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    Southwest Research Institute; Application for Renewal and Expansion of Recognition
[Federal Register: October 6, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 194)][Notices]               [Page 59133-59135]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. NRTL3-90]
Southwest Research Institute; Application for Renewal and 
Expansion of Recognition

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: This notice announces the application of Southwest Research 
Institute (SWRI) for renewal and expansion of its recognition and 
presents the Agency's preliminary finding in favor of granting this 
request. This preliminary finding does not constitute an interim or 
temporary approval of this application.

DATES: You must submit information or comments, or any request for 
extension of the time to comment, by the following dates:
     Hard copy: Postmarked or sent by October 23, 2006.
     Electronic transmission or facsimile: Sent by October 23, 

ADDRESSES: You may submit information or comments to this notice--
identified by docket number NRTL3-90--by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 

Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     OSHA Web site: http://ecomments.osha.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments on OSHA's Web page.
     Fax: If your written comments are 10 pages or fewer, you 
may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.
     Regular mail, express delivery, hand delivery and courier 
service: Submit three copies to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. 
NRTL3-90, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room 
N-2625, Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2350. (OSHA's TTY 
number is (877) 889-5627.) OSHA Docket Office hours of operation are 
8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., EST.
    Instructions: All comments received will be posted without change 
to http://dockets.osha.gov, including any personal information 
provided. OSHA cautions you about submitting personal information such 
as social security numbers and birth dates.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://dockets.osha.gov. Contact the OSHA 
Docket Office for information about materials not available through the 
OSHA Web page and for assistance in using the Web page to locate docket 
    Extension of Comment Period: Submit requests for extensions 
concerning this notice to the Office of Technical Programs and 
Coordination Activities, NRTL Program, Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., 
Room N-3655, Washington, DC 20210. Or fax to (202) 693-1644.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Director, Office of Technical Programs 
and Coordination Activities, NRTL Program, Occupational Safety and 
Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution 
Avenue, NW., Room N-3655, Washington, DC 20210, or phone (202) 693-2110.


Notice of Renewal Application

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hereby 
gives notice that Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) has applied for 
renewal of its recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing 
Laboratory (NRTL). The SWRI renewal request covers its existing scope 
of recognition, except as noted below. OSHA's current scope of 
recognition for SWRI may be found in the following informational Web 
page: http://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/swri.html.

    OSHA recognition of an NRTL signifies that the organization has met 
the legal requirements in Section 1910.7 of Title 29, Code of Federal 
Regulations (29 CFR 1910.7). Recognition is an acknowledgment that the 
organization can perform independent safety testing and certification 
of the specific products covered within its scope of recognition and is 
not a delegation or grant of government authority. As a result of 
recognition, employers may use products ``properly certified'' \1\ by 
the NRTL to meet OSHA standards that require testing and certification.

    \1\ Properly certified means, in part, that the product is 
labeled or marked with the NRTL's ``registered'' certification mark 
(i.e., the mark the NRTL uses for its NRTL work) and that the 
product certification falls within the scope of recognition of the 

    The Agency processes applications by an NRTL for initial 
recognition or for expansion or renewal of this recognition following 
requirements in Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.7. This appendix requires 
that the Agency publish two notices in the Federal Register in 
processing an application. In the first notice, OSHA announces the 
application and provides its preliminary finding and, in the second 
notice, the Agency provides its final decision on the application. 
These notices set forth the NRTL's scope of recognition or 
modifications of that scope. We maintain an informational Web page for 
each NRTL, which details its scope of recognition. These pages can be 
accessed from our Web site at http://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/index.html.

    The most recent notice published by OSHA specifically related to 
the SWRI recognition granted renewal of its NRTL status, which became 
effective as noted below. However, OSHA issued a notice modifying the 
scope of a number of NRTLs to replace or delete withdrawn test 
standards (70 FR 11273, March 8, 2005). SWRI was one of those NRTLs.
    The current address of the SWRI facility already recognized by OSHA 
is: Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, Post Office Drawer 
28510, San Antonio, TX 78228.

General Background on the Renewal Application

    SWRI initially received OSHA recognition as an NRTL on July 13, 
1993, (58 FR 37752) for a five-year period ending on July 13, 1998. 
Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.7 stipulates that the period of recognition 
of an NRTL is five years and that an NRTL may renew its recognition by 
applying not less than nine months, nor more than one year, before the 
expiration date of its current recognition. NRTLs submitting requests 
within this allotted time period retain their recognition during OSHA's 
renewal process. SWRI submitted the required request and received its 
first renewal of recognition on March 9, 1999 (64 FR 11503), for the 
five-year period ending March 9, 2004. SWRI submitted a request dated 
June 4, 2003, (see Exhibit 14) to renew its recognition again. This 
request falls within the allotted time period, and SWRI retains its 
recognition pending OSHA's final decision in this renewal process.
    In its June 4, 2003, application, the NRTL included an earlier 
request to expand its recognition to include three additional test 
standards, but has since eliminated two of these standards from its 
request. The NRTL Program staff has determined that the remaining 
standard is an ``appropriate test standard'' within the meaning of 29 
CFR 1910.7(c). Including this one standard, OSHA would approve 12 test 
standards for the renewal. In connection with the renewal, OSHA staff 
performed an on-site visit of the NRTL's site in April 2005, and the 
assessor recommended renewal of the SWRI recognition in a memo dated 
August 31, 2005 (see Exhibit 14-1). The assessor had previously 
recommended approval of the additional standard (also see Exhibit 14-
1), but the expansion was deferred pending SWRI's decision regarding 
the two standards it has since eliminated.
    SWRI seeks renewal of its recognition for the one site that OSHA 
currently includes within the NRTL's scope. SWRI also seeks renewal of 
its recognition for testing and certification of products for 
demonstration of conformance to the following test standards:

    ASTM E2074 Standard Method for Fire Tests of Door Assemblies.
UL 10A Tin-Clad Fire Doors.
UL 10B Fire Tests of Door Assemblies.
UL 94 Tests for Flammability of Plastic Materials for Parts in Devices 
and Appliances.
UL 155 Tests of Fire Resistance of Vault and File Room Doors.
UL 162 Foam Equipment and Liquid Concentrates.
*UL 525 Flame Arresters.
UL 555 Fire Dampers.
UL 711 Rating and Fire Testing of Fire Extinguishers.
UL 1887 Fire Test of Plastic Sprinkler Pipe for Visible Flame and Smoke 
UL 2085 Protected Aboveground Tanks for Flammable and Combustible 
UL 60950 Information Technology Equipment.

    *Test standard to be included as a result of expansion request.

    The designations and titles of the above test standards were 
current at the time of the preparation of this notice.
    OSHA's recognition of SWRI, or any NRTL, for a particular test 
standard is limited to equipment or materials (i.e., products) for 
which OSHA standards require third-party testing and certification 
before use in the workplace. Consequently, if a test standard also 
covers any product(s) for which OSHA does not require such testing and 
certification, an NRTL's scope of recognition does not include that 
    Many UL test standards also are approved as American National 
Standards by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). However, 
for convenience, we use the designation of the standards developing 
organization for the standard as opposed to the ANSI designation. Under 
our procedures, any NRTL recognized for an ANSI-approved test standard 
may use either the latest proprietary version of the test standard or 
the latest ANSI version of that standard. You may contact ANSI to find 
out whether or not a test standard is currently ANSI-approved.

Programs and Procedures

    The renewal would include continued use by SWRI of supplemental 
programs 2, 3, 4, and 9.

Program 2: Acceptance of testing data from independent organizations, 
other than NRTLs.
Program 3: Acceptance of product evaluations from independent 
organizations, other than NRTLs.
Program 4: Acceptance of witnessed testing data.
Program 9: Acceptance of services other than testing or evaluation 
performed by subcontractors or agents.

    In developing these programs, OSHA responded to industry requests 
and allowed certain of their ongoing practices to continue but in a manner 
controlled by OSHA criteria. In this sense, they are special conditions 
that the Agency places on an NRTL's recognition. OSHA does not consider 
these programs in determining whether an NRTL meets the requirements 
for recognition under 29 CFR 1910.7. However, these programs help to 
define the scope of that recognition.

Preliminary Finding on the Renewal

    SWRI has submitted an acceptable request for renewal and expansion 
of its recognition as an NRTL. Our review of the application file, the 
assessor's memos, and other pertinent documents, indicates that SWRI 
can meet the requirements, as prescribed by 29 CFR 1910.7, for the 
renewal of the one site and the test standards and programs listed 
above, and for the expansion to include the one additional test 
standard, as noted. This preliminary finding does not constitute an 
interim or temporary approval of the application.
    OSHA welcomes public comments, in sufficient detail, as to whether 
SWRI has met the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.7 for the renewal and 
expansion of its recognition as an NRTL. Your comments should consist 
of pertinent written documents and exhibits. Should you need more time 
to comment, you must request it in writing, including reasons for the 
request. OSHA must receive your written request for extension at the 
address provided above no later than the last date for comments. OSHA 
will limit any extension to 30 days, unless the requester justifies a 
longer period. You may obtain or review copies of the SWRI request, the 
on-site review report, other pertinent documents, and all submitted 
comments, as received, by contacting the Docket Office, Room N2625, 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of 
Labor, at the above address. Docket No. NRTL3-90 contains all materials 
in the record concerning the SWRI application.
    The NRTL Program staff will review all timely comments and, after 
resolution of issues raised by these comments, will recommend whether 
to grant SWRI's renewal and expansion request. The Assistant Secretary 
will make the final decision on granting the renewal and expansion and, 
in making this decision, may undertake other proceedings that are 
prescribed in Appendix A to 29 CFR Section 1910.7. OSHA will publish a 
public notice of this final decision in the Federal Register.

    Signed at Washington, DC this 25th day of September, 2006.
Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.,
Assistant Secretary.
 [FR Doc. E6-16588 Filed 10-5-06; 8:45 am]