Federal Registers - Table of Contents Federal Registers - Table of Contents
• Publication Date: 05/03/2007
• Publication Type: Notice
• Fed Register #: 72:24617-24623
• Standard Number: 1910.7; 1910.7(b)(3); 1910.7(c)
• Title: Electrical Reliability Services, Inc. (ERS) (Formerly Electro-Test, Inc.); Application for Renewal of Recognition

[Federal Register: May 3, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 85)]
[Notices]               
[Page 24617-24623]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr03my07-94]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. OSHA-2007-0038]

Electrical Reliability Services, Inc. (ERS) (Formerly Electro-
Test, Inc.); Application for Renewal of Recognition

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

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the application of Electrical 
Reliability Services, Inc. (formerly Electro-Test, Inc.) for renewal of 
its recognition, and presents the Agency's preliminary finding to deny 
renewal of its request.

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 July 2, 2007.
     Electronic transmission or facsimile: Sent by July 2, 
2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
    Electronically: You may submit comments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov,
which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions on-line 
for making electronic submissions.
    Fax: If your submissions, including attachments, are not longer 
than 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-
1648.
    Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger or courier service: 
You must submit three copies of your comments to the OSHA Docket 
Office, Docket No. OSHA-2007-0038 (formerly NRTL2-94), U.S. Department 
of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20210. Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger and courier service) 
are accepted during the Department of Labor's and Docket Office's 
normal business hours, 8:15 a.m.-4:45 p.m., e.t.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and the 
OSHA docket number (OSHA Docket No. OSHA-2007-0038; formerly NRTL2-94). 
Submissions, including any personal information you provide, are placed 
in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
http://www.regulations.gov.
    Docket: To read or download submissions or other material in the 
docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at 
the address above. All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov
 index, however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not 
 publicly available to read or download through the Website. All submissions, 
 including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at 
 the OSHA Docket Office.
    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: MaryAnn Garrahan, 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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is giving 
notice that Electrical Reliability Services, Inc. (formerly Electro-
Test, Inc.) (ETI) has applied for renewal of its recognition as a 
Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). (OSHA will refer to 
this NRTL by its former name throughout this notice.) OSHA's current 
scope of recognition for ETI may be found in the following Web page: 
http://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/ers.html. OSHA has reviewed ETI's 
renewal application and has preliminarily determined that ETI is not 
"independent" (29 CFR 1910.7(b)(3)), a prerequisite to initial and 
continued NRTL recognition. For this reason, OSHA is proposing to deny 
ETI's application.
    OSHA requests comments on this preliminary determination, in 
accordance with Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.7. Any comments must be 
received by July 2, 2007.
    The most recent application processed by OSHA specifically related 
to ETI's recognition granted an expansion of recognition. The final 
notice for this expansion was published on March 9, 1999 (64 FR 11500). 
The only other Federal Register notice related to ETI's recognition 
that OSHA published covered its recognition as an NRTL, which OSHA 
granted as described below. The current address of the only ETI site 
recognized by OSHA is: Electro-Test, Inc., 6900 Koll Center Parkway, 
Suite 416, Pleasanton, CA 94566.

II. Background

a. The NRTL Program and Application Process

    Many of OSHA's safety standards require that equipment or products 
used in places of employment covered by the Occupational Safety and 
Health Act of 1970 be tested and certified to help ensure they can be 
used safely (see, e.g., 29 CFR 1910, Subpart S). In general, this 
testing and certification must be performed by an NRTL. In order to 
ensure that the testing and certification are done appropriately, OSHA 
implemented the NRTL Program. The NRTL Program establishes the criteria 
that an organization must meet in order to be and remain recognized as 
an NRTL.
    The NRTL Program requirements are set forth at 29 CFR 1910.7, 
"Definition and requirements for a nationally recognized testing 
laboratory." To be recognized by OSHA, an organization must: (1) Have 
the appropriate capability to test, evaluate, and approve products to 
assure their safe use in the workplace; (2) be completely independent 
of the manufacturers, vendors, and major users of the products for 
which OSHA requires certification; (3) have internal programs that 
ensure proper control of the testing and certification process; and (4) 
have effective reporting and complaint handling procedures. OSHA 
recognition of an NRTL signifies that the organization has met the 
legal requirements in Section 1910.7. Recognition is an acknowledgment 
that the organization can perform independent safety testing and 
certification of the products covered within its scope of recognition 
and is not a delegation or grant of government authority.
    OSHA requires NRTLs to submit a detailed application when applying 
for recognition under the program. Once granted, an NRTL's recognition 
is for a period of five years, near the conclusion of which the NRTL 
must apply for renewal of recognition. Appendix A to Section 1910.7 
establishes the renewal process. This process provides NRTLs with 
several opportunities to present information to the Agency to justify 
their continued recognition under the program.
   The regulations provide for OSHA staff to make a preliminary 
finding as to whether an NRTL continues to meet the program 
requirements (Appendix A.1.B). If the staff makes a negative finding, 
OSHA notifies the applicant of this in writing and allows a reasonable 
period for a response (Appendix A.1.B.3). After receipt of this written 
notification, the applicant may either: (1) submit a revised 
application; or (b) request that the original application be forwarded 
to the Assistant Secretary of OSHA to determine whether the renewal 
application warrants approval (Id.).
    After these initial steps, the Assistant Secretary of OSHA makes a 
preliminary finding as to whether the applicant has met the 
requirements for renewal of recognition (Appendix A.1.B.4). The Agency 
notifies the applicant of the preliminary decision and publishes a 
Federal Register notice informing the public, which also provides the 
public an opportunity to comment on the applicant's ability to meet the 
recognition requirements (Appendix A.1.B.5). After the public comment 
period, the Assistant Secretary may make a final decision on the 
renewal application. Alternatively, if there is public objection, the 
Assistant Secretary may initiate a special review of the information 
submitted during the public comment period and may supplement the 
record by either reopening the public comment period or convening an 
informal hearing (Appendix A.1.B.7). At the conclusion of this process, 
a final decision is made by the Assistant Secretary and published in 
the Federal Register (Id.).

b. ETI's Application

    ETI applied to OSHA for its initial recognition in November 1992. 
At that time, it was a privately held organization, incorporated in 
California. After processing the application, including performing the 
necessary on-site assessments, OSHA announced its preliminary finding 
on the application in a notice published in the Federal Register on 
June 9, 1995 (60 FR 30595). At the time and unknown to OSHA, ETI was in 
the process of being acquired by Emerson Electric Company (Emerson).
    The acquisition of ETI by Emerson was consummated on October 4, 
1995. The notice to recognize ETI as an NRTL was published in the 
Federal Register on October 6, 1995, and ETI provided written 
notification of the acquisition by letter dated October 16, 1995. In 
that notification, ETI stated that, as a result of the acquisition, it 
would report to a new Board of Directors. This new Board consisted of 
one person who worked directly for Emerson ("Corporate Development") 
and one who worked for another subsidiary of Emerson ("Customer 
Service & Support"), the latter named as the new Chairman of the 
Board.
    Emerson is a global manufacturer of electrical, electromechanical, 
and electronic products and systems. It is a Fortune 500 company with 
more than 60 divisions that operate over 270 manufacturing locations 
around the world. In 2006, Emerson received over $20 billion in 
revenues. The electrical products manufactured by Emerson's 
subsidiaries, divisions, and units, are the types of products for which 
OSHA requires NRTL approval. In its October 16 letter informing OSHA of 
the acquisition, ETI stated that the "acquisition will provide [ETI] 
the necessary capital to accelerate its growth as a nationwide 
organization" (see Exhibit 9-1).
    In December 1999, ETI submitted its renewal application. It stated 
that the ownership and independence of ETI had not changed since 1995. 
Two individuals closely associated with Emerson remained on the ETI 
Board of Directors, a "Vice President Emerson Electric" and a 
"Director Corporate Development Emerson Electric." The Chairman of 
the Board was the "Vice President of Emerson Electric" (see Exhibit 
16-1).
    On April 19, 2000, OSHA first informed ETI that the information 
supplied in its application did "not meet the policy on independence" 
(see Exhibit 16-4). In that letter, OSHA asked ETI to respond and 
submit additional documentation regarding its independence: "Please 
provide a statement to explain or clarify how ETI does meet the 
[independence] policy. As a minimum, your statement * * * must present 
clear and convincing information showing that the particular 
relationship is not applicable to ETI or, if it is applicable, showing 
how ETI still meets the requirement for complete independence." OSHA 
also attached its policy on independence (described below).
    ETI responded to OSHA on May 17, 2000 (see Exhibit 16-5). The 
company informed OSHA that it was changing its policies and procedures 
to address the independence requirement by including the following 
statement in its proposals regarding NRTL work: "In accordance with 
[ETI's] corporate policy and due to [ETI's] affiliation with Emerson 
Electric, to prevent the appearance of any conflict of interest we will 
not knowingly perform any listing or product recognition projects for 
other Emerson companies." (Hereinafter this is referred to as the 
"corporate no-testing policy.") The May 17 letter indicated no 
changes to ETI's Board of Directors. It also did not explain how ETI 
intended to implement its corporate no-testing policy.
    OSHA again responded to ETI and reiterated its concerns about 
independence: (1) ETI had described no policies or procedures to 
implement the corporate no-testing policy; (2) two ETI Board members 
were still associated with Emerson; and (3) ETI had received 
significant financing from Emerson when it was acquired (see Exhibit 
16-6).
    ETI responded by providing OSHA some internal procedures it 
implemented for the corporate no-testing policy. It also informed OSHA 
that it was changing its Board of Directors. However, one of the 
members of the new Board was President of an Emerson subsidiary, albeit 
one that ETI claimed manufactured no products. Another member was the 
former Chairman of ETI's Board, who had since retired from Emerson (see 
Exhibit 16-7).
    OSHA again carefully reviewed ETI's ownership situation and the 
efforts it took to address the independence issue. OSHA concluded, 
however, that ETI simply did not comply with its independence policy. 
In November 2004, OSHA formally informed ETI of the negative finding 
and indicated that ETI could either submit a revised application for 
further review or submit the original application to the Assistant 
Secretary with a statement of reasons supporting application approval. 
That letter, and accompanying Federal Register notice document, set 
forth in detail the reasons for the negative finding. The notice 
explained how ETI's ownership situation violated the independence 
policy and how ETI had not addressed the "fundamental relationship of 
concern, i.e., its ownership by a manufacturer of the types of products 
that must be approved by NRTLs and from which NRTLs must be `completely 
independent' " (see Exhibit 16-8).
    Upon receipt of this letter, ETI requested additional time to 
respond to OSHA, which the Agency granted. The company also asked for 
more information from the Agency to further explain OSHA's negative 
finding on independence. OSHA responded on July 7, 2005 (see Exhibit 
16-9). It reiterated the reasons for denial, and further explained 
OSHA's independence policy. On September 1, 2005 (see Exhibit 16-10), 
ETI submitted its original application to the Assistant Secretary for 
review, along with a supplemental statement of reasons supporting the 
application.

c. The NRTL Independence Policy

    OSHA requires NRTLs to be "completely independent" of 
manufacturers of equipment being tested (29 CFR 1910.7(b)(3)). This 
independence requirement is fundamental to the third-party testing and 
certification system. When OSHA instituted the NRTL program, it 
intended to extend the practices that two NRTLs--Underwriters 
Laboratories (UL) and Factory Mutual Research Corporation (FMRC)--had 
instituted in their testing and certification programs. UL and FMRC 
were at the time, and still are, not affiliated with manufacturers of 
the equipment they certify. In many ways, "independence" is the 
cornerstone of the NRTL program, which is designed to ensure that 
certain dangerous equipment is tested and certified as safe by 
organizations that have no affiliation with manufacturers of the 
products or employers that might use the products in the workplace.
    The NRTL Program application guide that was in effect when ETI 
applied for recognition in 1992 addressed independence by specifying 
the following: "Written evidence of the independence of the applicant 
should be presented to achieve objectivity and preclude conflict of 
interest and to meet the provisions of 29 CFR 1910.7, i.e., the NRTL 
may not be owned by manufacturers or suppliers of the product(s) to be 
tested and certified" (Affiliation, page 2, A Guide For Applying As A 
Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (Exhibit 17-1) (emphasis 
added)). ETI's application letter claimed that it followed the guide in 
preparing its application.
    In December 1999, OSHA finalized a Directive implementing certain 
policies and procedures of the NRTL program. In the Directive, OSHA 
further interpreted the independence requirement (see NRTL Program 
Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines--CPL 01-00-003--CPL 1-0.3 (NRTL 
Program Directive), Appendix C.V). The Directive stated that in order 
to meet the independence requirement, NRTLs "must be free from 
commercial, financial and other pressures that could compromise the 
results of its testing and certification processes." The Directive 
makes clear that NRTLs must avoid these pressures from manufacturers of 
equipment.\1\
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    \1\ NRTLs, including ETI, were given the opportunity to comment 
on an early draft of the key policies in the Directive, including 
the independence policy. ETI provided no comments on it (Exhibit 17-
2).
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    Under its independence policy, OSHA presumes that "pressures" 
exist if there is a substantial relationship between the NRTL and a 
manufacturer "of products that must be certified which could 
compromise the objectivity and impartiality in determining the results 
of its testing and certification processes." Substantial, for purposes 
of the policy, "means of such a nature and extent as to exert undue 
influence on the testing and certification processes." The policy 
recognizes that certain relationships between an NRTL and a 
manufacturer of products that need to be certified can affect the 
objectivity of an NRTL's testing and certification processes. A 
laboratory that has these relationships generally would not be 
independent and could not be recognized by OSHA as an NRTL.
    The Directive also sets forth a non-exclusive list of relationships 
that are "substantial" for purposes of the policy:
     The NRTL is a supplier or major user of products that an 
NRTL must certify, or is organizationally affiliated with such a 
supplier or major user;
     The NRTL significantly finances, invests in, sells product 
design, similar services or products to a supplier or major user of 
products that an NRTL must certify;
     The NRTL is owned in excess of two percent (2%) by a 
supplier or major user of products that an NRTL must certify, or their 
major owners;
     The NRTL receives significant financing from a supplier or 
major user of products that an NRTL must certify, or their major 
owners;
     A person holding a substantial position with the NRTL has 
a significant financial interest in a supplier or major user of 
products that an NRTL must certify, or is a director or key personnel 
of either.
    OSHA has determined that if a laboratory has these relationships it 
would not be free from undue influences on its testing and 
certification operations and OSHA presumes that pressures exist in 
these situations. As stated, however, this is a non-exclusive list; 
OSHA may determine in a specific case that other relationships would be 
"substantial" for purposes of the policy.
    Applicants can rebut the presumption that such pressures exist by 
clear and convincing evidence. OSHA intended this rebuttal to provide 
applicants an opportunity to clarify their organizational relationships 
and explain how the nature of those relationships does not create 
pressures. If the applicant cannot rebut the presumption, then the 
applicant would not meet the independence requirement.
    In some limited situations, the policy allows OSHA to prescribe 
"conditions" on NRTLs for initial or continued recognition even when 
the Agency determines that pressures exist. Such conditions, however, 
"must be consistent with the policy," in that they must effectively 
eliminate the pressures stemming from the substantial relationship. The 
Directive also provides examples of conditions OSHA may consider 
imposing: (1) Restricting the suppliers for whom the NRTL may test and 
certify products; or (2) restricting the type of products the NRTL may 
test and certify.
    Whether imposing conditions on an applicant is appropriate is a 
judgment made by the Agency on a case-by-case basis. OSHA has 
discretion whether to impose conditions in a particular case. The 
independence policy does not require OSHA to impose conditions; it only 
allows for conditions to be imposed. In most cases, pressures stemming 
from a substantial relationship could not be effectively eliminated and 
thus OSHA could not impose conditions "consistent with the policy." 
OSHA's ability to impose conditions is limited to those rare instances 
when the substantial relationships cause only "minimal" pressures.
    In analyzing these situations, OSHA must carefully examine the 
ownership situation, the types of products at issue, the scope and 
magnitude of the NRTL's operations and the operations of manufacturers 
or employers using the products, as well as other factors. OSHA also 
must consider the degree to which it can monitor NRTL compliance with 
any conditions. This is particularly important. OSHA typically audits 
NRTLs once a year to ensure they continue to meet the NRTL requirements 
and to maintain the quality of their testing and certification 
operations. If imposing conditions on an NRTL would be impossible for 
OSHA to audit effectively, on that basis alone conditions would not be 
appropriate.
    OSHA intends its policy on NRTL independence to be a 
straightforward approach for judging the NRTL's compliance with the 
Agency's independence requirement under 29 CFR 1910.7. OSHA cannot 
perform in-depth analyses of an applicant's or NRTL's ownership or 
financial relationships and interests. The applicant or NRTL has the 
burden of showing it is independent, and, in considering if it meets 
the requirement, those relationships must present none or only minor 
pressures.
    For the reasons set forth below, OSHA preliminarily finds that ETI 
does not meet OSHA's NRTL independence requirement. There is a substantial 
relationship between ETI and Emerson, one of the leading global 
manufacturers of electric and electronic equipment. This relationship 
creates pressures that could compromise the results of ETI's testing 
and certification processes, which have not been rebutted by clear and 
convincing evidence. In addition, there are no conditions that OSHA 
could impose to mitigate the pressures. And, even if such conditions 
could be imposed, OSHA has preliminarily concluded that it could not 
effectively monitor ETI's compliance with them. In making this 
preliminary determination regarding ETI's independence, the Agency 
emphasizes that this determination does not include any positive or 
negative finding about ETI's other technical capabilities that would be 
needed to support continued recognition.

III. Preliminary Finding of Non-Independence

a. ETI Has a "Substantial Relationship" With Emerson

    ETI is wholly-owned by Emerson. Emerson is a manufacturer of 
electrical and electronic products, many of which require NRTL 
certification if used in the workplace. Under the NRTL independence 
policy, this constitutes a "substantial relationship": ETI is 
organizationally affiliated with--and is owned in excess of two percent 
by--a supplier of products requiring NRTL certification. ETI does not 
dispute that it has a substantial relationship with Emerson. Because 
there is a substantial relationship, OSHA presumes that pressures exist 
that could compromise the results of its testing and certification 
processes and that ETI is not independent.

b. ETI Has Failed To Rebut the Presumption of Pressures

    ETI has attempted to rebut the presumption of pressures. In various 
letters to the Agency ETI has explained why it believes it is not 
subject to pressures from Emerson that could compromise the results of 
its testing and certification processes. ETI states that it has 
decision making independence from Emerson, as well as economic 
independence. Furthermore, it contends that the organizational 
relationship between ETI and any Emerson manufacturing company is 
indirect and, as a result, should raise fewer concerns that pressures 
exist. Finally, ETI claims that it has taken a variety of steps to 
ensure that it does not test or certify any products from Emerson. The 
Agency has carefully considered this information; however, it finds 
that the presumption of pressures has not been adequately rebutted.
1. ETI's Independence From Emerson
    ETI states that it "receives no financing whatsoever from Emerson, 
[and] [t]here is no evidence in the record suggesting that Emerson 
wields any decision making influence on ETI" (ETI's Statement of 
Reasons, p. 6 (Exhibit 16-10)). ETI suggests that it is a completely 
separate entity that operates independently from Emerson. OSHA is not 
convinced by these statements.
    ETI's statements that Emerson possesses no decision making 
influence over ETI do not address the fundamental aspect of control 
that a parent company has over a "controlled" subsidiary (e.g., a 
wholly-owned or majority-owned subsidiary). According to the Securities 
and Exchange Commission, control is the "possession, direct or 
indirect, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the 
management and policies of a person, whether through the ownership of 
voting securities, by contract, or otherwise" (17 CFR 230.405). The 
parent company of a wholly-owned subsidiary has ultimate control over 
the subsidiary even though it may delegate some aspects of that control 
to the subsidiary. Control can be exerted through changes in policy, 
changes to the leadership of the wholly-owned subsidiary, and even 
buying and selling the subsidiary. As the Supreme Court has stated in 
the antitrust context:

    A parent and its wholly owned subsidiary have a complete unity 
of interest. Their objectives are common, not disparate: their 
general corporate actions are guided or determined not by two 
separate corporate consciousnesses, but one. They are not unlike a 
multiple team of horses drawing a vehicle under the control of a 
single driver. With or without a formal "agreement," the 
subsidiary acts for the benefit of the parent, its sole shareholder. 
* * * [T]he parent may assert full control at any moment if the 
subsidiary fails to act in the parent's best interests.

Copperweld Corp. et al. v. Independence Tube Corp., 467 U.S. 752, 771-
72 (1984) (emphasis added). At any time, Emerson has the power to 
dictate ETI's actions. ETI does not have decision making independence.
    ETI's claims of economic independence from Emerson are also 
unpersuasive. First, acquisition itself is a form of financing. The 
cash or other assets of the purchased company are maintained and 
typically enhanced by the purchasing company. In fact, after the 
acquisition of ETI by Emerson, ETI stated that "[t]he acquisition will 
provide [ETI] the necessary capital to accelerate its growth as a 
nationwide organization" (see Exhibit 9-1) (emphasis added)). Second, 
while ETI states that to date it has received no additional financing 
from Emerson (since the initial acquisition), this could change at any 
time. OSHA has received no assurances from Emerson that it will refrain 
from making financial contributions to ETI.\2\ In fact, on its Web page 
ETI suggests the opposite: "As a wholly-owned subsidiary [of Emerson], 
we have direct access to the combined resources of one of the world's 
most respected industrial leaders" (see Exhibit 17-3).
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    \2\ Even if such assurances were provided, OSHA would be unable 
to verify that no financial contributions occurred, given the 
technical (non-financial) nature of OSHA's audits and the vast scope 
of Emerson's operations.
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2. ETI's Organizational Relationship to Emerson
    ETI also contends that Emerson is simply a holding company, which 
owns only a "few" subsidiaries that manufacture products that require 
NRTL certification (ETI's Statement of Reasons, p. 6. (Exhibit 16-10)). 
For this reason, ETI contends that its relationship with Emerson "is 
indirect and, as a result, should raise a significantly less concern 
that pressures could be exerted on the NRTL" (Id.). Furthermore, ETI 
suggests that because no member of its Board of Directors is directly 
affiliated with an Emerson owned manufacturer, there is little 
opportunity for pressures to be exerted on ETI. OSHA finds that the 
organizational relationship between ETI and Emerson does not rebut the 
presumption of pressures.
    When ETI was first purchased, ETI's Board, which includes a total 
of only three members, consisted of two Emerson executives: Director 
Corporate Development Emerson; and President, Customer Service & 
Support, a subsidiary of Emerson Electric Co. As stated above, ETI 
changed its Board of Directors in response to concerns raised by OSHA. 
Even so, the replacement Board still consisted of two individuals 
closely affiliated with Emerson: One was a former longtime Emerson 
employee who was a Vice President of Emerson; and one was the President 
of an Emerson-owned subsidiary. The third member was ETI's President. 
As a result, these changes in the Board of Directors provided little 
organizational separation between ETI and Emerson. With the exception 
of the retired Emerson employee, the Board of Directors still included 
a director who was part of the Emerson family of companies. Even the 
retired member had considerable ties to Emerson and its management from 
his many years of working with the company in a variety of capacities. 
Due to these close associations, comprising a majority on the ETI Board 
of Directors, the potential remains for Emerson to influence ETI's 
testing and certification operations, as would be expected with a 
wholly-owned subsidiary. At the very least, these associations make 
Emerson privy to the Board's deliberations on behalf of ETI.
    Furthermore, it is clear that ETI is an integral part of Emerson's 
operations. ETI is part of the Emerson Process ManagementTM 
brand platform of Emerson. Emerson Process ManagementTM is 
one of the largest Emerson brand platforms with over 20 divisions and 
subdivisions. ETI is considered a "division" of Emerson and is 
highlighted on Emerson's Web pages. ETI itself describes its important 
role in Emerson's operations: "Within the Emerson family of companies, 
we are an integral part of the Asset Optimization team of Emerson 
Process Management which aggregates the service divisions of over 100 
Emerson companies. Our goal is to create solutions to optimize the 
process industry" (see Exhibit 17-3).
    Emerson's Web pages emphasize a close relationship between Emerson 
and ETI. For example, Service Data Sheets put out by ETI include the 
Emerson Process ManagementTM logo, copyright information, 
and address (see Exhibit 17-4). When ETI announced its name change to 
Electrical Reliability Services, it stated: "While our new identity 
symbolizes our comprehensive solutions offering, it also demonstrates 
our relationship to our parent company, Emerson. As part of Emerson's 
Asset Optimization Division, Electrical Reliability Services provides 
you with full access to Emerson's vast technical and human resources" 
(see Exhibit 17-5). OSHA is not convinced that ETI's relationship with 
Emerson is so distant that pressures do not and will not exist that 
could compromise the results of its testing and certification 
processes.
3. Corporate No-Testing Policy
    ETI has established a policy that no NRTL testing, evaluation or 
certification work will be knowingly completed for Emerson owned 
companies. The policy states further that "[t]he ownership of each 
client will be verified as not being part of Emerson prior to [ETI] 
submitting a proposal and on an ongoing basis for as long as the 
listing relationship between the client and [ETI] exists" (see Exhibit 
16-7, Attachment 2, page 1). This is a key aspect of ETI's rebuttal. 
ETI contends that it will have no pressures because it will not 
knowingly test or certify any products produced by Emerson companies. 
While OSHA appreciates the steps taken by ETI, these policy changes do 
not rebut the presumption of pressures.
    First, ETI's policy does not address the fundamental ownership 
situation of ETI and the control that Emerson can assert over its 
operations. At any time, Emerson can change ETI's policies, including 
the corporate no-testing policy. The bottom line is that ETI is owned 
in excess of 2% by a major supplier of products that must be NRTL 
approved when used in the workplace. This relationship and the control 
that can be asserted are not addressed by the corporate no-testing 
policy.
    Second, ETI's corporate no-testing policy appears to deal only with 
final products manufactured by Emerson, and not component parts. 
Emerson-owned and affiliated companies produce countless electrical 
components used by other manufacturers in final products, and use major 
components or products of other manufacturers in Emerson's electrical 
final products. The corporate no-testing policy does not affect this 
part of Emerson's business, which is a major area of pressures that 
could be exerted on ETI. Even if other organizations perform the 
testing now, this does not prevent Emerson from establishing a policy 
in the future that instead relies on ETI testing for components if 
Emerson found this to be beneficial for itself and affiliated 
organizations.
    Third, the policy does not appear to cover contractors hired by 
Emerson or the other affiliations and joint ventures Emerson has 
throughout the world. According to Emerson Web pages, Emerson 
operations in China alone consist of "30 wholly owned and joint 
venture facilities" (see Exhibit 17-6). OSHA anticipates that the 
number and scope of these relationships will only increase as Emerson 
continues to grow its sales and manufacturing presence around the 
world, in such areas as Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe (see 
Exhibit 17-7). Products from these operations could enter the U.S. 
market and thus U.S. workplaces. ETI's corporate no-testing policy in 
no way alleviates the pressures that can result from these 
relationships.
    Furthermore, Emerson's operations are so vast that OSHA seriously 
doubts ETI's ability to effectively enforce its own policy. ETI says 
that Emerson has a "significant" number of subsidiaries, a "few" of 
which manufacture products requiring NRTL certification. OSHA reviewed 
Emerson's 2006 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, 
and it shows that Emerson has over 800 subsidiaries in countries 
throughout the world (see Exhibit 17-8). Emerson owns over 270 
manufacturing sites and employs approximately 128,000 people worldwide.
    Emerson's product lines are also vast. The company's 10-K provides 
just a snapshot of the variety of products Emerson companies 
manufacture, including: electrical distribution conduit and cable 
fittings, plugs and receptacles; industrial lighting, and controls; 
uninterruptible AC and DC power systems; cooling products for 
computers, telecommunications, and other equipment; refrigeration 
products in industrial applications; electric motors, HVAC equipment, 
furnaces, fans, heat pumps; professional tools such as wet-dry vacuums; 
and other assorted power tools that can be used in the workplace. Some 
of these products fit within the two test standards included in ETI's 
current scope of recognition. For example, Emerson produces power 
conversion units, which can be tested pursuant to UL 508C Power 
Conversion Equipment. ETI is currently recognized to test products in 
accordance with that test standard. ETI has also requested that OSHA 
expand its NRTL recognition to add new test standards that would also 
include other Emerson products. Given the vast nature of Emerson's 
operations, OSHA believes it is virtually impossible for ETI to 
effectively enforce its corporate no-testing policy.
    It would also be virtually impossible for OSHA to monitor ETI's 
corporate no-testing policy. OSHA typically audits its NRTLs annually 
to ensure they are complying with the NRTL regulations and procedures, 
as well as their own internal policies and procedures. These audits are 
technical in nature and focus on the quality of the NRTL's testing and 
certification operations. OSHA does not have, nor did it ever intend to 
have, the resources to enable it to audit ETI's corporate no-testing 
policy, especially given the vast scope of Emerson's operations. The 
number of subsidiaries and other affiliated companies, manufacturing 
facilities, and the broad array of products manufactured by Emerson and 
its affiliated organizations, would prohibit OSHA from effectively 
performing its audit functions.
    To add to an already complex situation, OSHA's ability to audit 
would be made more difficult because of the changing nature of 
Emerson's operations. Emerson is continually buying and selling new 
companies. For example, according to its 2005 Annual Report (see Exhibit
17-9, page 18):

    The Company acquired Do+Able, a manufacturer of ready-to-
assemble storage products, and Numatics, a manufacturer of pneumatic 
and motion control products, and several smaller businesses during 
2005. * * * During 2004, the Company acquired the North American 
outside plant and power systems business of Marconi Corporation PLC, 
as well as several other small businesses for a total of 
approximately $414 million in cash.

Emerson describes as part of its business focus to "seek to grow 
through emphasis on "strategic acquisitions and divestitures * * * 
that better position our company in terms of markets and breadth of 
product offerings" (see Exhibit 17-10). Based solely upon the nature 
of Emerson's continually changing holdings, it would be almost 
impossible for OSHA to continually monitor ETI's adherence to the 
corporate no-testing policy.
    For all of these reasons, OSHA finds that ETI has failed to rebut 
the presumption of pressures. One of the largest electrical 
manufacturers in the world wholly owns an NRTL that tests the types of 
equipment that the manufacturer produces. This does not satisfy OSHA's 
requirement that NRTLs be "completely independent."

c. OSHA Cannot Impose Conditions on ETI

    While OSHA has considered its ability to impose conditions in this 
case, and discussed this with ETI, OSHA has concluded that conditions 
are not appropriate. The relationship between Emerson and ETI is such 
that imposing conditions would not be consistent with the independence 
policy.
    As described above, OSHA's independence policy permits conditions 
to be imposed only in those circumstances where there are minimal 
pressures and the conditions would not negate the underlying 
independence requirement. The extent to which conditions may be imposed 
in a situation of a manufacturer-owned NRTL depends upon the ownership 
situation, the scope of testing of the NRTL, and the scope of the 
products manufactured, among other things.
    In this case, Emerson wholly owns ETI; this is not a situation 
where a manufacturer owns only a small, minority percentage of an NRTL 
and thus could exert only minimal pressures over the NRTL. Furthermore, 
the scope of products that Emerson produces is enormous. Emerson 
produces a litany of products that require NRTL certification, as 
described above. In addition, the types of products that ETI tests 
cover the products that Emerson produces. ETI is currently recognized 
to test products according to the following test standards: UL 508 
Electric Industrial Control Equipment; UL 508C Power Conversion 
Equipment. These standards include the products that Emerson companies 
produce. ETI has also requested that it be recognized to test products 
according to several other test standards that include other products 
produced by Emerson. Given these circumstances, OSHA cannot impose 
conditions without negating the fundamental requirement that NRTLs be 
independent of "any manufacturers or vendors of equipment or materials 
being tested for [equipment requirements]" (29 CFR 1910.7(b)(3)).
    Finally, when imposing conditions, OSHA must consider whether it 
can reasonably monitor an NRTL's compliance with those conditions. OSHA 
is simply not equipped to monitor the various aspects of ETI's 
ownership relationships and affiliations with the numerous subsidiaries 
of Emerson. As noted earlier, the Agency's policy on independence 
provides a straightforward, practical approach to determining whether 
an organization meets the requirement for independence. OSHA is not 
requiring through the policy that its staff analyze actual or potential 
business activities or determine possible activities that cause actual 
or potential conflicts and pressures. This information is beyond the 
reach of OSHA's auditing capabilities under the NRTL Program.

d. OSHA Has Taken a Consistent Position on Independence

    ETI contends that OSHA has applied a stricter definition of 
independence in ETI's case than it has in other cases (ETI's Statement 
of Reasons, pp. 5-6 (Exhibit 16-10)). In particular, it suggests that 
OSHA treated another NRTL--Intertek Testing Services NA, Inc. 
(Intertek)--differently than it treated ETI. It also suggests that OSHA 
has taken different positions on independence in its dealings with ETI 
over the last several years. OSHA disagrees. The Agency has 
consistently applied its independence policy across the board to all 
NRTLs and throughout its dealings with ETI.
    OSHA did not apply a different standard for independence in its 
dealings with Intertek. Intertek's parent had acquired, and merged into 
Intertek's overall laboratory operations, a small manufacturer of 
laboratory test equipment, Compliance Design. In discussing this 
ownership situation in the context of an application for expansion of 
recognition, OSHA stated:

    In accordance with OSHA policy, if [Intertek] were to certify 
the type of products manufactured or sold by Compliance Design, then 
[Intertek] would not meet the requirement in 29 CFR 1910.7 for 
complete independence. Also, [Intertek's] parent company is Intertek 
Testing Services, Ltd. (ITSLtd). If [Intertek] were to certify a 
type of product for an entity owned by ITSLtd, and that entity is 
also a supplier of that type of product, then [Intertek] would not 
be "completely independent" (65 FR 71124, November 29, 2000).

In short, Intertek was not independent because its parent company owned 
a manufacturer of equipment that, under certain circumstances, needed 
NRTL approval.
    In the case of Intertek, however, OSHA was able to impose a 
condition to effectively eliminate the pressures stemming from 
Intertek's relationship with Compliance Design.\3\ The condition 
included a no-testing policy for Compliance Design, and for any 
manufacturer affiliated with Intertek. OSHA had no information showing 
that Intertek or its parent owned any other manufacturing interest but 
imposed the broader condition as a precaution. This condition could be 
imposed because, unlike ETI's situation, the manufacturer at issue was 
very small and produced just one type of product. Intertek could 
enforce the no-testing policy, and, due to the very small nature of the 
operations of Compliance Design, OSHA was able to effectively monitor 
Intertek's compliance with the policy. In fact, Intertek's relationship 
to Compliance Design was brought to light in the report of an audit of 
Intertek. ETI's case, on the other hand, is much different. Emerson's 
operations are so vast--with 800 subsidiaries, 270 manufacturing 
locations, and countless products manufactured--that there are no 
conditions that could mitigate all the pressures and that OSHA could 
effectively monitor.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ OSHA announced the removal of the condition on January 28, 
2002 (67 FR 3913), after Intertek informed OSHA that the unit had 
ceased operation.
    \4\ The only other instance where OSHA imposed a condition on an 
NRTL with a known conflict related to independence was for Wyle 
Laboratories, Inc. At the time of its recognition, Wyle was part of 
an organization with a division that manufactured and distributed 
electronic enclosure cabinets. Like Intertek, OSHA was able to 
impose a condition that Wyle not test or certify any equipment that 
utilized an electronic enclosure manufactured by Wyle. This 
condition was easy for Wyle and OSHA to monitor since the only 
product at issue was electrical enclosure cabinets. OSHA notes that 
the condition is no longer in place since, in 1997, Wyle informed 
OSHA that it had sold this division.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, OSHA has previously informed laboratories that they 
could not become NRTLs because they were owned by a manufacturer. In a recent 
case, a laboratory applied but stopped the application process after it 
better understood OSHA's concerns over its relationship with its owner-
manufacturer, a manufacturer of computer and telecommunications 
hardware products. OSHA has applied its policy fairly and its 
determinations regarding ETI's independence are consistent with the 
Agency's previous positions.
    ETI also argues in its rebuttal statement that a draft fax it 
received from OSHA staff constituted an "interpretation" of the 
independence requirement that is at odds with OSHA's current 
interpretation. In December 2001, OSHA staff sent a draft fax to ETI 
that detailed some preliminary findings and conclusions about ETI's 
lack of independence. These preliminary findings in many ways mirrored 
OSHA's other correspondence with ETI. It expressed concerns about the 
vast nature of Emerson's operations, the Board of Directors of ETI, and 
the fact that neither ETI nor OSHA could effectively monitor the 
corporate no-testing policy (see Exhibit 17-11). It also listed some 
conditions that ETI could consider as it was evaluating the 
independence criteria and its relationship with Emerson.
    The draft fax is not a statement of Agency policy (Miller v. 
Youakim, 440 U.S. 125, 146 n.25 (1979)). It was intended as a 
discussion piece between OSHA and ETI. It is not signed by an Agency 
official and is clearly marked draft on each page. ETI knew at the time 
that the document was simply a draft that was sent out to solicit 
comment from ETI. This is supported by the fact that ETI made no 
attempts to implement any of the suggestions included in the draft. In 
fact, ETI never formally responded to the draft.
    OSHA's official statements regarding ETI's ownership situation have 
been entirely consistent. Starting with the first correspondence 
related to the independence issue, OSHA has consistently stated that 
ETI was not independent because it was wholly owned by Emerson:
     See Exhibit 16-5: "Under our policy on independence, 
Emerson would be a `supplier' of products that must be certified by an 
NRTL. As described in our policy, since Emerson owns ETI and two of its 
officers are Directors of ETI, ETI would fail to meet the requirement 
for complete independence of an NRTL, under paragraph (b)(3) of 29 CFR 
1910.7."
     See Exhibit 16-6: "After consulting with attorneys in the 
Department of Labor's Office of the Solicitor, we believe that the 
information in your May 17 letter does in fact confirm that ETI does 
not meet our independence requirement."
     See Exhibit 16-8: "The independence requirement in Sec.  
1910.7 is intended to prevent relationships that could unduly influence 
and thereby compromise the NRTL's testing and certification process. 
OSHA considers an NRTL not to be independent if it is owned by a 
manufacturer of the type of products for which OSHA requires 
certification by NRTLs."
     See Exhibit 16-9: "The fundamental reason for denial is 
ETI's ownership by Emerson Electrical Corporation (Emerson), a 
manufacturer of a wide variety of equipment that OSHA requires to be 
approved (i.e., tested and certified) by NRTLs. As such, this violates 
the NRTL requirement for independence set forth under 29 CFR 
1910.7(b)."
    As these statements demonstrate, OSHA has consistently informed ETI 
that its ownership by Emerson violated the independence requirement. 
OSHA has provided ETI several opportunities to rebut the presumption of 
pressures. ETI simply has not met its burden of demonstrating by clear 
and convincing evidence that pressures do not and will not exist that 
could compromise the results of its testing and certification 
processes.

Request for Renewal of Recognition

    ETI seeks renewal of its recognition for the site that OSHA has 
previously recognized. ETI also seeks renewal of its recognition for 
testing and certification of products for demonstration of conformance 
to the following two test standards, which OSHA has previously 
recognized for ETI. Each of these standards is an "appropriate test 
standard," within the meaning of 29 CFR 1910.7(c): UL 508 Industrial 
Control Equipment; UL 508C Power Conversion Equipment. The designations 
and titles of these test standards were current at the time of the 
preparation of this notice.

Preliminary Finding

    Following a review of the application file and other pertinent 
information, and for the reasons summarized above, OSHA has determined 
that ETI has not met all the requirements for renewal of its 
recognition. OSHA staff, therefore, recommended to the Assistant 
Secretary that the application be denied.
    The Assistant Secretary has made a preliminary finding that ETI 
fails to meet all the requirements prescribed by 29 CFR 1910.7 for the 
renewal of its recognition, and, therefore, OSHA proposes to deny 
renewal of that recognition. This preliminary negative finding does not 
constitute OSHA's final decision on the application for renewal.
    As stated above, OSHA welcomes public comments, in sufficient 
detail, as to whether ETI has met the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.7 for 
the renewal of its recognition as a 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 no later 
than the last date for comments. OSHA will limit any extension to 30 
days, unless the requester justifies a longer period. We may deny a 
request for extension if it is not adequately justified. You may obtain 
or review copies of the ETI request, the on-site review report, ETI's 
statement of reasons, 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. NRTL2-94 contains all materials 
in the record concerning the ETI application.
    The NRTL Program staff will review all timely comments and, after 
resolution of issues raised by these comments, will recommend whether 
to grant the ETI renewal request. The Assistant Secretary will make the 
final decision on granting the renewal 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 23rd day of April, 2007.
Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
 [FR Doc. E7-8455 Filed 5-2-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-26-P

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