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• Publication Date: 08/09/1996
• Publication Type: Notice
• Fed Register #: 61:41661-41663
• Title: MET Laboratories, Inc.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

[Docket No. NRTL-1-88]

MET Laboratories, Inc.

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

ACTION: Notice of Requests for: (1) Renewal of Recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory; and (2) Expansion of Recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, and Preliminary Finding.


SUMMARY: This notice announces the applications of MET Laboratories, Inc. for: (1) Renewal of its recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) under 29 CFR 1910.7; and (2) expansion as a NRTL under 29 CFR 1910.7, and presents the Agency's preliminary finding.

DATES: The last date for interested parties to submit comments is October 8, 1996.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to: NRTL Recognition Program, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor--Room N3653, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Office of Variance Determination, NRTL Recognition Program, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room N3653, Washington, D.C. 20210.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Notice of Application

Notice is hereby given that MET Laboratories, Inc. (MET), which previously 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 (see 53 FR 49258 12/6/88), and was so recognized (see 54 FR 21136, 5/16/89), has made application for: (1) Renewal, and (2) expansion of its recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory for the programs and procedures and the equipment or materials listed below.

The address of the laboratory covered by this application is:

MET Laboratories, Inc., 914 West Patapsco Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

Background

This Federal Register notice is a compilation of four separate applications from MET Laboratories, Inc., as follows:

(1) Application for renewal of recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, dated August 17, 1993;

(2) Application for expansion of recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory for additional standards, dated February 1, 1994, and amended May 31, 1994, and March 18, 1996;

(3) Application for expansion of recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory for additional standards, dated January 16, 1995; and, (4) Application for expansion of recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory for additional programs and procedures, dated August 9, 1995, and amended October 17, 1995 and March 11, 1996.

In addition, applications (2) and (3) have also been combined for purposes of convenience. Therefore, the areas that will be discussed relate to the renewal of MET's recognition as a NRTL, and the expansion of MET's NRTL recognition for both the addition of test standards and programs and procedures.

A report prepared by the NRTL Program Lead Assessor, dated March 28, 1996, contains recommendations concerned with all of the areas of MET's request for renewal and expansion of its recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.

Renewal of NRTL Recognition

Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.7 stipulates that the initial period of recognition of a NRTL is five years and that a 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. MET was recognized as a NRTL on May 16, 1989, and applied for a renewal of its recognition on August 17, 1993, within the time allotted, and retains its recognition pending OSHA's final decision in this renewal process.

Expansion of Recognition--Test Standards

MET Laboratories, Inc., desires recognition for testing and certification of products when tested for compliance with the following test standards, which are appropriate within the meaning of 29 CFR 1910.7(c):

UL 416 -- Refrigerated Medical Equipment
ANSI/UL 469 -- Musical Instruments and Accessories
ANSI/UL 751 -- Vending Machines
ANSI/UL 923 -- Microwave Cooking Appliances
UL 1492 -- Audio-Video Products and Accessories
UL 1604 -- Electrical Equipment for Use in Class I and II, Division 2, and Class III Hazardous (Classified) Locations
ANSI/UL 1638 -- Visual Signaling Appliances--Private Mode Emergency and General Utility Signaling
UL 1950 -- Safety of Information Technology Equipment, Including Electrical Business Equipment
UL 1995 -- Heating and Cooling Equipment
UL 2601-1 -- Medical Electrical Equipment, Part 1: General Requirements for Safety
UL 3101-1 -- Electrical Equipment for Laboratory Use; Part 1: General Requirements
UL 3111-1 -- Electrical Measuring and Test Equipment; Part 1: General Requirements

The NRTL Recognition program staff made an in-depth study of the details of MET's original application for recognition, as well as its requests for expansion, and the original and renewal onsite assessments and determined that MET had the staff capability and the necessary equipment to conduct testing of products using the proposed test standards. The NRTL staff determined that an additional on-site review was not necessary since the proposed additional test standards were closely related to MET's current areas of recognition.

Expansion of Recognition--Programs and Procedures

MET Laboratories, Inc., requested expansion of its recognition, based upon the conditions as detailed in the Federal Register document titled "Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories; Clarification of the Types of Programs and Procedures", 60 FR 12980, 3/9/95, for the following programs and procedures:

1. Acceptance of testing data from independent organizations, other than NRTLs MET states that it will retain control of and be responsible for all aspects of the product certification scheme. In addition, the applicant assure that all data in the test package is complete and that the organization is competent to conduct the tests of the product that it is accepting.

2. Acceptance of product evaluations from independent organizations, other than NRTLs MET requests to be allowed to expand its scope to accept product evaluations from independent organizations after it has determined that such organizations are qualified to conduct the tests and perform the evaluations. The applicant states that it will maintain control of and be responsible for all aspects of the product certification scheme. MET will review the evaluations to assure that the requirements in the standard have been complied with prior to certifying the product.

3. Acceptance of witnessed testing data

The applicant requests authority to carry out test programs at locations other than its own facility when it cannot accommodate the test product or program. MET will require that the tests be performed in the presence of qualified MET representatives, trained and experienced in testing the product type and with the standard used to evaluate the product. The applicant also states that the organization performing the testing shall have been audited by MET and that MET will retain control of and be responsible for all aspects of the project.

4. Acceptance of testing data from non-independent organizations

The applicant requests that it be permitted to accept test data from non-independent organizations such as the manufacturer of the products to be certified. MET has stated that it will assess the facility for its ability to perform accurate and complete tests. MET also anticipates the need for a one-year confidence building time period during which time it will perform witness testing and follow-up inspections of the organization.

5. Acceptance of evaluation data from non-independent organizations (requiring NRTL review prior to marketing) MET requests that it be allowed to accept evaluations from non-independent organizations after it has instituted very strict controls over such organizations. The applicant states that it will retain control of and be responsible for all aspects of the product certification scheme. MET will also institute very strict controls over the organization and will also assure that it has a quality program in place that has been registered by a recognized registrar. MET further states that it will develop a procedure to assure that no product can be released to the market until it has concurred with the evaluation.

6. Acceptance of continued certification following minor modifications by the client The applicant asks that it be authorized to permit a manufacturer to make a minor modification to a product and self-declare conformity with the standard and continue to market the product. MET states that it will provide guidance to the manufacturer on what modifications may be permitted for a specific product. MET states further that it shall be kept informed of the modifications and shall at the next follow-up inspection (within 90 days) review them prior to granting its official approval.

7. Acceptance of product evaluations from organizations that function as part of the International Electrotechnical Commission Certification Body (IEC-CB) Scheme MET states that in every case the National Certification Body must prove to a team of auditors that it is independent and free of conflict of interest. MET will retain control of and be responsible for all aspects of the products to be certified, as well as review and evaluate each test report to assure that the correct U.S. national standard and applicable deviations have been applied. The applicant further states that it will inspect the product and assure that all of its components have been certified by an agency that performs continuous surveillance of the component manufacturer.

8. Acceptance of services other than testing or evaluation performed by subcontractors or agents MET requests that it be allowed to utilize the services of subcontractors or agents in its follow-up program. The applicant states that follow-up inspections, performed around the world on a quarterly basis, are done by MET direct employees or personnel who have been specifically trained by MET for this purpose, using its procedures and format. Follow-up inspectors are always either independent agents who work exclusively for MET or are associated with another independent laboratory with knowledge of the products and product test standards. The applicant states further that all follow-up reports come directly to MET for review and analysis and that, under this procedure, it always maintains control of the certification program.

Preliminary Finding

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 MET Laboratories, Inc. facility for which both renewal and expansion of its recognition was requested (Baltimore, Maryland) can meet the requirements as prescribed by 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 renewal and expansion of its recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, as required by 29 CFR 1910.7 and Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.7. Submission of pertinent written documents and exhibits shall be made no later than October 8, 1996 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, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. Copies of the MET application, the laboratory survey reports, and all submitted comments, as received, (Docket No. NRTL-1-88), 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 (MET Laboratories, Inc.) satisfies the requirements for renewal and expansion of its 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 to Section 1910.7.

Signed at Washington, DC. this 5th day of August, 1996.

Joseph A. Dear,
Assistant Secretary.

[FR Doc. 96-20378 Filed 8-8-96; 8:45 am]


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