UL vs ETL Listed

New Article Explains UL vs ETL Listed

April 3, 2009

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PDF file contains UL Memo and ETL documentation

All Current Technology products are listed to the new requirements of UL 1449 2nd Edition 2005 Revision (effective 2/9/2007).

What is UL1449?

UL 1449 is a safety standard developed by UL and adopted by OSHA as the standard for evaluating the safe operation of TVSS (transient voltage surge suppressors) or SPD (Surge Protection Devices). Compliance to UL standards is required by the NEC (National Electric Code) and must be certified by a NRTL (Nationally Recognized Test Lab).

What or Who is UL?

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is an independent, not-for-profit product safety certification organization that has been writing Standards for Safety for over a century. Up until recently, UL was the only NRTL that could test products and verify compliance to the standards. This compliance has previously been referred to as having a product “UL Listed”

UL is not a government agency, they are a private organization responsible for the generation and publication of safety standards. A separate division of UL is also an OSHA approved NRTL (Nationally Recognized Test Lab), which means they are authorized by OSHA to test, evaluate, and list products to safety standards.

What is an NRTL, and what is the significance of OSHA recognition?

The U.S. Department of Labor; Occupation Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA). is the legal authority for evaluating and approving NRTLs (Nationally Recognized Test Labs). The following definition of an NRTL can be found on OSHA’s website. http://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/index.html.

An NRTL is an organization that OSHA has "recognized" as meeting the legal requirements in 29 CFR 1910.7. In brief, these requirements are the capability, control programs, complete independence, and reporting and complaint handling procedures to test and certify specific types of products for workplace safety. This means, in part, that an organization must have the necessary capability both as a product safety testing laboratory and as a product certification body to receive OSHA recognition as an NRTL.

OSHA's recognition is not a government license or position, or a delegation or grant of government authority. Instead, the recognition is an acknowledgment that an organization has necessary qualifications to perform safety testing and certification of the specific products covered within its scope of recognition . As a result, OSHA can accept products "properly certified" by the NRTL. "Properly certified" generally means: 1) the product is labeled or marked with the registered certification mark of the NRTL, 2) the NRTL issues the certification for a product covered within the scope of a test standard for which OSHA has recognized it, and 3) the NRTL issues the certification from one of its sites (i.e., locations) that OSHA has recognized.

There are a total of 17 labs that OSHA recognizes as approved NRTLs. Links are provided to each NRTL from OSHA’s website allowing you to view the list of standards, sites, and programs that OSHA has recognized that NRTL to evaluate products too. The following 5 labs are qualified to test and list products to UL1449; CSA, ETL, MET, UL, and Wyle Lab. TVSS products do not have to bear UL’s mark for OSHA to deem them safe for the workplace or for compliance with the NEC.

Current Technology products were tested and evaluated in our world class laboratory that is certified by UL and ETL as part of their client data test programs. All Current Technology products are listed by ETL to UL 1449 2nd Edition 2005 Revision (effective 2/9/2007). Since ETL was the NRTL selected, all Current Technology products bear the ETL mark.

Bottom Line

A product no longer has to be listed by UL, the NRTL, to be deemed safe for use in the workplace, or to adhere to the NEC requirements. Attached you will find a document from ETL that more clearly states their position as an OSHA approved NRTL.