No. Many in the U.S. believe that OSHA testing facilities or other government agencies conduct testing and certification of products for use in the workplace. Testing is actually carried out by independent third-party testing and certification organisations. OSHA only operates the program that "recognises" these independent third-party organisations.
What differences are there between NRTLs?
OSHA considers NRTLs recognised for the same standard (set forth in their scope of recognition) to be equal in their capability to certify to that standard. However, NRTLs are independent business entities and differ in their scope of recognition, policies, fees, turnaround times, personnel expertise, attitude, equipment and so on. Additionally, each NRTL makes its own decisions on the ‘appropriate’ product safety test standards to be used when certifying products.
What is a NRTL's scope of recognition?
A NRTL’s scope of recognition is the specific safety test standards which it applies for, and that OSHA approves. Other scope areas include the specific testing locations and the supplemental programs that OSHA has recognised for the NRTL.
OSHA does not specify which test standards a NRTL must use. Instead, when an organisation applies for recognition, it submits a list of test standards it wishes to be recognised for and OSHA determines which of these standards are ‘appropriate’ as defined in 29 CFR 1910.7.
A NRTL may also seek to expand its scope of recognition by requesting OSHA approval for additional test standards. A NRTL may only certify products to the specific product safety test standards included in its scope of recognition.
Who is affected by the NRTL Program?
The requirements for products that require ‘approval’ by a NRTL can be found in 29 CFR Part 1910, which shows electric products covered, and in some Safety Standards in Parts 1915, 1918, and 1926.
These standards apply to workplaces under OSHA's jurisdiction that are not covered by other standards. In general, they apply to private employers in the U.S. and its territories, most federal workplaces, and to state and municipal workplaces in states that run an OSHA-approved occupational safety and health program. Employers are legally required to comply with these standards because of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970, which provides the legal authority to impose these standards.
Can I self-certify to the U.S. electrical safety standards?
No. OSHA requires products to have the specific mark of a NRTL recognised to certify the product.
How long does NRTL certification last?
Through license renewals and factory inspections, as long as no major changes are made to the product or the standards it is evaluated to, you can maintain conformance and keep your NRTL certificate.
What are the fees to get a product NRTL certified?
NRTLs are independent testing organizations and each NRTL sets it own fees. OSHA does not regulate the fees set by NRTLs.
Is there a benefit to having a consumer product NRTL certified?
NRTL certification is required for any product used in a workplace. However, retailers can require NRTL certification for any of the products they sell. This helps reduce their liability and provides an extra measure of assurance to the consumer.