The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that a proposed request for information (RFI) related to its Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) program was published in the Federal Register. A copy of the proposed RFI currently is available on OSHA’s Web site.

The RFI requests comment on a proposal submitted to the United States by the European Commission to permit the use of a Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) as an alternative to OSHA’s NRTL product-approval process for certain electrical and other products used in the workplace.

“This RFI will allow all stakeholders the opportunity to provide evidence to help OSHA better evaluate the EU’s SDoC system and determine whether or not an SDoC system meets the safety requirements for the Occupational Safety and Health Act,” said Edwin G. Foulke Jr., assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA

NRTLs are independent laboratories that have met OSHA’s requirements for performing safety testing and certification of electrical and other products used in the workplace. NRTLs test and certify these products to determine whether they conform to appropriate U.S. product-safety testing standards. In contrast, an SDoC is a written statement, produced by an equipment manufacturer or supplier that shows a product meets or conforms to a specified test standard or a set of requirements.

The public comment period is open until Jan. 20, 2009.