[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 100 (Friday, May 23, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 29804-29809]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-12015]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. OSHA-2013-0028]


Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory Program; Stakeholder 
Meeting

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: OSHA invites interested parties to attend an informal 
stakeholder meeting concerning the Nationally Recognized Testing 
Laboratory (NRTL) Program. The meeting will focus on the following NRTL 
Program topics: use of the private sector to increase the efficiency of 
the NRTL Program; certification marks; factory inspections; field 
inspections; fees; and, at OSHA's discretion and as time permits, other 
topics raised by participants or OSHA staff. OSHA plans to use the 
information gathered at this meeting to explore potential updates to 
NRTL Program policies and regulations.

DATES: The stakeholder meeting will be held on October 22, 2014, from 
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., e.t., in Washington, DC. Attendees should 
arrive at least 30 minutes early to allow time for security access. 
Security-access information is available at http://www.dol.gov/dol/aboutdol/visit.htm.
    The deadline to register to attend the meeting as a presenter, 
participant, or an observer is July 22, 2014. If space remains after 
this deadline, OSHA may accept additional presenters, participants, and 
observers until the meeting is full. Those who submit their 
registrations after July 22, 2014, may not receive confirmation of 
their attendance from OSHA. The deadline to submit written comments, 
information, and documents in response to the meeting topics found in 
Appendix A of this notice, to submit suggestions for additional topics 
for the meeting, or to request an extension of time to make a 
submission is July 22, 2014. All submissions must bear a postmark or 
provide other evidence of the submission date.

ADDRESSES:

[[Page 29805]]

1. Stakeholder Meeting

    OSHA will hold the stakeholder meeting in the Francis Perkins 
Building, U.S. Department of Labor, at 200 Constitution Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20210. Information concerning the room number for the 
meeting will be available, no later than Wednesday, September 20, 2014, 
on OSHA's NRTL Program Web site at http://www.osha.gov/nrtlpi, in the 
docket for this meeting (Docket ID: OSHA-2013-0028, available at http://www.regulations.gov, and in the OSHA Docket Office). The nearest Metro 
station is Judiciary Square (Red Line), and private parking is 
available within walking distance of the building. Meeting attendees 
must have a valid form of government identification (e.g., driver's 
license), and will need to obtain a pass from our security desk to 
enter the building. Attendees should arrive at least 30 minutes early 
to allow time for security access. Security-access information is 
available at http://www.dol.gov/dol/aboutdol/visit.htm.

2. Registration to Attend

    To register to attend as a presenter, during the presentation 
portion of the meeting, a participant, during the discussion portion of 
the meeting, or an observer of the meeting, you must use one of the 
three methods listed below. If you are registering as a presenter, you 
must include your presentation topic(s) and a synopsis of your 
presentation. OSHA will include, in the docket for this meeting (Docket 
No. OSHA-2013-0028, available at http://www.regulations.gov, and the 
OSHA Docket Office), the presentation topic(s) and synopses, and any 
additional information (including any comments, information, documents, 
or suggestions for additional topics) that it receives with individual 
registrations.
    All presentation topics must address the NRTL Program, and 
presentations that address those topics described in Appendix A of this 
notice will have priority. Once registered, OSHA will coordinate 
directly with presenters regarding the schedule of presentations. For 
additional information about registering, see the ``Registration'' 
section of this notice under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below.
    a. Electronically: Email your registration to attend to Ms. Kristin 
Webster at webster.kristin@dol.gov, and label the subject line of the 
email ``NRTL October 22, 2014, Stakeholder Meeting Registration.''
    b. Facsimile: Fax your registration to attend to Ms. Webster at 
(202) 693-1644, and label it ``NRTL October 22, 2014, Stakeholder 
Meeting Registration.''
    c. Regular or express mail, hand delivery, or messenger (courier) 
service: Send your registration to attend to: OSHA Directorate of 
Technical Support and Emergency Management, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., 
Room N-3655, Washington, DC 20210, Attention: Kristin Webster. On the 
outside of the envelope, write ``NRTL October 22, 2014, Stakeholder 
Meeting Registration.'' Note that security procedures may result in 
significant delays in receiving registrations by regular mail. If you 
have any questions about these instructions, contact Ms. Webster at 
(202) 693-2145.

3. Submitting Comments in Response to Listed Meeting Topics and 
Corresponding Questions, and Comments Suggesting Additional Topics

    In addition to including comments, information, documents, or 
suggestions for additional topics in individual registrations (see 
Section 2 of this Notice, ``Registration to Attend,'' above), 
stakeholders and the general public may also submit written comments, 
information, and documents in response to the meeting topics and 
corresponding questions found in Appendix A of this notice, or 
suggestions for additional topics to address at the meeting, through 
one of the three methods listed below. For additional information about 
submissions to the docket, see the ``Submissions to the Docket'' 
section of this notice under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, below.
    a. Electronically: Submit comments and any attachments 
electronically to Docket No. OSHA-2013-0028 at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow 
the instructions online for making electronic submissions.
    b. Facsimile: If submissions, including attachments, are not longer 
than 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-
1648.
    c. Regular or express mail, hand delivery, or messenger (courier) 
service: Submit comments and any attachments to: OSHA Docket Office, 
Docket No. OHSA-2013-0028, Technical Data Center, U.S. Department of 
Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: 
(202) 693-2350 (TTY number: (877) 889-5627). Note that security 
procedures may result in significant delays in receiving submissions 
and other written materials by regular mail. Contact the OSHA Docket 
Office for information about security procedures concerning delivery of 
materials by regular or express mail, hand delivery, or messenger 
(courier) service. The hours of operation for the OSHA Docket Office 
are 8:15 a.m.-4:45 p.m., e.t.

4. Accessing the Docket

    To read or download submissions or other material in the docket 
(e.g., public submissions of suggested topics), go to http://www.regulations.gov or to the OSHA Docket Office. You can reference all 
documents placed in the docket electronically at http://www.regulations.gov (Docket No. OSHA-2013-0028); however, some 
information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to 
read or download through the Web site. All submissions, including 
copyrighted material, will be available for inspection at the OSHA 
Docket Office. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for assistance in 
locating docket submissions.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Information regarding this notice is 
available from the following sources:
    Press Inquiries: Contact Mr. Frank Meilinger, Director, OSHA Office 
of Communications, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue 
NW., Room N-3647, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-1999; 
email: meilinger.francis2@dol.gov.
    General and Technical Information: Contact Mr. David Johnson, 
Director, Office of Technical Programs and Coordination Activities, 
Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management, Occupational 
Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 
Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-3655, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: 
(202) 693-2145; email: johnson.david.w@dol.gov. OSHA's Web page 
includes information about the NRTL Program (see http://www.osha.gov/otpca/nrtl/index.html).
    Copies of the Federal Register Notice: Electronic copies of this 
Federal Register notice are available at http://www.regulations.gov. 
This Federal Register notice, as well as other relevant information, is 
also available on OSHA's Web page at http://www.osha.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

A. The Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory Program

    Several OSHA standards require an NRTL to approve equipment as safe 
if used in the workplace (see https://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/1910refs.html (listing specific references to OSHA standards requiring 
NRTL approval)). NRTLs are independent laboratories that meet OSHA's 
requirements for performing safety

[[Page 29806]]

testing and certification of products used in the workplace. To obtain 
and retain OSHA recognition, an NRTL must meet the requirements in the 
NRTL Program regulations at 29 CFR 1910.7. Recognition is an 
acknowledgement by OSHA that an NRTL has the capability to perform 
independent safety testing and certification of the specific products 
covered within the NRTL's scope of recognition. Recognition also allows 
employers to use products certified by that NRTL to meet those OSHA 
standards that require approval by an NRTL.
    OSHA's NRTL Program recognition process involves a thorough 
analysis of an NRTL applicant's policies and procedures, and a 
comprehensive on-site review of the applicant's testing and 
certification facilities, to ensure that the applicant meets the 
requirements of 29 CFR 1910.7. Once an NRTL obtains recognition from 
OSHA, OSHA's staff conducts on-site audits to ensure that existing 
NRTLs adequately perform their testing and certification activities and 
maintain the quality of their operations.
    An NRTL's approval of a product generally consists of testing, 
inspection, and certification. Testing involves determining whether a 
sample or prototype of the product meets the applicable requirements of 
one or more specific consensus-based, U.S. product-safety test 
standards. If the product meets the requirements of the test standard, 
the NRTL then performs an initial inspection of the factory that 
manufactures, or will manufacture, the product to verify that the units 
of the product resulting from production runs are or will be in 
conformance with the test standard's requirements. Following a 
satisfactory initial inspection, the NRTL issues its certification, 
which provides assurance that the product conforms to the specific test 
standard(s). The NRTL also authorizes the manufacturer to apply the 
NRTL's mark to each unit of the manufactured product. After issuing its 
certification, the NRTL conducts periodic follow-up (i.e., quality-
assurance and compliance) inspections of each manufacturing facility to 
provide assurance that the product currently manufactured at the 
facility and bearing the NRTL's mark is identical to the product that 
the NRTL tested, initially inspected, and certified. For more 
information about the NRTL Program, see the NRTL Program Web site 
(www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/index.html).

B. Events Leading to This Stakeholder Meeting

    In 2012, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) performed a 
study of OSHA's NRTL Program to examine the program's recognition 
process. GAO published its findings and recommendations from that study 
in December 2012, in a report entitled, Product Safety Laboratories: 
OSHA's Accreditation Process Needs Reexamination (Exhibit 14-1--GAO 
Report GAO-13-88). In the report, GAO recommended that OSHA review its 
current structure and procedures for recognizing NRTLs and implement 
alternatives that would maintain effectiveness while improving 
timeliness. More specifically, GAO suggested that OSHA explore various 
structural approaches for making decisions regarding recognition, 
including use of private accreditation bodies and/or contractors. GAO 
also recommended that OSHA review its current regulations and 
procedures to identify changes to existing regulations and program 
modifications, including increased alignment with international 
standards on accreditation.
    As a result of GAO's report, in early 2013, OSHA staff began 
reexamining several aspects of the NRTL Program to determine how it 
could improve program operations without compromising the Agency's 
mission to protect worker safety and health. On March 15, 2013, OSHA 
held an informal stakeholder meeting to help OSHA staff assess the NRTL 
Program and make efforts to increase program effectiveness. At the 
March meeting, OSHA discussed and received feedback from stakeholders 
on several potential NRTL Program policy, procedure, and guideline 
changes.
    Following the March 15 stakeholder meeting, OSHA began 
investigating the possibility of aligning the NRTL Program requirements 
with ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and ISO/IEC 17065:2012. As part of this effort, 
OSHA may propose developing NRTL Program-specific guidance that would 
permit NRTLs to obtain and maintain recognition under the NRTL Program 
regulation, 29 CFR 1910.7, by following specific provisions in ISO/IEC 
17025 and ISO/IEC 17065 in conjunction with OSHA guidance that tailors 
the general criteria found in ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/IEC 17065 to the 
specific NRTL Program requirements for testing and certification 
activities.
    As part of its investigation into aligning the NRTL Program 
requirements with international standards, OSHA also is investigating 
the use of the private sector to improve the timeliness and efficiency 
of the NRTL recognition process, while still maintaining the integrity 
of the program. As part of its effort to explore the use of the private 
sector for this purpose, OSHA is holding this stakeholder meeting to 
gather more information on the topic. Moreover, after reviewing the 
NRTL Program requirements as part of its alignment investigation, OSHA 
developed potential modifications to existing policies and regulatory 
requirements with respect to certification marks, factory inspections, 
field inspections, and fees. OSHA also seeks to gather input on these 
potential policy and regulatory changes through this stakeholder 
meeting.
    The stakeholder meeting will consist of stakeholder presentations 
concerning the topics described in Appendix A of this notice, and, at 
OSHA's discretion, other NRTL Program-related topics. A facilitated 
discussion will follow the presentations. OSHA determined that 
stakeholder presentations, in conjunction with informal discussion on 
specific topics related to the NRTL Program, will be beneficial to 
OSHA's further deliberations on developing, updating, and proposing new 
or revised NRTL Program policies, procedures, regulations, or 
guidelines.

II. Stakeholder Meeting

    The stakeholder meeting will last approximately eight hours. The 
first part of the meeting will consist of stakeholder presentations on 
those topics described in Appendix A of this notice, and, at OSHA's 
discretion, other suggested topics related to the NRTL Program. Each 
presenter will have 10-20 minutes to make a presentation, depending on 
the number of people who request to make a presentation. A short period 
of 5-10 minutes will follow each presentation so that OSHA, other 
presenters, and registered participants can ask questions of, and 
request clarification from, the presenter. OSHA is limiting 
participation in these periods to OSHA and registered presenters and 
participants. Presenters may, at their discretion, submit written 
copies of their presentation to OSHA, either during the meeting or in 
written comments submitted to the docket in accordance with the 
procedures outlined in this notice. OSHA believes that having access to 
written copies of the presentations will facilitate its decisionmaking. 
OSHA will include copies of the presentations in the docket for this 
meeting (Docket No. OSHA-2013-0028, available at http://www.regulations.gov and the OSHA Docket Office).

[[Page 29807]]

    OSHA is limiting the meeting to approximately 20 presentations, but 
may accommodate more presentations at its discretion and as time 
permits. OSHA will try to accommodate all presenters who respond in a 
timely fashion. To ensure all views are represented, OSHA encourages 
individuals and groups having similar interests to consolidate their 
information and present this information through a single 
representative. OSHA will try to accommodate, as space permits, all 
those who would like to observe the presentations.
    If time permits, OSHA may hold an open-session portion of the 
meeting with facilitated discussion. OSHA is limiting the open-session 
portion of the meeting to approximately 30 participants. OSHA will try 
to accommodate all attendees who would like to participate. To ensure 
all views are represented, OSHA encourages individuals and groups 
having similar interests to consolidate their information and 
participate through a single representative. OSHA staff will be present 
to take part in the discussions.
    The topics for the stakeholder meeting and related questions about 
these topics are in Appendix A of this notice. OSHA believes the 
discussion and related questions in Appendix A will provide the Agency 
with useful information, and will facilitate discussion during the 
meeting. If stakeholders and the public would like to provide input on 
the meeting topics and their corresponding questions prior to the 
stakeholder meeting, OSHA welcomes any available data, documentation, 
information, or comments related to those topics that might help 
facilitate the meeting. Stakeholders and the members of the public 
chosen to make presentations at the meeting and/or to participate 
during the open-session portion of the meeting, will also have an 
opportunity to provide information and comment on these topics and 
questions during the meeting. Any stakeholder or member of the public 
who chooses to provide data, documentation, information, or comments 
prior to the meeting should: identify any organization they are 
representing at the meeting; their position within that organization; 
and describe any qualifications they have that are relevant to their 
submission.
    OSHA will provide the public with a copy of the final meeting 
agenda and any specific documents OSHA will use at the stakeholder 
meeting no later than five days prior to the meeting. These documents 
also will be available by that date at OSHA's NRTL Program Web site 
(http://www.osha.gov/nrtlpi) and in the docket for this notice (Docket 
No. OSHA-2013-0028, available at http://www.regulations.gov and the 
OSHA Docket Office).
    OSHA will prepare a full transcript of the meeting and post this 
transcript on the NRTL Program Web site (http://www.osha.gov/nrtlpi) 
and in the docket (Docket No. OSHA-2013-0028, available at http://www.regulations.gov and the OSHA Docket Office).

III. Registration

    Register to attend as a presenter, participant, or an observer in 
the stakeholder meeting by July 22, 2014, using one of the three 
methods described above in the ``Registration to Attend'' section of 
this notice under ADDRESSES. OSHA will accommodate attendees who do not 
register for the meeting if space permits. However, those who would 
like to make a presentation during the meeting must register as 
presenters and submit a copy of their presentation topic(s) and a 
synopsis of their presentations. Additionally, those who would like to 
participate during the open-session portion of the meeting must 
register as participants. OSHA will consider as an observer any 
attendee who does not register as a presenter or participant.
    OSHA is limiting the number of attendees who may present or 
participate in the meeting; therefore, OSHA will grant priority to 
current or former NRTLs, and current NRTL applicants. Only one 
representative from each organization may make a presentation, and only 
one representative from each organization may attend as a participant; 
however, each organization may register one representative to be a 
presenter and a different representative to be a participant. Each 
organization may have more than one observer in attendance (space 
permitting).
    Any individual or entity not affiliated with a current or former 
NRTL, or a current NRTL applicant, who would like to present and/or 
participate in the meeting must submit, with their registration to 
attend, a written statement that indicates their interest in the NRTL 
Program and the specific topic(s) they would like to present or 
discuss. If they would like to make a presentation, they must also 
submit a synopsis of their presentation. OSHA will enter these 
presentations and synopses into the docket for the meeting (Docket No. 
OSHA-2013-0028, available at http://www.regulations.gov and the OSHA 
Docket Office). However, if OSHA receives these documents after July 
22, 2014 (the last day to timely submit topics), OSHA may not review 
the documents for the purpose of generating a meeting agenda (see the 
``Submissions to the Docket'' section below).
    Registrants not affiliated with a current or former NRTL, or with a 
current NRTL applicant, who would like to present a specific topic 
during the first portion of the meeting, and/or participate in the 
discussion during the open-session portion of the meeting, will be 
chosen as presenters and/or participants over similar attendees who 
would like to address broad topics only. OSHA cannot guarantee 
presenter and/or participation status to all those who register as 
presenters and/or participants; however, it will make every effort to 
accommodate registrants who want to present and/or participate, ensure 
a fair representation of interests, and facilitate the presentation of 
diverse viewpoints.
    In registering to participate during the open-session portion of 
the meeting, current or former NRTLs, and current NRTL applicants, need 
not submit statements indicating their interest in the NRTL Program and 
the specific topic(s) they would like to discuss. However, if they 
would like to make a presentation during the first portion of the 
meeting, they must submit their presentation topic(s) and a synopsis of 
their presentation. Additionally, these organizations are welcome to 
submit, in writing, suggestions for additional topics for discussion 
(pursuant to the procedures described under ADDRESSES above and in the 
``Submissions to the Docket'' section below).
    When registering, please provide the following information:
    a. Name, contact address, daytime phone, fax, and email address;
    b. The organization for which you work or represent, if any;
    c. Whether you are employed at, affiliated with, or represent a 
current or former NRTL or a current NRTL applicant;
    d. Whether you are registering to be a presenter during the 
presentation portion of the meeting and/or a participant during the 
open-session portion of the meeting, or an observer;
    e. If you registering to be a presenter during the presentation 
portion of the meeting, provide your presentation topic(s) and a 
synopsis of your presentation; and
    f. If you are not affiliated with a current or former NRTL, or 
current NRTL applicant, and would like to make a presentation during 
the presentation portion of the meeting and/or be a participant during 
the open-session portion of the meeting, provide a written statement 
that indicates your

[[Page 29808]]

interest in the NRTL Program and the specific topic(s) you would like 
to present and/or discuss. Additionally, if you are registering to be a 
presenter, provide a synopsis of your presentation.
    4. Submissions to the Docket
    You must make all submissions to the docket using any of the 
methods listed above under ADDRESSES, and the submission must include 
the Agency name (i.e., OSHA) and the OSHA docket number (OSHA-2013-
0028). You must make submissions to the docket by July 22, 2014.
    Note that a submission to the docket does not constitute 
registration to attend the meeting as a presenter, participant, or 
observer. To register as a presenter, participant, or observer, you 
must follow the procedures described above in the section of this 
notice titled ``Registration'' under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
    OSHA will use the submissions it timely receives to establish the 
meeting agenda, which it will release no later than five days prior to 
the meeting on its NRTL Program Web site (http://www.osha.gov/nrtlpi) 
and in the docket for this notice (Docket No. OSHA-2013-0028, available 
at http://www.regulations.gov and the OSHA Docket Office). OSHA will 
consider submissions made after July 22, 2014 to be untimely and, 
therefore, may not use such submissions when establishing the meeting 
agenda.
    OSHA will place all submissions, including any personal 
information, in the docket without revision, and these submissions and 
other material will be available online at http://www.regulations.gov 
and in the OSHA Docket Office (as described above in ``Accessing the 
Docket'' section under ADDRESSES). Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters 
about submitting statements they do not want made public, or 
submissions that contain personal information (either about themselves 
or others) such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, and medical 
data.

IV. Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for 
Occupational Safety and Health, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20210, authorized the preparation of this notice. 
Accordingly, the Agency is issuing this notice pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 
657(g)(2)), Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912, Jan. 25, 
2012), and 29 CFR 1910.7.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on May 20, 2014.
David Michaels,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.

Appendix A

Topics for Informal Stakeholder Meeting Concerning the Nationally 
Recognized Testing Laboratory Program

    OSHA presents here a discussion of the topics for the October 
22, 2014, NRTL Program informal stakeholder meeting. OSHA believes 
the discussion and related questions presented here will assist 
commenters and presenters in narrowing their comments and 
presentations to topics about which OSHA has an interest in 
obtaining information, and facilitate discussion during the open-
session portion of the meeting. OSHA numbered the individual topics 
below, and asks that commenters clearly delineate which number(s) 
(i.e., topics) each of their comments or other submissions is 
addressing.

A. Options for Using the Private Sector to Increase the Efficiency 
of the NRTL Program

    OSHA is considering using private-sector accreditation bodies 
and/or independent contractors to increase the efficiency of the 
NRTL Program. As a result, OSHA is considering a number of different 
models to serve this purpose. This subsection of topics presents 
these models in general terms, and asks specific questions about 
each of these approaches.
    OSHA is not endorsing any of these models at this time. 
Moreover, OSHA is open to considering other options or models for 
revising NRTL Program policies and regulations. OSHA invites 
stakeholders to provide any additional options, models, feedback, or 
suggestions that may assist OSHA in its decisionmaking.
    1. OSHA is considering a model that uses private-sector 
accreditation as evidence of conformance to ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/
IEC 17065 to facilitate processing applications and performing on-
site assessments. Although, OSHA would continue to conduct on-site 
assessments to NRTL Program-specific requirements, inclusion of 
accreditations may facilitate validation of generic ISO/IEC 17025 
and ISO/IEC 17065 requirements. Under this approach, OSHA would deem 
NRTLs in compliance with the NRTL Program regulation, 29 CFR 1910.7, 
if along with OSHAs validation of compliance with NRTL Program 
specific requirements, a private-sector accreditation body accredits 
the NRTL headquarters to the appropriate scope of accreditation for 
ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/IEC 17065, and the NRTL maintains this 
accreditation. In addition, under this approach, all of the NRTL's 
sites would require independent accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025.
     a. Are you in favor of this approach? Please explain.
     b. What are the benefits to this approach?
     c. What are the weaknesses to this approach?
     d. What resources and/or costs would be associated with this 
approach? Please explain.
     e. Would there be any cost savings associated with this 
approach? Please explain.
     f. As part of this approach, NRTLs would need to provide 
complete audit reports and final corrective actions to OSHA during 
OSHA's on-site assessments or upon request by OSHA. Note that such 
information could be subject to release by OSHA under the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA). Please explain the impact of this part of 
the approach.
    2. OSHA is considering a model under which it makes use of one 
or more private-sector accreditation bodies as part of the NRTL 
recognition process. Under this approach, OSHA would delegate, to 
one or more private-sector accreditation bodies, the responsibility 
to assess NRTLs for recognition and perform NRTL Program on-site 
assessments. OSHA would maintain the official list of recognized 
NRTLs and still retain the authority to approve, deny, amend, or 
revoke NRTL recognition.
     a. Are you in favor of this approach? Please explain.
     b. What are the benefits to this approach?
     c. What are the weaknesses to this approach?
     d. What resources and/or costs would be associated with this 
approach? Please explain.
     e. Would there be any cost savings associated with this 
approach? Please explain.
     f. Are you in favor of using private-sector accreditation 
bodies in a manner not described in this approach? Please explain.
    3. OSHA is considering a model under which it contracts with 
independent technical experts to perform specific functions for the 
NRTL Program. For example, OSHA may use independent technical 
experts to assess the technical requirements of NRTLs or applicants 
for purposes of NRTL applications and/or NRTL Program on-site 
assessments. OSHA would continue to perform all other aspects of the 
NRTL Program, and still would make all decisions regarding 
recognition.
     a. Are you in favor of this approach? Please explain.
     b. What are the benefits to this approach?
     c. What are the weaknesses to this approach?
     d. What resources and/or costs would be associated with this 
approach? Please explain.
     e. Would there be any cost savings associated with this 
approach? Please explain.
     f. Are you in favor of using independent technical experts in a 
manner not described in this approach? Please explain.
    4. Under 29 CFR 1910.7, an NRTL must have the capability to 
perform both testing and certification functions. OSHA is 
considering a modification to the regulation that separates these 
two functions, thus allowing organizations to apply to the NRTL 
Program to perform testing only, certification only, or both testing 
and certification. If OSHA revises the regulation in this manner, it 
would also plan to use ISO/IEC 17025 and NRTL Program-specific 
policies to evaluate testing organizations, and ISO/IEC 17065 and

[[Page 29809]]

NRTL Program-specific policies to evaluate certification 
organizations. Under this approach, OSHA-recognized testing 
organizations would submit evaluation and testing results to OSHA-
recognized certification organizations, and these organizations 
would authorize the certification of the product and conduct 
factory-surveillance on-site assessments.
     a. Are you in favor of this approach? Please explain.
     b. What are the benefits to this approach?
     c. What are the weaknesses to this approach?
     d. What resources and/or costs would be associated with this 
approach? Please explain.
     e. Would there be any cost savings associated with this 
approach? Please explain.
     f. If OSHA were to revise its regulation as described above, 
OSHA also may revise its regulation to require certification 
organizations authorized under the NRTL Program to accept test 
results from any testing organization authorized under the NRTL 
Program. Are you in favor of such a requirement? If OSHA had to 
adopt this requirement to successfully implement this model, would 
you be in favor of this requirement? Please explain.

B. Certification Marks for the NRTL Program

    Under OSHA's current policy regarding certification marks, an 
NRTL is in compliance with the NRTL Program regulation, 29 CFR 
1910.7, if it has a registered certification mark issued by the U.S. 
Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or by a national or 
international body under a registration system that requires 
ownership of the mark(s) and that is equivalent to the USPTO system 
of registration. Additionally, the NRTL can only use this 
certification mark(s) for its NRTL activities. OSHA is considering 
revising its policy to better account for ownership and use of 
certification marks for NRTL activities.
    5. OSHA is considering making the following policy change: If an 
entity wholly owned by an NRTL owns a certification mark, and the 
NRTL uses that mark for its NRTL certifications, the entity owned by 
the NRTL could no longer use the mark for any purpose, including 
marketing or advertisement.
     a. What impact would this policy change have on NRTLs? Please 
explain.
     b. What resources and/or costs would be associated with this 
approach? Please explain.
    6. OSHA is considering making the following policy change: Any 
mark owned by an NRTL, and used for its NRTL certifications, would 
need to be clearly distinguishable from the mark of another entity 
owned or affiliated with the NRTL (e.g., a mark used by an entity 
that is not a recognized NRTL would need to be clearly 
distinguishable from the mark used by the entity recognized as an 
NRTL, and a product certified by a non-NRTL could not appear to be a 
product certified by the NRTL).
     a. What impact would this policy change have on NRTLs? Please 
explain.
     b. What resources and/or costs would be associated with this 
approach? Please explain.
    7. Under current OSHA policy, NRTLs need not add a unique 
identifier to their certification mark to signify work conducted 
under the NRTL Program and compliance to particular product-safety 
test standards (i.e.,, similar to the ``C'' mark for Canada). Some 
NRTLs voluntarily include the acronym ``NRTL'' with their regular 
certification marks. Under a policy change OSHA is considering, each 
NRTL would need to add a unique identifier to its certification mark 
to signify testing and certification conducted under the NRTL 
Program.
     a. Are you in favor of requiring the NRTLs to add a unique 
identifier to their certification mark? Please explain.
     b. What resources and/or costs would be associated with this 
approach? Please explain.
     c. OSHA is considering delaying the effective date of this 
policy change for 2 years after it finalizes the policy change. Are 
you in favor of delaying the effective date of this policy change? 
If so, are you in favor of a 2 year delay? Please explain.

C. Factory Inspections

    8. Under OSHA's current policy for factory inspections (OSHA 
Instruction CPL 01-00-003, NRTL Program Policies, Procedures, and 
Guidelines, App. C.III.A, ``NRTL Follow-up Inspections at 
Manufacturing Facilities, Frequency of Inspections'' (Dec. 2, 
1999)), NRTLs need to perform more frequent inspections at 
facilities where heightened safety concerns exist regarding the 
manufacture of products certified by the NRTLs. As outlined in the 
existing policy, an NRTL needs to perform no fewer than four (4) 
inspections per year at facilities where heightened safety concerns 
exist, but needs to perform no fewer than two (2) inspections per 
year at facilities where heightened safety concerns or similar 
situations do not exist. OSHA is considering modifying its policy 
regarding the frequency of inspections to allow each NRTL to adopt 
its own risk-based approach \1\ to determine the frequency with 
which it performs factory inspections.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See, for example, ISO 31000:2009; Risk management--
Principles and guidelines on implementation; International 
Organization for Standardization.
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     a. Should OSHA allow each NRTL to adopt its own risk-based 
approach to determine the frequency with which it performs factory 
inspections or should OSHA keep its current policy in which NRTLs 
must perform a minimum number of inspections per year? Please 
explain.
     b. What resources and/or costs would be associated with 
allowing NRTLs to adopt their own risk-based approach to determine 
the frequency with which they perform factory inspections? Please 
explain.
     9. Under OSHA's current policy for factory inspections (OSHA 
Instruction CPL 01-00-003, NRTL Program Policies, Procedures, and 
Guidelines, App. C.III.B, ``NRTL Follow-up Inspections at 
Manufacturing Facilities, Policies and Procedures for Inspections'' 
(Dec. 2, 1999)), NRTLs need to determine the specific activities to 
undertake in performing each inspection, and document these 
activities. However, follow-up inspections activities (but not 
necessarily every inspection) need to at least include or address 
activities specified in the policy. OSHA is considering modifying 
its policy regarding factory inspections, and seeks input on the 
following questions:
     a. Are you in favor of OSHA standardizing inspection content 
and processes for factory inspections? For example, should OSHA 
specify the activities NRTLs need to perform during each factory 
inspection and delineate how documentation should occur? Please 
explain.
     b. Are you in favor of OSHA developing forms, with stakeholder 
involvement, for NRTLs to use during factoring inspections? Please 
explain.
     c. What resources and/or costs would be associated with the 
modifications addressed in questions (a)-(c) above for your 
organization? Please explain.

D. Field Inspections

    10. Under 29 CFR 1910.7(b)(2)(iii), an NRTL must conduct field 
inspections to monitor and assure proper use of its identifying mark 
or labels on products. OSHA is considering eliminating this 
requirement. Are you in favor of OSHA eliminating this requirement? 
Please explain.

E. Fees

    11. OSHA currently requires NRTLs to pay all NRTL Program fees 
in U.S. dollars by check or money order. OSHA is considering 
allowing NRTLs to make online electronic payments only (e.g., 
through credit card or ACH), and disallowing payments made by check 
or money order.
     a. What impact would such a change have? Please explain
     b. What resources and/or costs would be associated with this 
approach? Please explain.

[FR Doc. 2014-12015 Filed 5-22-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-26-P