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• Publication Date: 11/19/1993
• Publication Type: Notice
• Fed Register #: 58:61101
• Title: TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc.

TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc.

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Department of Labor.

ACTION: Notice of application for recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, and preliminary finding.

SUMMARY: This notice announces the application of TUV Rheinland of North America for recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) under 29 CFR 1910.7, and presents the Agency's preliminary finding.

DATES: The last date for interested parties to submit comments is January 18, 1994.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to: NRTL Recognition Program, Office of Variance Determination, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Third Street and Constitution Avenue, 3NW., Room N3653, Washington, DC 20210.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: NRTL Recognition Program, Office of Variance Determination, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Third Street and Constitution Avenue, NW., Room N3653, Washington, DC 20210.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice of Application

Notice is hereby given that TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc. (TUV) has made application pursuant to section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, (84 Stat. 1593, 29 U.S.C. 655), Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-90 (55 FR 9033), and 29 CFR 1910.7 for recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.

The address of the laboratory covered by this application is:

TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc., 12 Commerce Road, Newtown, Connecticut 06470.

Regarding the merits of the application, the applicant contends that it meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.7 for recognition to certify products in the areas of testing which it has specified.

TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc. believes that for each item of equipment or material to be certified, it has the capability (including proper testing equipment and facilities, trained staff, written testing procedures, and calibration and quality control programs) to perform testing and examination of equipment and materials for workplace safety purposes to determine conformance with appropriate test standards. Exhibit 2. A., Att. 10, Quality Manual, Rev. B, dated May 1991, has been revised several times since the submittal of the original application. The most recent revision of the Quality Manual, Exhibit 2. G., Rev. 1.0, dated 06-1993, contains sections dealing with organization; documentation control; equipment, testing and measuring; maintenance; calibration and checking; test methods and procedures; test records and reports; verification of results; quality records; and internal quality audits, among other items. The applicant also submitted a copy of its Procedure Manual, Exhibit 2. E., Att. 6, dated March 1992, including sections pertaining to complaints (PM 260) and follow-up procedures (PM 124). OSHA suggested (Exhibit 2. F.) other sections be added to the Quality Manual, which was subsequently done (see Exhibit 2. G.). The Procedure Manual (and the additional sections found in Exhibit 2. G.) includes, among other things, written procedures for those items covered in the Quality Manual, such as: Instrument calibration and checking; test records and reports; file construction, procedure, and review; internal quality audits; handling of samples; verification of results; first and follow-up factory inspections, and field audits.

TUV owns a 13,200 square foot building located in an industrial park. The laboratory moved to its present location in 1990. More than half of the floor space in the building is used for product testing, engineers' offices, and storage. The product testing laboratory includes some 1800 square feet of floor space. TUV states that it is its policy to maintain and monitor environmental conditions of the test area. Access to the test area is restricted to authorized TUV personnel, and all test equipment is maintained in such a manner as to protect them for deterioration. Further, in addition to the installation of a sprinkler system installed throughout the building, the applicant has a security and fire alarm system monitored by a contracted security service and the local police.

According to the applicant, TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc. is an independent testing laboratory. Further, it maintains that it is a 100% owned subsidiary of TUV Rheinland e.V., Cologne, Germany, and that the NRTL program will be independently carried out by TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc., only at its Newtown, Connecticut facility (see Exhibit 2. C., p 2 of cover letter, and Attachments 2, 3, and 4). According to a statement in Exhibit 2. E., Att. 5, TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc., was incorporated in the state of Delaware in 1983.

The applicant claims to maintain effective procedures for producing creditable findings or reports that are objective and without bias. The TUV Quality Manual, Example 2. G., Rev. 1.0, dated 06-1993, outlines operational procedures for all testing performed at the facility. It also contains pertinent information on maintenance and calibration of testing and measuring equipment.

TUV states that it maintains effective procedures for handling complaints and disputes under a fair and reasonable system. The Procedure Manual states that all complaints by clients and any interested parties, whether in writing or by phone, are to be handled by its Complaint Review Board in a timely manner.

The internal complaint procedure is outlined in this Manual. The applicant maintains that it provides for the implementation of control procedures for identifying the listed and labeled equipment or materials, inspection of the production runs of such items as factories for product evaluation purposes to assure conformance with applicable test standards, and the conducting of field inspections to monitor and to assure the proper use of its identifying mark or labels on products. The applicant states that it has pertinent experience in third-party testing and certification inasmuch as it has been testing and certifying electrical products to EN 60 950/IEC 950 since that standard's inception. The UL 1950 test standard, for which TUV has requested accreditation from OSHA, was derived directly from this EN/IEC standard to achieve harmony in domestic and European safety requirements. TUV further states that it has over one thousand products "licensed" (certified) to these (EN 60 950/IEC 950) standards. As part of the EN 60 950/IEC 950 certification, TUV has performed services including plant inspections, authorization of identification label or mark application, follow-up inspections, and a publication of a list of tested/licensed equipment to the EN 60 950 standard. The applicant has also stated that it has applied and is awaiting final approval of its registered certification mark, and has enclosed a copy of what was submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (see Ex. 2. E., and Att. 1). Appendix A of the Quality Manual in Exhibit 2. G. details the TUV Follow-Up Inspection Procedure (NRTL), including the required four unannounced follow-up inspections to be conducted annually. The latest version of the Quality Manual (Exhibit 2. G., Appendix A) also specifies a minimum annual random sampling of a unit in the field and specifies subjecting it to normal follow-up inspections at the Newtown facility (see Ex. 2. G.)

Background

TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc. maintains that it is a privately held Product Safety and Quality Assurance Testing firm with offices throughout the United States and Canada. However, only the Newtown facility will be involved in the NRTL program. TUV claims further that it is 100% owned by TUV Rheinland e.V. in Cologne, Germany. The only facility for which TUV has requested recognition is its North American Headquarters located in Newtown, Connecticut (see Exhibit 2. C., p 2 of cover letter, and Attachments 2, 3, and 4). TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc. is a U.S. corporation incorporated in the state of Delaware in 1983 (See Ex. 2. E., Att. 5).

TUV states that it has 12 employees at the laboratory site currently involved in testing and evaluation, all of whom are considered key personnel (Exhibit 2. E.). They include an Executive Vice President who is the senior manager responsible for the NRTL program; an Engineering (Technical) Manager responsible for NRTL activities at the Connecticut facility; a Division Manager of QA Services responsible for ISO 9000 services and external quality assurance; a Manager of the Follow-Up Department responsible for NRTL activities of the program; a Lab Supervisor responsible for testing laboratory activities; a Senior Technician responsible for testing NRTL product submittals; two Senior Engineers (project engineer), and an additional Engineer responsible for evaluating NRTL products; a QA Administer who administers the follow-up program; a Follow-up Inspector for the NRTL program; and a QA Certification Officer responsible for compliance to TUV Rheinland internal quality assurance standards. Resumes are included in the application for all of these individuals (Example 2. E., Att. 2).

The applicant has also identified more than 60 pieces of test equipment it uses to perform the testing required by the standards. Test equipment is available in the laboratory to perform the testing specified in the standard for which recognition has been requested.

TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc., desires recognition for testing and certification of products when tested for compliance with the following test standard, which is appropriate within the meaning of 29 CFR 1910.7(c).

ANSI/UL 1950--Information Technology Equipment Including Electrical Business Equipment

Preliminary Finding

TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc., addressed all of the criteria which must be met for recognition as an NRTL in its initial application and in its supplemental correspondence. For example, the applicant submitted a list of its test equipment and instrumentation; a roster of its personnel including resumes of those in key positions and copies of position descriptions; copies of a typical test report, a factory inspection form and an inspection summary; a summary of its listing, labeling, and follow-up services; a statement of its independence as a testing laboratory; and a copy of its Quality Manual including a description of its documentation, calibration system, appeals procedure, recordkeeping and operational procedures, internal quality audits, first factory and follow-up factory inspections, and verification of results. Nine major areas were examined in depth during the on-site laboratory evaluation: facility; test equipment; calibration program; test and evaluation procedures; test reports; records; quality assurance program; follow-up listing program; and personnel evaluation: facility; test equipment; calibration program; test and evaluation procedures; test reports; records; quality assurance program; follow-up listing program; and personnel.

The discrepancies noted during the evaluation [Ex. 3. A.(1)] were adequately responded to prior to the preparation of the survey report and are included as attached to the survey report [Ex. 3. B. and C.].

With the preparation of the final report concerning the Newtown facility of TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc., the survey team was satisfied that the testing facility appeared to meet the necessary criteria required by 29 CFR 1910.7, and so noted this in the On-Site Review Report (Survey). (See Ex. 3. A.).

Following a review of the application file and the on-site survey report of the TUV Newtown facility, the NRTL Recognition Program staff concluded that the applicant appeared to have met the requirements for recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory and, therefore, recommended to the Assistant Secretary that the application be preliminarily approved.

Based upon a review of the completed application file and the recommendation of the staff, the Assistant Secretary has made a preliminary finding that the Newtown facility of TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc., can meet the requirements for recognition as set forth in 29 CFR 1910.7.

All interested members of the public are invited to supply detailed reasons and evidence supporting or challenging the sufficiency of the applicant's having met the requirements for recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, as well as Appendix A, of 29 CFR 1910.7. Submission of pertinent written documents and exhibits shall be made no later than January 18, 1994 and must be addressed to the NRTL Recognition Program, Office of Variance Determination, Room N 3653, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Third Street and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. Copies of the TUV application, the laboratory survey report, and all submitted comments, as received, (Docket No. NRTL-3-92), are available for inspection and duplication at the Docket Office, room N 2634, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, at the above address.

The Assistant Secretary's final decision on whether the applicant satisfies the requirements for recognition as an NRTL will be made on the basis of the entire record including the public submissions and any further proceedings that the Assistant Secretary may consider appropriate in accordance with Appendix A of 1910.7.

Signed at Washington, DC, this 5th day of November, 1993.

David C. Zeigler,
Acting Assistant Secretary.

[FR Doc. 93-28507 Filed 11-18-93; 8:45 am]


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