[Federal Register: November 18, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 222)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
[Docket No. OSHA-2010-0046]
QPS Evaluation Services Inc.; Application for Recognition
AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.
SUMMARY: This notice announces the application of QPS Evaluation
Services Inc. for recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing
Laboratory, and presents the Agency's preliminary finding to grant this
DATES: Submit information or comments, or a request for an extension of
the time to comment, on or before December 20, 2010. All submissions
must bear a postmark or provide other evidence of the submission date.
ADDRESSES: Submit comments by any of the following methods:
Electronically: Submit comments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov,
which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions
online for making electronic submissions.
Fax: If submissions, including attachments, are no longer than 10
pages, commenters may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-
Mail, hand delivery, express mail, or messenger or courier service:
Submit one copy of the comments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No.
OSHA-2010-0046, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution
Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. Deliveries (hand, express mail, and
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.,
Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and the
OSHA docket number (i.e., OSHA-2010-0046). OSHA will place all
submissions, including any personal information provided, in the public
docket without revision, and these submissions will be made available
online at http://www.regulations.gov.
Docket: To read or download submissions or other material in the
docket (e.g., exhibits listed below), 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 Web site. All submissions, including
copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the
OSHA Docket Office.
Extension of comment period: Submit requests for an extension of
the comment period on or before December 20, 2010 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 by 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;
telephone: (202) 693-2110. For information about the NRTL Program, go
to http://www.osha.gov, and select "N" in the site index.
I. Notice of Application for Recognition
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is
providing notice that QPS Evaluation Services Inc. (QPS) applied for
recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). (See
Ex. 2--QPS recognition application dated 1/27/2006.) \1\ The
application covers testing and certification of the equipment or
materials, and use of the supplemental programs, listed below.
\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 public.
OSHA recognition of a 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 a NRTL for initial
recognition, or for an 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 can be
accessed from OSHA's Web site at http://www.osha.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.
II. General Background on the Application
In its application, QPS lists the current address of the laboratory
facility covered by the application as: QPS Evaluation Services Inc.,
81 Kelfield Street, Unit 8, Toronto, Ontario, M9W 5A3, Canada.
According to its 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 a NRTL, which was then acquired by another NRTL.
The application also states that QPS has been accredited by other well-
known accreditors (i.e., the Standards Council of Canada and the
International Electrotechnical Commission Certification Body (IEC CB)
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
represents that it maintains the experience, expertise, personnel,
organization, equipment, and facilities suitable for accreditation as
an OSHA Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory. It also represents
that it meets or will meet the requirements for recognition defined in
29 CFR 1910.7.
The four requirements for recognition (i.e., capability, control
procedures, independence, and creditable reports and complaint
handling) are addressed below, along with examples that illustrate how
QPS meets each of these requirements. Many, but not all, of the
documents or processes described below are referenced in the
applicant's summary addressing OSHA's evaluation criteria (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 to be listed, labeled, or accepted, 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 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). Also, 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, and 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 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.
Section 1910.7(b)(2) requires that the NRTL provide controls and
services, to the extent necessary, for the particular equipment or
material to be listed, labeled, or accepted. 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
inspections are conducted 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 manufacturersor 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 determiningwhether 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 the ownership that
would quality 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
Creditable Reports and Complaint Handling
Section 1910.7(b)(4) specifies that a 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.
Standards Requested for Recognition
QPS seeks recognition for testing and certifying products to the
following test standards: \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)
UL 6500........................... Audio/Video and Musical Instrument
Apparatus for Household,
Commercial, and Similar General
UL 60335-1........................ Safety of Household and Similar
Electrical Appliances, Part 1:
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
OSHA's recognition of any NRTL for a particular test standard is
limited to equipment or materials (i.e., products) for which OSHA
standards require third-party testing and certification before use in
the workplace. Consequently, if a test standard also covers any product
for which OSHA does not require such testing and certification, a
NRTL's scope of recognition does not include that product.
The test standards listed above may be approved as an American
National Standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
However, for convenience, we may use the designations of the standards-
developing organization for the standards 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.
Should OSHA approve this application for NRTL recognition, it also
will grant approval for QPS to use the following supplemental program
because QPS uses outside parties to perform its equipment calibration,
and, therefore, must properly qualify these parties for this purpose
following the criteria in the program:
Program 9: Acceptance of services other than testing or
evaluation performed by subcontractors or agents (for calibration
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 types of programs for new
applicants. In the past, when granting recognition to an organization
as a NRTL, OSHA approved the applicant's use of any supplemental
programs for which the applicant met the criteria. However, OSHA has
concern about continuing this practice for new applicants for the NRTL
Program because the applicants are not yet capable of implementing the
procedures for testing, evaluating, and performing inspections used
under the NRTL Program. By continuing this practice, OSHA does not
allow the NRTL's staff at its recognized site(s) to attain the
necessary experience, nor does the practice allow OSHA adequate time to
evaluate properly that staff's technical experience. OSHA has the same
concern 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 the NRTL's
recognition is limited 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 a NRTL's testing equipment. This
exception does not affect materially the capability of a NRTL/applicant
to meet OSHA's requirements for recognition. However, regarding
approval to use other supplemental programs, a 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 would continue to deny use of
such a program, or withdraw its prior approval to use such a program, when it
determines that a NRTL/applicant is not testing, evaluating, and
performing inspections adequately using its own staff located at its
As described above, while QPS has testing and evaluation
procedures, OSHA could not review how QPS has implemented them because
QPS has not used 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. Some of these testing- and factory-inspection procedures
are newly developed by QPS. Therefore, OSHA also must review the
effectiveness of QPS's testing and evaluation procedures, and its
factory-inspection program should OSHA grant NRTL recognition to QPS,
and do so within a reasonable period after granting recognition.
Consequently, OSHA proposes to recognize QPS conditionally, i.e.,
subject to a later determination of the effectiveness of these
procedures. OSHA would include these conditions in the final notice
should OSHA recognize QPS as a NRTL. These conditions apply solely to
QPS's operations as a NRTL, and solely to those products that it
certifies for purposes of enabling employers to meet OSHA product-
approval requirements. These conditions would be in addition to all
other conditions that OSHA normally imposes in its recognition of an
organization as a NRTL.
Imposing these conditions is consistent with OSHA's past
recognition of certain 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). Given the applicant's current activities in testing
and certification, OSHA is confident that QPS will properly perform its
activities in the areas noted above.
Therefore, the following conditions would apply should OSHA
recognize QPS under the NRTL Program:
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, and evaluation, and factory inspections, and, for
inspections, did so at the frequency set forth in the applicable
NRTL Program policy.
Preliminary Finding on the Application
QPS submitted an acceptable application for recognition as a NRTL.
OSHA's review of the application file and the results of the on-site
review indicate that QPS can meet the requirements prescribed by 29 CFR
1910.7 for recognition to use the test standards listed above. This
preliminary finding does not constitute an interim or temporary
approval of the application. QPS corrected the discrepancies noted by
OSHA during the on-site review, and these corrections are described in
its response to the on-site review report (NA).
Following examination of the application file and the on-site
review report, the NRTL Program staff concluded that OSHA can grant the
applicant recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory for
its Toronto, Ontario, facility, subject to the conditions described
above. The staff, therefore, recommended preliminarily that the
Assistant Secretary approve the application.
OSHA welcomes public comment as to whether QPS meets the
requirements of 29 CFR 1910.7 for recognition as a Nationally
Recognized Testing Laboratory. Comments should consist of pertinent
written documents and exhibits. Commenters needing more time to comment
must submit a request in writing, stating the reasons for the request.
OSHA must receive the written request for an extension by the due date
for comments. OSHA will limit any extension to 30 days unless the
requester justifies a longer period. OSHA may deny a request for an
extension if it is not adequately justified. To obtain or review copies
of the publicly available information in QPS's application and other
pertinent documents (including exhibits), and all submitted comments,
contact the Docket Office, Room N-2625, Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, at the above address; these
materials also are available online at http://www.regulations.gov under
Docket No. OSHA-2010-0046.
The NRTL Program staff will review all comments submitted to the
docket in a timely manner, and, after addressing the issues raised by
these comments, will recommend whether to grant NRTL recognition to
QPS. The Assistant Secretary will make the final decision on granting
NRTL recognition, and, in making this decision, may undertake other
proceedings prescribed in Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.7. OSHA will
publish a public notice of this final decision in the Federal Register.
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 this 15th day of November 2010.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2010-29125 Filed 11-17-10; 8:45 am]
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