (accredited) by OSHA at
the outset of the program to insure a smooth transition.
- Prior to the end of this period, July 13, 1993, both must apply for
and receive formal accreditation to enable them to continue to certify
products under OSHA's requirements. The accreditation procedure
necessitates, among other requirements, on-site investigations of the
applicants' facilities. The worldwide locations and numbers of testing
facilities of the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) alone, as well as the
estimated number of test standards to be requested, will necessitate
extensive manpower needs.
- OSHA's obligations under the specific rule, 29 CFR 1910.7 -
- "Definition and requirements for a nationally recognized testing
laboratory," and Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.7 - "OSHA Recognition Process for
Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories," include allowing all applicants
an equal opportunity to become accredited to test and certify products
requiring certification under OSHA's regulations, and to assure that each
applicant satisfies the requirements for NRTL accreditation.
- This instruction will provide background on Section 1910.7 and
information concerning the laboratory organizations accredited to certify
products. Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) will begin to see
labels other than those of UL and FM on products requiring certification
since, to date, five additional organizations have been accredited.
D. Requirements for NRTL Accreditation. OSHA requires that an applicant for NRTL recognition be a combination of testing laboratory and certifying body. OSHA's recognition is based upon the applicant's ability to adequately perform both functions. The applicant's identification procedure must include testing and evaluation, quality control, follow-up procedures and control of its certification mark.
- In general, most of the equipment or materials (products) which the
OSHA standards require to be certified are of an electrical nature. The
standards also require certification of products which are: LPG appliances;
fire detection or extinguishment systems; or acetylene apparatus. Other
miscellaneous products or categories of products may also require
certification. A nationally recognized testing laboratory, within the
context of the OSHA regulation, is an organization which can test and certify
products for safety.
E. Specific Requirements for Accreditation. To be accredited as a NRTL, the applicant must meet specific requirements, including the following:
- 1. For each product to be certified, the NRTL must demonstrate the
capability to determine its conformance with appropriate test standards.
This would be determined, in part, by the adequacy of the NRTL's testing
equipment and facilities, written testing procedures, calibration and quality
control programs, as well as by the capability of the professional
- 2. The NRTL must provide control procedures for identifying the
certified products, provide product evaluation services to assure conformance
with the test standards during the production run at the manufacturing site,
and assure proper use of its identifying mark or label on the product in the
- 3. The NRTL must maintain effective procedures for producing
creditable findings or reports that are objective and without bias, and for
handling complaints and disputes under a fair and reasonable
- 4. Finally, any testing organization desiring NRTL status shall
request that OSHA evaluate its testing and control programs against the
requirements described above for any of the equipment or material test
standards it may specify. The recognition procedure is detailed in Appendix
A of 29 CFR 1910.7. OSHA invites and encourages public participation in the
- 5. Recognitions are for a period of five years and OSHA maintains
continuing surveillance over its NRTLs to assure conformance with the
requirements of the rule as well as the terms of the recognition.
F. Review of Applicant's Request for Accreditation.
- 1. The review of an applicant's request for accreditation as an
NRTL is as follows:
a. Determination of the procedural and technical adequacy;
- b. Resolution of any legal issues with the Office the
- c. Prompt determination of preliminary decision to grant or
deny application after any requested additional information has been received
and the on-site inspection report has been reviewed;
- d. Assembling of the necessary technical data for preparation
of a notice of the preliminary decision for publication in the Federal
Register. This notice shall include mention of the supporting evidence
presented by the applicant for each element of the criteria and provision for
a 60 day public comment period;
- e. Evaluation of technical data in conjunction with any public
comments received. Determination of necessity of on-site inspection based
upon any of the facts;
- f. Preparation and forwarding to the applicant of a letter of
recognition delineating the product(s) authorized to be listed, labeled, or
- g. Assembling of the necessary technical data and preparation
of the Federal Register document to include the supporting evidence assuring
that the applicant has met the criteria for approval as a nationally
recognized testing laboratory; and
- h. Forwarding of the document recognizing the applicant as an
NRTL to the Assistant Secretary for approval and publication in the Federal
- 2. After receipt of the necessary administrative and technical
data from the applicants, it generally requires an average of six months,
including the 60 day Federal Register comment period and the on-site
laboratory(s) evaluation, to become an NRTL.
- 3. As we continue to develop and refine our operating procedures
to assure timely decisions for a laboratory organization seeking recognition
as an NRTL, we believe that the laboratory accreditation/recognition program
is a significant activity and could become a critical area. The program has
the potential to expand into other safety and health areas such as: personal
protective equipment, crane operations, mechanical power press operations,
and the like.
G. NRTL Staff Responsibility. As mandated by the NRTL rule, the NRTL office staff will perform the following administrative and technical functions during the laboratory accreditation process:
- 1. Maintain case files of all NRTL applicants.
- 2. Maintain the list of NRTLs and the test standards for which
each is accredited on the OSHA Computerized Information System
- 3. Prepare the "paper work" necessary for the administration of
the program, including memoranda, letters of recognition, documents requiring
publication in the Federal Register, and all of the documents for the Docket
Office of the Technical Data Center.
- 4. Inspect the physical facilities.
- 5. Ascertain the availability and proper use of test equipment and
- 6. Examine calibration/repair methods of test equipment.
- 7. Assure that test reports contain sufficient information to
determine compliance with standards.
- 8. Confirm that test reports contain sufficient information to
determine compliance with standards.
- 9. Determine that records are adequately maintained and
- 10. Examine the quality assurance program.
H. Foreign Laboratory Organizations. This NRTL rule provides authority for foreign laboratory organizations to seek accreditation as NRTLs under the OSHA program. As a result, OSHA is required to seek counsel with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to determine the testing/certification accreditation practices of the foreign government. The European Communities' Free Trade Agreement becomes effective on January 1, 1993, by which time the European Organization for Testing and Certification (EOTC) is to have selected accrediting organizations ("Certified Bodies") to represent many of the nations of the world. If the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, through the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory program, is selected as one of the accrediting organizations representing the United States, we can anticipate a considerable increase in applications for NRTL recognition from domestic and foreign laboratory organizations. We are presently engaged in discussions with members of the Office of the Trade Representative to seek guidance on issues dealing with foreign laboratory organizations seeking accreditation from OSHA. Two Canadian organizations have submitted applications for recognition as NRTLs.
I. Certification Labels. As stated, CSHOs will begin to find labels of firms other than UL and FM on products. When this occurs, OCIS may be queried to determine whether the laboratory has been accredited. For additional information, the OSHA National Office of Variance Determination may be contacted at (FTS) 523-7193 or (202) 523-7193.
J. State Plan States. When the Federal nationally recognized testing laboratory accreditation standard was adopted, the State plan States were given the choice of accepting only Federal OSHA accreditation of testing laboratories as NRTLs, or establishing their own laboratory accreditation program. However, any State establishing its own program still had to accept accreditation by NRTLs for testing of equipment and materials where State safety requirements were the same as the Federal. Any independent State program is only for different State equipment and material requirements and is limited to in-State applicability and enforcement. The State program must also be at least as effective as the Federal program. (See OSHA Instruction STP 2-1.147A). Almost all the States have chosen to accept only the Federal laboratory accreditation program.
K. Accredited Laboratories. To date, the following six laboratory organizations have been accredited by OSHA to certify certain specified products or categories of products for use in the workplace.
- Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) 333 Pfingsten Road
Northbrook, Illinois 60062 (708)272-8800
- Factory Mutual Research Corporation (FMRC) 1151
Boston-Providence Turnpike P.O. Box 9102 Norwood, Massachusetts 02062
- MET Electrical Testing Company, Inc. (MET) Laboratory Division
916 West Patapsco Avenue Baltimore, Maryland 21230 1-800-638-6057
- Dash, Straus and Goodhue, Inc. (DSG) 593 Massachusetts Avenue
Boxborough, Massachusetts 01719 (508)263-2662
- ETL Testing Laboratories, Inc. (ETL) Cortland Safety Division
Industrial Park Cortland, New York 13045 1-800-345-3851
- American Gas Association Laboratories (AGA) 8501 East Pleasant
Valley Road Cleveland, Ohio 44131 (216)524-4990
- Communication Certification Laboratory (CCL) 1940 West Alexander
Street Salt Lake City, Utah 84119 (801)972-6146
L. Certification References The attached document references citations in the General Industry Standards (29 CFR 1910) which require product (equipment, material) certification (listing and labeling) by an NRTL.
- Gerard F. Scannell Assistant Secretary
- Distribution: National, Regional, and Area Offices, All COSHO,
State Designees, 7(c)(1) Consultation Project Managers, OSHA Training
Institute, NIOSH Regional Program Directors
NOTE: Where feasible, only one reference will be cited for each type of approved (certified) product.
1910.28 - Safety Requirements for Scaffolding
28(f)(2) - The (masons' adjustable multiple-point suspension) scaffold shall be provided with hoisting machines that meet the requirements of a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
28(g)(3) - When hoisting machines are used on two-point suspension scaffolds, such machines shall be of a design tested and approved by a nationally recognized testing
28(h)(2) - The hoisting machine and its supports (of a stone setters' adjustable multiple-point suspension scaffold) shall be of a type tested and listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
28(i)(1) - The scaffolding, including power units or manually operated units (of a single-point adjustable suspension scaffold), shall be of a type tested and listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
1910.37 - Means of Egress - General
37(a) - Exits to consist only of approved (exit) components, either an integral part of or permanently affixed to the building.
1910.38 - Employee Emergency Plans and Fire Prevention Plans
- 38(a)(3)(i) - An approved employee alarm system to be established.
1910.66 - Powered Platforms for Building Maintenance
66(f)(8)(i) - Electrical wiring and equipment shall comply with Subpart S of this Part, except as otherwise required by this section.
1910.94 - Ventilation
- 94(c)(3)(iii)(a) - Overspray filters in (spray booths) shall be non-
- combustible or, if combustible, not in excess of class 2
filters as listed by UL.
1910.106 - Flammable and Combustible Liquids
106(b)(2)(iv)(f) - Tanks and pressure vessels storing class IB and IC liquids shall have venting device or approved flame arresters.
106(b)(4)(iv)(d) - Each opening for manual gaging in a tank installed inside a building shall have a check valve or other approved device.
106(d)(4)(i) - Openings to inside storage rooms (for containers and portable storage) shall have approved self-closing fire doors.
- 106(d)(7)(ii) - When provided, sprinklers shall be approved.
106(f)(8) - The design of fire-control devices (small hose, portable fire extinguishers) to be in accordance with approved engineering standards.
106(g)(3)(ii) - Approved dispensing units at automotive service stations may be located inside of buildings. The dispensing area to be provided with approved mechanical or gravity ventilation system. When dispensing units are below grade, approved mechanical ventilation to be used, and dispensing area protected by approved automatic sprinkler system.
106(g)(3)(iv)(c) - Class I liquids to be dispensed by approved pumps taking suction through top of container or approved self-closing faucets.
106(g)(3)(vi)(a) - Dispensers for Class I liquids to have listed manual or automatic-closing type hose nozzle valves.
- 106(g)(3)(vi)(b) - Automatic-closing type valves may use approved latch-
106(g)(4)(i)(b) - Dispensing at marine service stations to be by approved dispensing units w/wo integral pumps.
106(g)(9) - Each service station to have fire extinguisher with approved classification of 6 B, C.
106(h)(4)(ii)(b) - Approved flexible connectors (piping, valves, and fittings) may be used (in processing plants). Approved hose may be used at transfer stations.
106(h)(6)(i) - Approved portable fire extinguishers of appropriate size, type, and number to be provided.
106(h)(6)(ii)(d) - Approved automatic sprinkler system or equivalent extinguishing system may be used. If special extinguishing system (e.g., foam, CO2, dry chemical) is provided, approved equipment shall be used. . .
1910.107 - Spray Finishing Using Flammable and Combustible Materials
107(b)(5)(vi) - Clean filters or filter to have combustibility not in excess of class 2 filters as listed by UL.
107(e)(3) - Approved portable tanks or approved safety cans to be used for handling flammable or combustible liquids.
107(h)(2) - Fixed electrostatic apparatus and devices used with coating operations to be approved types.
107(h)(12) - All spraying areas to have automatic sprinklers or other approved automatic extinguishing equipment (fixed CO2 or dry chemical system).
107(i)(3) - Electrostatic hand spray apparatus and devices to be approved.
107(l)(7)(i) - Electrostatic fluidized beds and associated equipment to be approved.
1910.108 - Dip Tanks Containing Flammable or Combustible Liquids
108(g) - Areas in vicinity of dip tanks to have approved manual fire extinguishers suitable for flammable and combustible liquid fires.
108(h)(1)(vii) - The drain valve of the dip tank to be operated automatically with approved heat actuated devices.
1910.109 - Explosives and Blasting Agents
109(d)(2)(iii)(a) - Each motor vehicle for transporting explosives to have. . .(approved) extinguishers having a rating of at least 10 B C.
1910.110 - Storage and Handling of Liquefied Petroleum Gases
110(b)(2)(i) - Each system using DOT containers to have approved container valves, connectors, manifold valve assemblies, and regulators.
110(b)(2)(ii) - Each system. . .using containers of 2000 gals. or less water capacity. . .shall consist of a container assembly and one or more regulators, and may include other parts. The system as a unit or the container assembly as a unit, and the regulator or regulators, to be individually listed.
110(b)(2)(iii) - In systems using containers of over 2000 gals. water capacity, each regulator, container valve, excess flow valve, gaging device, and relief valve on or at the container to be listed.
110(b)(20)(i) - . . .new commercial and industrial gas consuming appliances shall be approved.
110(b)(20)(iii) - Unattended heaters used inside buildings for the purpose of animal or poultry production to be equipped with an approved device designed to shut off the flow of gas to the main burners, and pilot if used, in the of flame extinguishment.
110(c)(5)(i)(g)(1) - (With cylinder systems used inside of buildings) hose and hose connections to be listed.
110(c)(5)(i)(h) - Portable heaters, including salamanders, to be equipped with an approved automatic device to shut off the flow of gas to the main burner, and pilot if used, in the event of flame extinguishment.
110(d)(3)(iii) - (With systems using non-DOT containers) all openings in a container to be equipped with automatic excess flow valves, with some exceptions.:
110(d)(3)(iv) - An excess flow valve is not required in the withdrawal service line providing the following are complied with, among which is:
110(d)(3)(iv)(e) - An approved pressure-reducing regulator is directly attached to the outlet of the shutoff valve . . .
110(d)(3)(viii) - Containers of 125 gals. water capacity. . . to be provided with an approved device for liquid evacuation. . .
110(d)(7)(x) - (With permanently installed, interconnected containers) flexible connections. . . shall be approved.
110(d)(7)(xi) - Container assemblies listed for interchangeable installation above or under ground. . .
110(e)(5)(ii) - (With LPG as a motor fuel) the filling connection shall be fitted with an approved double back-pressure check valve. . .
110(e)(5)(iii) - . . .filling connections equipped with approved automatic back-pressure check valves, and safety relief valves, all connections to containers. . . shall be equipped with approved automatic excess flow valves. .
110(e)(5)(iv)(e)(1) - (With removable fuel containers) . . . an approved automatic quick-closing coupling. . .
110(e)(9)(i) - Approved automatic pressure reducing equipment shall be installed. . .
- 110(e)(9)(ii) - An approved automatic shutoff valve shall be provided. .
110(f)(5)(iv) - Each opening from (special) storage rooms to other parts of the building shall be protected by a (listed) 1 1/2 hour (B) fire door. . .
- 1910.111 - Storage and Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia
- 111(b)(1) - Each appurtenance to be approved. . .
[111(a)(2)(i) - "Appurtenances"--All devices such as pumps, compressors, safety relief devices, liquid-level gaging devices, valves and pressure gages.]
1910.157 - Portable Fire Extinguishers
157(c)(2) - Only approved portable fire extinguishers shall be used to meet the requirements of this section.
1910.159 - Automatic Sprinkler Systems
159(c)(1)(ii) - Only approved equipment and devices to be used in the design and installation of automatic sprinkler systems used to comply with this standard.
- 159(c)(8)(i) - Only approved sprinklers are used on systems.
1910.160 - Fixed Extinguishing Systems, General
160(a)(1) - This section applies to all fixed extinguishing systems. . . except automatic sprinkler systems.
160(b)(1) - Fixed extinguishing system components and agents to be designed and approved for use on the specific fire hazards they are expected to control or extinguish.
160(b)(13) - Automatic detection equipment to be approved. . . in accordance with 1910.164 - Fire Detection Systems.
1910.161 - Fixed Extinguishing Systems, Dry Chemical
161(a) - This section applies to all fixed extinguishing systems using dry chemical as the extinguishing agent, installed to meet a particular OSHA standard. These systems to also comply with 1910.160 - Fixed Extinguishing Systems, General.
1910.162 - Fixed Extinguishing Systems, Gaseous Agent
162(a)(1) - This section applies to all fixed extinguishing systems using a gas as an extinguishing agent, installed to meet a particular OSHA standard. These systems to also comply with 1910.160.
162(b)(1) - (All gaseous extinguishing) agents used for initial supply and replenishment to be of the type approved for the system's application.
1910.163 - Fixed Extinguishing Systems, Water Spray and Foam
163(a) - This section applies to all fixed extinguishing systems using water or foam solution, installed to meet a particular OSHA standard. These systems to also comply with 1910.60.
1910.164 - Fire Detection Systems
164(a) - Section applies to all automatic fire detection systems installed to meet the requirements of a particular OSHA standard.
164(b) - All (fire detection) devices and equipment to be approved for the purpose for which they are intended.
1910.165 - Employee Alarm Systems
165(c)(1) - All devices, components, combinations of devices or systems constructed . . .to comply with this standard to be approved. Steam whistles, air horns, strobe lights or similar lighting devices, or tactile devices meeting the requirements of this section are considered to meet the requirement for approval.
1910.178 - Powered Industrial Trucks
178(a)(3) - Approved trucks shall bear a label or some other identifying mark indicating approval by the testing laboratory.
178(a)(7) - . . ."approved truck" or "approved industrial truck" means a truck that is listed or approved for fire safety purposes for the intended use by an NRTL.
178(d) - Power-operated industrial trucks originally approved for use of gasoline, when converted to LPG, may be used in those locations where certain type trucks have been previously specified.
178(m)(11) - Only approved industrial trucks shall be used in hazardous locations.
178(q)(12) - Industrial trucks originally approved for gasoline fuel may be converted to LPG fuel. . .Such conversion equipment shall be approved.
1910.180 - Crawler Locomotive and Truck Cranes
180(i)(4)(i) - Refueling with small portable containers to be done with an approved safety type can equipped with an automatic closing cap and flame arrester.
1910.181 - Derricks
181(j)(4)(i) - Refueling. . .with approved safety type containers equipped with automatic closing cap and flame arrester.
1910.253 - Oxygen-Fuel Gas Welding and Cutting
253(a)(2) - Under no condition shall acetylene be. . .piped (except in approved cylinder manifolds). . .
253(a)(3) - Only approved apparatus such as torches, regulators or pressure-reducing valves, acetylene generators and manifolds shall be used.
253(c)(1)(i) - Manifolds (fuel gas) shall be approved either separately for each component part or as an assembled unit.
253(c)(1)(v) - High-pressure fuel gas manifolds to be provided with approved pressure-regulating devices.
253(c)(2)(i) - Manifolds (oxygen) shall be approved either separately for each component part or as an assembled unit.
253(c)(2)(vi) - High-pressure oxygen manifolds to be provided with approved pressure-regulating devices.
253(c)(4)(v) - Portable outlet headers for fuel-gas service to be provided with an approved hydraulic back-pressure valve. . .unless an approved pressure-reducing regulator, an approved back-flow check valve, or an approved hydraulic back-pressure valve is installed at each outlet.
253(c)(5)(11) - All manifolds and parts used in methods of manifolding to be used only for the gas or gases for which they are approved.
253(c)(5)(iii) - When acetylene cylinders are coupled, approved flash arresters shall be installed between the cylinder and the coupler block.
253(e)(1) - Equipment shall be installed and used only in the service for which it is approved. . .
- 253(e)(3)(ii) - Approved protective equipment. . .
253(e)(3)(ii)(c)(2) - Backflow protection to be provided by an approved device that will prevent O2 from flowing into the fuel system or the reverse.
253(e)(3)(ii)(c)(3) - Flash-back protection shall be provided by an approved device that will prevent flame from passing into the fuel-gas system.
253(e)(3)(ii)(c)(4) - Back-pressure protection to be provided by an approved pressure-relief device. . .
253(f)(2)(i) - The total hourly output of a generator not to exceed rate for which it is approved and marked.
253(f)(4)(i)(e) - Unless otherwise specifically approved, generators not to fitted with continuous drain connections leading to sewers. . .
253(f)(4)(iv)(a) - The compressor or booster system to be of an approved type.
253(f)(5)(i)(a) - All portable generators to be of a type approved for portable use.
253(f)(6)(i)(i) - Windows in partitions shall be wired glass and approved metal frames with fixed sash.
1910.265 - Sawmills
265(d)(2)(iv)(c) - Boat fuel to be transported and stored in approved safety containers.
265(i) - The requirements of Subpart L of this part to be complied with in providing the necessary fire protection for sawmills.
1910.266 - Pulpwood Logging
266(c)(4)(iii) - An approved fire extinguisher to be provided at locations where machines are operating and/or on each vehicle.
266(c)(4)(iv) - Fuel to be stored only in approved well-marked containers. . .
SUBPART S - ELECTRICAL
- 1910.303 - General Requirements
303(a) Approval. The conductors or equipment required or permitted by this subpart shall be acceptable only if approved.