1. TRUE or FALSE?
Underwriters Laboratories Inc., commonly known as UL, is a government agency.
FALSE. Many in the U.S. believe this to be true. In fact, UL is a private, non-profit organization and not a government agency. UL is recognized as an NRTL by OSHA under 29 CFR 1910.7 and has exactly the same status as the 18 NRTLs recognized by OSHA under the NRTL Program.
2. TRUE or FALSE?
UL is a part of OSHA.
FALSE. As stated above, UL is a private, non-profit organization and not a part of OSHA or any other government agency. UL is recognized as an NRTL by OSHA under 29 CFR 1910.7 and has the same status as the 18 NRTLs recognized by OSHA under the NRTL Program.
3. TRUE or FALSE?
In the United States, only Underwriters Laboratories Inc. can test products and equipment for safety in the United States.
FALSE. There is a common misconception in the United States that manufacturers must use UL testing facilities when testing for compliance to U.S. electrical standards. In fact, many people mistakenly believe that UL is a government agency or a part of OSHA. This is not true. Like 17 other third-party testing facilities recognized by OSHA under 29 CFR 1910.7, UL is only one of the 18 Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTLs) recognized by OSHA to perform this testing and product certification activity. This "recognition", granted by OSHA under 29 CFR 1910.7, allows any NRTL to test products to its recognized "scope" of testing, meaning that all NRTLs recognized by OSHA are equal.
4. TRUE or FALSE?
NRTLs are government agencies.
FALSE. Many in the U.S. believe that OSHA testing facilities or other government agencies conduct the testing and certification of products and equipment for use in the workplace. This is false. The fact is that this testing is done by independent third-party testing and certification organizations. OSHA only operates the program that "recognizes" these independent third-party organizations.
5. TRUE or FALSE?
OSHA dictates to manufacturers which NRTL they must use.
FALSE. While OSHA "recognizes" organizations as NRTLs under 29 CFR 1910.7, it does not dictate to manufacturers which NRTL they must use. In fact the opposite is true. OSHA "recognizes" multiple organizations as NRTLs to create a competitive environment so that the manufacturers have a choice of which NRTL they utilize. Manufacturers can choose any NRTL, with the appropriate "scope", to show compliance with US, UL, ANSI and other OSHA recognized standards. OSHA considers all NRTLs recognized under 29 CFR 1910.7 to be equivalent in their "capability" to certify to the standards in their scope of recognition. OSHA does not dictate to manufacturers which NRTL they must use.
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