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  • Title:
    QPS Evaluation Services Inc.; Recognition as an NRTL
[Federal Register: March 2, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 41)][Notices]               [Page 11518-11521]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. 2010-0046]

QPS Evaluation Services Inc.; Recognition as an NRTL

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

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: This notice announces the Agency's final decision to grant 
recognition to QPS Evaluation Services Inc., as a Nationally Recognized 
Testing Laboratory under 29 CFR 1910.7.

DATES: This recognition becomes effective on March 2, 2011 and will be 
valid until March 2, 2016, unless terminated or modified prior to that 
date in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.7.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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. For more 
information about the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory Program, 
go to http://osha.gov and select "N" in the site index.


Notice of Final Decision

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hereby 
gives notice of its recognition of QPS Evaluation Services Inc., (QPS) 
as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). The scope of this 
recognition includes testing and certification of the equipment and 
materials, and use of the supplemental program, listed below. OSHA will 
detail QPS's scope of recognition on an informational Web page for the 
NRTL, as further explained below.
    OSHA recognition of an NRTL signifies that the organization meets 
the legal requirements specified in 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 
approved by the NRTL to meet OSHA standards that require product 
testing and certification.
    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. OSHA maintains an informational Web page 
for each NRTL that details its scope of recognition. These pages are 
available from OSHA's Web site at http://www.osha-slc.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/index.html.
    Each NRTL's scope of recognition has three elements: (1) The type 
of products the NRTL may test, with each type specified by its 
applicable test standard; (2) the recognized site(s) that has/have the 
technical capability to perform the product testing and certification 
activities for test standards within the NRTL's scope; and (3) the 
supplemental program(s) that the NRTL may use, each of which allows the 
NRTL to rely on other parties to perform activities necessary for 
product testing and certification.
    QPS applied for recognition as an NRTL (See Ex. 2--QPS application 
dated 1/27/2006) \1\ pursuant to 29 CFR 1910.7, and OSHA published the 
required preliminary notice in the Federal Register on November 18, 
2010 (75 FR 70696) to announce the application. The notice included a 
preliminary finding that QPS could meet the requirements for 
recognition detailed in 29 CFR 1910.7, and invited public comment on 
the application by December 20, 2010. OSHA received no comments in 
response to the notice. OSHA now is proceeding with this final notice 
to grant QPS's recognition application.

    \1\ A number of documents, or information within documents, 
described in this Federal Register notice are the applicant's 
internal, detailed procedures, or contain other confidential 
business or trade-secret information. These documents and 
information, designated by an "NA" at the end of, or within, the 
sentence or paragraph describing them, are not available to the 

    All public documents pertaining to the QPS application are 
available for review by contacting the Docket Office, Occupational 
Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 
Constitution Avenue, NW., Room N-2625, Washington, DC 20210. These 
materials also are available online at http://www.regulations.gov under 
Docket No. OSHA-2010-0046.
    The current address of the laboratory facility (site) that OSHA 
recognizes for QPS is: QPS Evaluation Services Inc., 81 Kelfield 
Street, Unit 8, Toronto, Ontario, M9W 5A3, Canada.

General Background on the Application

    According to the application, QPS was established in 1995 as a 
Canadian Standards Association field-inspection agency. In 1998, QPS 
performed technical services for Entela, Inc., an organization formerly 
recognized by OSHA as an NRTL, which another NRTL subsequently 
acquired. The application also states that QPS received accreditation 
by other well-known accreditors (i.e., the Standards Council of Canada 
and the International Electrotechnical Commission Certification Body 
(IEC CB) Scheme).
    QPS applied on January 27, 2006, for recognition of one site and a 
number of test standards. (See Ex. 2.) In response to OSHA's request 
for clarification, QPS amended its application to provide additional 
technical details, and then provided further details in a later update. 
(See Ex. 3--QPS amended application, dated 4/15/2008 and 11/30/2009.) 
OSHA's NRTL Program staff performed an on-site assessment of the QPS 
facility in April 2010. Based on this assessment, the OSHA staff 
recommended recognition of QPS in their on-site review report of the 
assessment. (See Ex. 4--OSHA on-site review report on QPS.)
    Through its amended application information (see Ex. 3), QPS 
represented that it maintains the experience, expertise, personnel, 
organization, equipment, and facilities suitable for accreditation as 
an OSHA Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory. It also represented 
that it meets, or will meet, the requirements for recognition defined 
in 29 CFR 1910.7.
    OSHA addresses the four requirements for recognition (i.e., 
capability, control procedures, independence, and creditable reports 
and complaint handling) below, along with examples that illustrate how 
QPS meets each of these requirements. The applicant's summary 
addressing OSHA's evaluation criteria references many, but not all, of the 
documents or processes described below (see the QPS basic information summary; 
hereafter, "Basic Summary," which is part of Ex. 3, portions of which 
are confidential).


    Section 1910.7(b)(1) states that, for each specified item of 
equipment or material proposed for listing, labeling, or acceptance, 
the NRTL must have the capability (including proper testing equipment 
and facilities, trained staff, written testing procedures, and 
calibration and quality-control programs) to perform appropriate 
testing. The "Capability" section of the Basic Summary (NA) shows 
that the applicant has security measures and detailed procedures in 
place to restrict or control access to its facility, to areas within 
its facility, and to confidential information. This section also states 
that QPS's facility has equipment for monitoring, controlling, and 
recording environmental conditions during tests. QPS provided a list of 
this equipment, which NRTL Program staff examined during the on-site 
review (Ex. 4, p. 1). This section shows that QPS has detailed 
procedures for handling test samples. In addition, the Basic Summary or 
documents it references show that the QPS facility has adequate test 
areas and energy sources, and procedures for controlling incompatible 
activities. QPS provided a detailed list of its testing equipment (NA), 
and OSHA's on-site review (Ex. 4, p. 2) confirmed that much of this 
equipment is in place. Review of the application shows that the 
equipment listed is available (NA) and adequate for the scope of 
testing described below.
    The "Capability" section of the Basic Summary (NA) indicates that 
QPS has detailed procedures addressing the maintenance and calibration 
of equipment, as well as the types of records maintained for, or 
supporting, many laboratory activities. It also indicates that QPS has 
detailed procedures for conducting testing, review, and evaluation, and 
for capturing the test and other data required by the standard for 
which it seeks recognition. OSHA's on-site review (Ex. 4, p. 2) 
examined these test data and evaluation documents. QPS currently is 
using some of these procedures to test products for NRTLs. Further, 
this section indicates that QPS has detailed procedures for processing 
applications, and for developing new procedures.
    The amended application (Ex. 3) contained adequate procedures to 
address training or qualifying staff for particular technical tasks 
(NA). The amended application indicates that QPS has sufficient 
qualified personnel to perform the proposed scope of testing based on 
their education, training, technical knowledge, and experience. OSHA's 
on-site review (Ex. 4, p. 3) confirmed many of these qualifications. 
The amended application provides evidence that QPS has an adequate 
quality-control system in place, and OSHA's on-site review (Ex. 4, p. 
3) verified the performance of internal audits, and tracking and 
resolution of nonconformances.

Control Procedures

    Section 1910.7(b)(2) requires that the NRTL provide controls and 
services, to the extent necessary, for the particular equipment or 
material proposed for listing, labeling, or acceptance. These controls 
and services include procedures for identifying the listed or labeled 
equipment or materials, inspections of production runs at factories to 
assure conformance with test standards, and field inspections to 
monitor and assure the proper use of identifying marks or labels.
    The "Control Programs" section of the Basic Summary shows that 
QPS has the quality-control manual and detailed procedures to address 
the steps involved to list and certify products. QPS has a registered 
certification mark. In addition, the "Control Programs" section shows 
that the applicant has certification procedures (NA); these procedures 
address the authorization of certifications and audits of factory 
facilities. The audits apply to both the initial evaluations and the 
follow-up inspections of manufacturers' facilities. This section 
indicates that procedures also exist for authorizing the use of the 
certification mark, and the actions taken when QPS finds that the 
manufacturer is deviating from the certification requirements. Factory 
inspections will be a new activity for QPS, and OSHA will need to 
review the effectiveness of QPS's inspection program when it is in 
place. As a result, OSHA is proposing a condition to ensure that QPS 
conducts inspections properly, and at the frequency set forth in the 
applicable NRTL Program policy (see OSHA Instruction CPL 1-0.3, 
Appendix C, paragraph III.A).


    Section 1910.7(b)(3) requires that the NRTL be completely 
independent of employers that are subject to the testing requirements, 
and of any manufacturers or vendors of equipment or materials tested 
under the NRTL Program. OSHA has a policy for the independence of NRTLs 
that specifies the criteria used for determining whether an 
organization meets the above requirement. (See OSHA Instruction CPL 1-
0.3, Appendix C, paragraph V.) This policy contains a non-exhaustive 
list of relationships that would cause an organization to fail to meet 
the specified criteria. The "Independence" section of the Basic 
Summary, and additional information submitted by QPS (NA), shows that 
it has none of these relationships, or any other relationship that 
could subject it to undue influence when testing for product safety. 
QPS is a privately owned organization, and OSHA found no information 
about its ownership that would qualify as a conflict under OSHA's 
independence policy. The amended application indicates that there is no 
financial affiliation between the ownership of QPS and manufacturers. 
In summary, the information related to independence demonstrates that 
QPS meets the independence requirement.

Credible Reports and Complaint Handling

    Section 1910.7(b)(4) specifies that an NRTL must maintain effective 
procedures for producing credible findings and reports that are 
objective and free of bias, and for handling complaints and disputes 
under a fair and reasonable system. The "Report and Complaint 
Procedures" section of the Summary document (NA) shows that the 
applicant has detailed procedures describing the content of the test 
reports, and other detailed procedures describing the preparation and 
approval of these reports. This section also shows that the applicant 
has procedures for recording, analyzing, and processing complaints from 
users, manufacturers, and other parties in a fair manner. The on-site 
review (Ex. 4, p. 3) confirmed that QPS processes complaints in a 
timely and appropriate manner.

Supplemental Programs

    OSHA is approving QPS to use the following supplemental program for 
which it applied:
    Program 9: Acceptance of services other than testing or evaluation 
performed by subcontractors or agents (for calibration services only).
    QPS applied to use additional programs, but then voluntarily 
withdrew its request after OSHA informed QPS that OSHA was ending the 
practice of approving most of these programs for new applicants. In the 
past, when granting NRTL recognition to an organization, OSHA approved 
the applicant's use of any supplemental programs for which the 
applicant met the criteria. However, OSHA is discontinuing this practice 
for new applicants for the NRTL Program because the applicants do not yet 
have experience in implementing the procedures for testing, evaluating, 
and performing inspections used under the NRTL Program. This practice did 
not allow the NRTL's staff at its recognized site(s) to attain the 
necessary experience, nor did the practice allow OSHA adequate time to 
evaluate properly that staff's technical experience. OSHA also is 
discontinuing the practice when an existing NRTL applies to expand its 
recognition under the NRTL Program to include additional standards for 
testing a type of product not tested previously by the NRTL under the 
NRTL Program. Examples of such product testing include testing 
hazardous-location products when OSHA recognizes the NRTL for testing 
only ordinary-location products, and testing gas-operated products when 
OSHA limits the NRTL's recognition to testing only electrically operated 
products. Therefore, before OSHA approves any NRTL or applicant to use 
or rely on tests, evaluations, and inspections performed by other parties, 
OSHA must first ensure that the NRTL/applicant performs these activities 
adequately using its own staff located at its recognized site(s). The only 
exception to this policy is Program 9, which permits the use of qualified 
parties to calibrate an NRTL's testing equipment. This exception does not 
affect materially the capability of an NRTL/applicant to meet OSHA's 
requirements for recognition. However, regarding approval to use Program 9 
for other services or supplemental programs, an NRTL/applicant may apply 
for such approval when OSHA determines that the NRTL/applicant tests, evaluates, 
and performs inspections adequately using its own staff located at its 
recognized site(s). Accordingly, OSHA will continue to deny use of such a 
program, or withdraw its prior approval to use such a program, when it 
determines that an NRTL/applicant is not testing, evaluating, and performing 
inspections adequately using its own staff located at its recognized site(s).

Additional Condition

    As described above, while QPS has testing and evaluation 
procedures, OSHA could not review how QPS implemented them because QPS 
did not use them for testing and certifying products under the program. 
In addition, as also described above, while QPS has factory-inspection 
procedures, it currently does not conduct regular factory inspections. 
QPS recently developed some of these testing- and factory-inspection 
procedures. Therefore, OSHA also must review the effectiveness of QPS's 
testing and evaluation procedures, as well as its factory-inspection 
program, following recognition of QPS as an NRTL, and do so within a 
reasonable period after granting such recognition. Consequently, OSHA 
recognizes QPS conditionally, subject to a later determination of the 
effectiveness of these procedures. OSHA is listing this condition first 
under the "Conditions" section below. This condition applies solely 
to QPS's operations as an NRTL, and only to those products that it 
certifies for purposes of enabling employers to meet OSHA product-
approval requirements. This condition is in addition to all other 
conditions that OSHA normally imposes in its recognition of an 
organization as an NRTL.
    Imposing this condition is consistent with OSHA's past recognition 
of organizations as NRTLs that met the basic recognition requirements, 
but needed to further refine or implement their procedures (for 
example, see 63 FR 68306, 12/10/1998, and 65 FR 26637, 05/08/2000). 
Based on QPS's current activities in testing and certification, OSHA is 
confident that QPS will perform its activities properly in the areas 
noted above.

Final Decision and Order

    The NRTL Program staff examined QPS's application, the additional 
submissions, the on-site review report, and other pertinent documents. 
Based on this examination and analysis, OSHA finds that QPS meets the 
requirements of 29 CFR 1910.7 for recognition as a Nationally 
Recognized Testing Laboratory, subject to the limitation and conditions 
listed below. The recognition applies to the site listed above, and it 
covers the test standards listed below, subject to the limitation and 
conditions also listed below. Pursuant to the authority granted by 29 
CFR 1910.7, OSHA hereby grants the recognition of QPS, subject to this 
limitation and these conditions.


    OSHA hereby limits the recognition of QPS to testing and 
certification of products for demonstration of conformance to the 
following test standards, each of which OSHA determines is an 
appropriate test standard within the meaning of 29 CFR 1910.7(c).\2\

    \2\ The designations and titles of these test standards were 
current at the time of the preparation of this notice.

UL 508A Industrial Control Panels.
UL 913 Intrinsically Safe Apparatus and Associated Apparatus for Use in 
Class I, II, III, Division I, Hazardous (Classified) Locations.
UL 1203 Explosion Proof and Dust Ignition Proof Electrical Equipment 
for Use in Hazardous (Classified) Locations.
UL 6500 Audio/Video and Musical Instrument Apparatus for Household, 
Commercial, and Similar General Use.
UL 60335-1 Safety of Household and Similar Electrical Appliances, Part 
1: General Requirements.
UL 60601-1 Medical Electrical Equipment, Part 1: General Requirements 
for Safety.
UL 60950 Information Technology Equipment.
UL 61010-1 Electrical Equipment for Measurement, Control, and 
Laboratory Use--Part 1: General Requirements.

    OSHA limits recognition of any NRTL for a particular test standard 
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 for 
which OSHA does not require such testing and certification, an NRTL's 
scope of recognition does not include that product.
    The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) may approve the 
test standard listed above as an American National Standard. However, 
for convenience, we may use the designation of the standards-developing 
organization for the standard instead of the ANSI designation. Under 
the NRTL Program's policy (see OSHA Instruction CPL 1-0.3, Appendix C, 
paragraph XIV), any NRTL recognized for a particular test standard may 
use either the proprietary version of the test standard or the ANSI 
version of that standard. Contact ANSI to determine whether a test 
standard is currently ANSI-approved.


    QPS also must abide by the following conditions of its NRTL 
recognition, in addition to those conditions already required by 29 CFR 
    1. Within 30 days of certifying its first products under the NRTL 
Program, QPS will notify the OSHA NRTL Program Director of this 
activity so that OSHA may schedule its first audit of QPS. At this first 
audit of QPS, QPS must demonstrate that it properly conducted testing, review, 
evaluation, and factory inspections; QPS must conduct factory 
inspections at the frequency set forth in the applicable NRTL Program 
    2. QPS will allow OSHA access to its facilities and records to 
ascertain continuing compliance with the terms of its NRTL recognition, 
and to perform such investigations as OSHA deems necessary;
    3. If QPS has reason to doubt the efficacy of any test standard it 
is using under its NRTL recognition, it will promptly inform the test 
standard-developing organization of this concern, and provide that 
organization with the appropriate relevant information on which it 
bases its concern;
    4. QPS will not engage in, or permit others to engage in, any 
misrepresentation of the scope or conditions of its recognition. As 
part of this condition, QPS agrees that it will allow no representation 
that it is either a recognized or an accredited NRTL without clearly 
indicating the specific equipment or material to which this recognition 
applies, and also clearly indicating that OSHA limits its NRTL 
recognition to specific products;
    5. QPS will inform OSHA as soon as possible, in writing, of any 
change of ownership, facilities, or key personnel, and of any major 
changes in its operations as an NRTL, including details of these 
    6. QPS will meet all of the terms of its NRTL recognition, and will 
always comply with all OSHA policies pertaining to this recognition; 
    7. QPS will continue to meet the requirements for NRTL recognition 
in all areas covered by the scope of this recognition.

Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, PhD, MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for 
Occupational Safety and Health, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20210, directed the preparation of this notice. 
Accordingly, the Agency is issuing this notice pursuant to Sections 
6(b) and 8(g) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 
U.S.C. 655 and 657), Secretary of Labor's Order No. 4-2010 (75 FR 
55355), and 29 CFR part 1911.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on February 25, 2011.
David Michaels,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2011-4698 Filed 3-1-11; 8:45 am]