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||QPS Evaluation Services Inc.; Recognition as an NRTL
[Federal Register: March 2, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 41)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
[Docket No. 2010-0046]
QPS Evaluation Services Inc.; Recognition as an NRTL
AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.
SUMMARY: This notice announces the Agency's final decision to grant
recognition to QPS Evaluation Services Inc., as a Nationally Recognized
Testing Laboratory under 29 CFR 1910.7.
DATES: This recognition becomes effective on March 2, 2011 and will be
valid until March 2, 2016, unless terminated or modified prior to that
date in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.7.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Office of Technical Programs and
Coordination Activities, NRTL Program, Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW.,
Room N-3655, Washington, DC 20210, or phone (202) 693-2110. For more
information about the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory Program,
go to http://osha.gov and select "N" in the site index.
Notice of Final Decision
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hereby
gives notice of its recognition of QPS Evaluation Services Inc., (QPS)
as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). The scope of this
recognition includes testing and certification of the equipment and
materials, and use of the supplemental program, listed below. OSHA will
detail QPS's scope of recognition on an informational Web page for the
NRTL, as further explained below.
OSHA recognition of an NRTL signifies that the organization meets
the legal requirements specified in 29 CFR 1910.7. Recognition is an
acknowledgment that the organization can perform independent safety
testing and certification of the specific products covered within its
scope of recognition, and is not a delegation or grant of government
authority. As a result of recognition, employers may use products
approved by the NRTL to meet OSHA standards that require product
testing and certification.
The Agency processes applications by an NRTL for initial
recognition, or for expansion or renewal of this recognition, following
requirements in Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.7. This appendix requires
that the Agency publish two notices in the Federal Register in
processing an application. In the first notice, OSHA announces the
application and provides its preliminary finding and, in the second
notice, the Agency provides its final decision on the application.
These notices set forth the NRTL's scope of recognition, or
modifications of that scope. OSHA maintains an informational Web page
for each NRTL that details its scope of recognition. These pages are
available from OSHA's Web site at http://www.osha-slc.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/index.html.
Each NRTL's scope of recognition has three elements: (1) The type
of products the NRTL may test, with each type specified by its
applicable test standard; (2) the recognized site(s) that has/have the
technical capability to perform the product testing and certification
activities for test standards within the NRTL's scope; and (3) the
supplemental program(s) that the NRTL may use, each of which allows the
NRTL to rely on other parties to perform activities necessary for
product testing and certification.
QPS applied for recognition as an NRTL (See Ex. 2--QPS application
dated 1/27/2006) \1\ pursuant to 29 CFR 1910.7, and OSHA published the
required preliminary notice in the Federal Register on November 18,
2010 (75 FR 70696) to announce the application. The notice included a
preliminary finding that QPS could meet the requirements for
recognition detailed in 29 CFR 1910.7, and invited public comment on
the application by December 20, 2010. OSHA received no comments in
response to the notice. OSHA now is proceeding with this final notice
to grant QPS's recognition application.
\1\ A number of documents, or information within documents,
described in this Federal Register notice are the applicant's
internal, detailed procedures, or contain other confidential
business or trade-secret information. These documents and
information, designated by an "NA" at the end of, or within, the
sentence or paragraph describing them, are not available to the
All public documents pertaining to the QPS application are
available for review by contacting the Docket Office, Occupational
Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200
Constitution Avenue, NW., Room N-2625, Washington, DC 20210. These
materials also are available online at http://www.regulations.gov under
Docket No. OSHA-2010-0046.
The current address of the laboratory facility (site) that OSHA
recognizes for QPS is: QPS Evaluation Services Inc., 81 Kelfield
Street, Unit 8, Toronto, Ontario, M9W 5A3, Canada.
General Background on the Application
According to the application, QPS was established in 1995 as a
Canadian Standards Association field-inspection agency. In 1998, QPS
performed technical services for Entela, Inc., an organization formerly
recognized by OSHA as an NRTL, which another NRTL subsequently
acquired. The application also states that QPS received accreditation
by other well-known accreditors (i.e., the Standards Council of Canada
and the International Electrotechnical Commission Certification Body
(IEC CB) Scheme).
QPS applied on January 27, 2006, for recognition of one site and a
number of test standards. (See Ex. 2.) In response to OSHA's request
for clarification, QPS amended its application to provide additional
technical details, and then provided further details in a later update.
(See Ex. 3--QPS amended application, dated 4/15/2008 and 11/30/2009.)
OSHA's NRTL Program staff performed an on-site assessment of the QPS
facility in April 2010. Based on this assessment, the OSHA staff
recommended recognition of QPS in their on-site review report of the
assessment. (See Ex. 4--OSHA on-site review report on QPS.)
Through its amended application information (see Ex. 3), QPS
represented that it maintains the experience, expertise, personnel,
organization, equipment, and facilities suitable for accreditation as
an OSHA Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory. It also represented
that it meets, or will meet, the requirements for recognition defined
in 29 CFR 1910.7.
OSHA addresses the four requirements for recognition (i.e.,
capability, control procedures, independence, and creditable reports
and complaint handling) below, along with examples that illustrate how
QPS meets each of these requirements. The applicant's summary
addressing OSHA's evaluation criteria references many, but not all, of the
documents or processes described below (see the QPS basic information summary;
hereafter, "Basic Summary," which is part of Ex. 3, portions of which
Section 1910.7(b)(1) states that, for each specified item of
equipment or material proposed for listing, labeling, or acceptance,
the NRTL must have the capability (including proper testing equipment
and facilities, trained staff, written testing procedures, and
calibration and quality-control programs) to perform appropriate
testing. The "Capability" section of the Basic Summary (NA) shows
that the applicant has security measures and detailed procedures in
place to restrict or control access to its facility, to areas within
its facility, and to confidential information. This section also states
that QPS's facility has equipment for monitoring, controlling, and
recording environmental conditions during tests. QPS provided a list of
this equipment, which NRTL Program staff examined during the on-site
review (Ex. 4, p. 1). This section shows that QPS has detailed
procedures for handling test samples. In addition, the Basic Summary or
documents it references show that the QPS facility has adequate test
areas and energy sources, and procedures for controlling incompatible
activities. QPS provided a detailed list of its testing equipment (NA),
and OSHA's on-site review (Ex. 4, p. 2) confirmed that much of this
equipment is in place. Review of the application shows that the
equipment listed is available (NA) and adequate for the scope of
testing described below.
The "Capability" section of the Basic Summary (NA) indicates that
QPS has detailed procedures addressing the maintenance and calibration
of equipment, as well as the types of records maintained for, or
supporting, many laboratory activities. It also indicates that QPS has
detailed procedures for conducting testing, review, and evaluation, and
for capturing the test and other data required by the standard for
which it seeks recognition. OSHA's on-site review (Ex. 4, p. 2)
examined these test data and evaluation documents. QPS currently is
using some of these procedures to test products for NRTLs. Further,
this section indicates that QPS has detailed procedures for processing
applications, and for developing new procedures.
The amended application (Ex. 3) contained adequate procedures to
address training or qualifying staff for particular technical tasks
(NA). The amended application indicates that QPS has sufficient
qualified personnel to perform the proposed scope of testing based on
their education, training, technical knowledge, and experience. OSHA's
on-site review (Ex. 4, p. 3) confirmed many of these qualifications.
The amended application provides evidence that QPS has an adequate
quality-control system in place, and OSHA's on-site review (Ex. 4, p.
3) verified the performance of internal audits, and tracking and
resolution of nonconformances.
Section 1910.7(b)(2) requires that the NRTL provide controls and
services, to the extent necessary, for the particular equipment or
material proposed for listing, labeling, or acceptance. These controls
and services include procedures for identifying the listed or labeled
equipment or materials, inspections of production runs at factories to
assure conformance with test standards, and field inspections to
monitor and assure the proper use of identifying marks or labels.
The "Control Programs" section of the Basic Summary shows that
QPS has the quality-control manual and detailed procedures to address
the steps involved to list and certify products. QPS has a registered
certification mark. In addition, the "Control Programs" section shows
that the applicant has certification procedures (NA); these procedures
address the authorization of certifications and audits of factory
facilities. The audits apply to both the initial evaluations and the
follow-up inspections of manufacturers' facilities. This section
indicates that procedures also exist for authorizing the use of the
certification mark, and the actions taken when QPS finds that the
manufacturer is deviating from the certification requirements. Factory
inspections will be a new activity for QPS, and OSHA will need to
review the effectiveness of QPS's inspection program when it is in
place. As a result, OSHA is proposing a condition to ensure that QPS
conducts inspections properly, and at the frequency set forth in the
applicable NRTL Program policy (see OSHA Instruction CPL 1-0.3,
Appendix C, paragraph III.A).
Section 1910.7(b)(3) requires that the NRTL be completely
independent of employers that are subject to the testing requirements,
and of any manufacturers or vendors of equipment or materials tested
under the NRTL Program. OSHA has a policy for the independence of NRTLs
that specifies the criteria used for determining whether an
organization meets the above requirement. (See OSHA Instruction CPL 1-
0.3, Appendix C, paragraph V.) This policy contains a non-exhaustive
list of relationships that would cause an organization to fail to meet
the specified criteria. The "Independence" section of the Basic
Summary, and additional information submitted by QPS (NA), shows that
it has none of these relationships, or any other relationship that
could subject it to undue influence when testing for product safety.
QPS is a privately owned organization, and OSHA found no information
about its ownership that would qualify as a conflict under OSHA's
independence policy. The amended application indicates that there is no
financial affiliation between the ownership of QPS and manufacturers.
In summary, the information related to independence demonstrates that
QPS meets the independence requirement.
Credible Reports and Complaint Handling
Section 1910.7(b)(4) specifies that an NRTL must maintain effective
procedures for producing credible findings and reports that are
objective and free of bias, and for handling complaints and disputes
under a fair and reasonable system. The "Report and Complaint
Procedures" section of the Summary document (NA) shows that the
applicant has detailed procedures describing the content of the test
reports, and other detailed procedures describing the preparation and
approval of these reports. This section also shows that the applicant
has procedures for recording, analyzing, and processing complaints from
users, manufacturers, and other parties in a fair manner. The on-site
review (Ex. 4, p. 3) confirmed that QPS processes complaints in a
timely and appropriate manner.
OSHA is approving QPS to use the following supplemental program for
which it applied:
Program 9: Acceptance of services other than testing or evaluation
performed by subcontractors or agents (for calibration services only).
QPS applied to use additional programs, but then voluntarily
withdrew its request after OSHA informed QPS that OSHA was ending the
practice of approving most of these programs for new applicants. In the
past, when granting NRTL recognition to an organization, OSHA approved
the applicant's use of any supplemental programs for which the
applicant met the criteria. However, OSHA is discontinuing this practice
for new applicants for the NRTL Program because the applicants do not yet
have experience in implementing the procedures for testing, evaluating,
and performing inspections used under the NRTL Program. This practice did
not allow the NRTL's staff at its recognized site(s) to attain the
necessary experience, nor did the practice allow OSHA adequate time to
evaluate properly that staff's technical experience. OSHA also is
discontinuing the practice when an existing NRTL applies to expand its
recognition under the NRTL Program to include additional standards for
testing a type of product not tested previously by the NRTL under the
NRTL Program. Examples of such product testing include testing
hazardous-location products when OSHA recognizes the NRTL for testing
only ordinary-location products, and testing gas-operated products when
OSHA limits the NRTL's recognition to testing only electrically operated
products. Therefore, before OSHA approves any NRTL or applicant to use
or rely on tests, evaluations, and inspections performed by other parties,
OSHA must first ensure that the NRTL/applicant performs these activities
adequately using its own staff located at its recognized site(s). The only
exception to this policy is Program 9, which permits the use of qualified
parties to calibrate an NRTL's testing equipment. This exception does not
affect materially the capability of an NRTL/applicant to meet OSHA's
requirements for recognition. However, regarding approval to use Program 9
for other services or supplemental programs, an NRTL/applicant may apply
for such approval when OSHA determines that the NRTL/applicant tests, evaluates,
and performs inspections adequately using its own staff located at its
recognized site(s). Accordingly, OSHA will continue to deny use of such a
program, or withdraw its prior approval to use such a program, when it
determines that an NRTL/applicant is not testing, evaluating, and performing
inspections adequately using its own staff located at its recognized site(s).
As described above, while QPS has testing and evaluation
procedures, OSHA could not review how QPS implemented them because QPS
did not use them for testing and certifying products under the program.
In addition, as also described above, while QPS has factory-inspection
procedures, it currently does not conduct regular factory inspections.
QPS recently developed some of these testing- and factory-inspection
procedures. Therefore, OSHA also must review the effectiveness of QPS's
testing and evaluation procedures, as well as its factory-inspection
program, following recognition of QPS as an NRTL, and do so within a
reasonable period after granting such recognition. Consequently, OSHA
recognizes QPS conditionally, subject to a later determination of the
effectiveness of these procedures. OSHA is listing this condition first
under the "Conditions" section below. This condition applies solely
to QPS's operations as an NRTL, and only to those products that it
certifies for purposes of enabling employers to meet OSHA product-
approval requirements. This condition is in addition to all other
conditions that OSHA normally imposes in its recognition of an
organization as an NRTL.
Imposing this condition is consistent with OSHA's past recognition
of organizations as NRTLs that met the basic recognition requirements,
but needed to further refine or implement their procedures (for
example, see 63 FR 68306, 12/10/1998, and 65 FR 26637, 05/08/2000).
Based on QPS's current activities in testing and certification, OSHA is
confident that QPS will perform its activities properly in the areas
Final Decision and Order
The NRTL Program staff examined QPS's application, the additional
submissions, the on-site review report, and other pertinent documents.
Based on this examination and analysis, OSHA finds that QPS meets the
requirements of 29 CFR 1910.7 for recognition as a Nationally
Recognized Testing Laboratory, subject to the limitation and conditions
listed below. The recognition applies to the site listed above, and it
covers the test standards listed below, subject to the limitation and
conditions also listed below. Pursuant to the authority granted by 29
CFR 1910.7, OSHA hereby grants the recognition of QPS, subject to this
limitation and these conditions.
OSHA hereby limits the recognition of QPS to testing and
certification of products for demonstration of conformance to the
following test standards, each of which OSHA determines is an
appropriate test standard within the meaning of 29 CFR 1910.7(c).\2\
\2\ The designations and titles of these test standards were
current at the time of the preparation of this notice.
UL 508A Industrial Control Panels.
UL 913 Intrinsically Safe Apparatus and Associated Apparatus for Use in
Class I, II, III, Division I, Hazardous (Classified) Locations.
UL 1203 Explosion Proof and Dust Ignition Proof Electrical Equipment
for Use in Hazardous (Classified) Locations.
UL 6500 Audio/Video and Musical Instrument Apparatus for Household,
Commercial, and Similar General Use.
UL 60335-1 Safety of Household and Similar Electrical Appliances, Part
1: General Requirements.
UL 60601-1 Medical Electrical Equipment, Part 1: General Requirements
UL 60950 Information Technology Equipment.
UL 61010-1 Electrical Equipment for Measurement, Control, and
Laboratory Use--Part 1: General Requirements.
OSHA limits recognition of any NRTL for a particular test standard
to equipment or materials (i.e., products) for which OSHA standards
require third-party testing and certification before use in the
workplace. Consequently, if a test standard also covers any product for
which OSHA does not require such testing and certification, an NRTL's
scope of recognition does not include that product.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) may approve the
test standard listed above as an American National Standard. However,
for convenience, we may use the designation of the standards-developing
organization for the standard instead of the ANSI designation. Under
the NRTL Program's policy (see OSHA Instruction CPL 1-0.3, Appendix C,
paragraph XIV), any NRTL recognized for a particular test standard may
use either the proprietary version of the test standard or the ANSI
version of that standard. Contact ANSI to determine whether a test
standard is currently ANSI-approved.
QPS also must abide by the following conditions of its NRTL
recognition, in addition to those conditions already required by 29 CFR
1. Within 30 days of certifying its first products under the NRTL
Program, QPS will notify the OSHA NRTL Program Director of this
activity so that OSHA may schedule its first audit of QPS. At this first
audit of QPS, QPS must demonstrate that it properly conducted testing, review,
evaluation, and factory inspections; QPS must conduct factory
inspections at the frequency set forth in the applicable NRTL Program
2. QPS will allow OSHA access to its facilities and records to
ascertain continuing compliance with the terms of its NRTL recognition,
and to perform such investigations as OSHA deems necessary;
3. If QPS has reason to doubt the efficacy of any test standard it
is using under its NRTL recognition, it will promptly inform the test
standard-developing organization of this concern, and provide that
organization with the appropriate relevant information on which it
bases its concern;
4. QPS will not engage in, or permit others to engage in, any
misrepresentation of the scope or conditions of its recognition. As
part of this condition, QPS agrees that it will allow no representation
that it is either a recognized or an accredited NRTL without clearly
indicating the specific equipment or material to which this recognition
applies, and also clearly indicating that OSHA limits its NRTL
recognition to specific products;
5. QPS will inform OSHA as soon as possible, in writing, of any
change of ownership, facilities, or key personnel, and of any major
changes in its operations as an NRTL, including details of these
6. QPS will meet all of the terms of its NRTL recognition, and will
always comply with all OSHA policies pertaining to this recognition;
7. QPS will continue to meet the requirements for NRTL recognition
in all areas covered by the scope of this recognition.
Authority and Signature
David Michaels, PhD, MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for
Occupational Safety and Health, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW.,
Washington, DC 20210, directed the preparation of this notice.
Accordingly, the Agency is issuing this notice pursuant to Sections
6(b) and 8(g) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29
U.S.C. 655 and 657), Secretary of Labor's Order No. 4-2010 (75 FR
55355), and 29 CFR part 1911.
Signed at Washington, DC, on February 25, 2011.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2011-4698 Filed 3-1-11; 8:45 am]
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