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NRTLs, FEBs and the NEC. What every electrical inspector needs to know about NRTLs, FEBs, listing, labeling and the NEC. Presented by ACES - 2011. What we will cover today. What is a NRTL? What is an FEB? Why are they important? NEC requirements for listing/labeling.

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Nrtls febs and the nec

NRTLs, FEBs and the NEC

What every electrical inspector needs to know about NRTLs, FEBs, listing, labeling and the NEC.

Presented by ACES - 2011

What we will cover today
What we will cover today

  • What is a NRTL? What is an FEB?

  • Why are they important?

  • NEC requirements for listing/labeling.

  • What listing and labeling marks look like?

  • What do NRTLs and FEBs do?

  • How do AHJs relate to NRTLs and FEBs?

  • Common issues for inspectors!

What is a nrtl what is an feb
What is a NRTL? What is an FEB?

  • An NRTL is a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.

  • An FEB is a Field Evaluation Body.

    (An NRTL may offer FEB services. But an FEB is not required to be an NRTL via the OSHA recognition process to offer FEB services).

What is a nrtl
What is a NRTL?

  • NRTLs are third-party organizations recognized by OSHA as having the capability to provide product safety testing and certification (“listing”) services, at the point of manufacture, for a wide range of products used in the American workplace.

What is listing
What Is Listing?

  • The listing process involves rigorous testing of representative samples of a product and then periodic (usually 2-4 times per year) factory follow-up verification and inspection by the NRTL to ensure new production exactly mirrors the tested samples.

What is an feb
What is an FEB?

  • FEBs are third-party testing organizations.

  • FEBs have the capability to provide product safety testing and labeling primarily in the field for a wide range of products found in the American workplace.

What is an feb1
What is an FEB?

  • NFPA recently published two important national standards:

    • NFPA 790, Standard for Competency of Third Party Evaluation Bodies (FEBs).

    • NFPA 791, Recommended Practice and Procedures for Unlabeled Equipment Evaluation.

What is an feb2
What is an FEB?

  • Since these standards provide national requirements for FEB competency and methods, they are a big help for AHJs.

  • AHJs can now use these standards to determine FEB acceptability.

What is an feb3
What is an FEB?

  • Field evaluation involves the non-destructive testing of EACH product to verify compliance with applicable standards before applying a label.

What is a nrtl what is an feb1
What is a NRTL? What is an FEB?

  • The listings performed by NRTLs and evaluations performed by FEBs are based on product safety standards developed by US based standards-developing organizations and often issued under the accreditation of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Cfr 1910 399
CFR 1910.399

  • Acceptable. An installation of equipment is acceptable to the Assistant Secretary of Labor, and approved within the meaning of this Subpart S: (1) If it is accepted, or certified, or listed, or labeled, or otherwise determined to be safe by a nationally recognized testing laboratory recognized pursuant to § 1910.7;

    (NRTLs can perform this service)

Cfr 1910 3991
CFR 1910.399

(3) With respect to custom-made equipment or related installations that are designed, fabricated for, and intended for use by a particular customer, if it is determined to be safe for its intended use by its manufacturer on the basis of test data which the employer keeps and makes available for inspection to the Assistant Secretary and his authorized representatives.

(FEBs can provide such test data)

Cfr 1910 7 b
CFR 1910.7(b)

  • NRTL requirements. The term nationally recognized testing laboratory (NRTL) means an organization which is recognized by OSHA and which tests for safety, and lists or labels or accepts, equipment or materials and which meets all of the following criteria:

Cfr 1910 7 b continued
CFR 1910.7(b) (continued)

  • For each specified item of equipment or material to be listed, labeled or accepted, the NRTL has the capability (including proper testing equipment and facilities, trained staff, written testing procedures, and calibration and quality control programs) to perform: Testing and examining of equipment and materials for workplace safety purposes to determine conformance with appropriate test standards.

What are nrtls and febs
What are NRTLs and FEBs?

  • NRTLs can issue listings that are accepted by OSHA. NRTLs and FEBs are usually accepted by local jurisdictions for showing that equipment is suitable for use in the workplace.

  • NRTLs and FEBs are also usually accepted by local jurisdictions, retailers and others for testing and evaluating products used in construction and the home.

Why are febs and nrtls important
Why are FEBs and NRTLs Important?

  • The purpose of NRTLs and FEBs is to evaluate and test electrical equipment to insure that the products comply with the applicable standards.

  • Without NRTLs or FEBs there would be no way of knowing that a particular product met the required safety requirements (without taking it apart and checking in the field).

Importance of nrtls and febs
Importance of NRTLs and FEBs

  • By looking for the NRTL mark or FEB label, an inspector will have information about the standards to which the product has been listed or labeled. In addition the inspector can call on the NRTL or FEB for help regarding safety or acceptance questions regarding equipment suitability when something does not look correct!

Importance of nrtls and febs1
Importance of NRTLs and FEBs

  • NRTLs and FEBs are part of the US Electrical Safety System that helps insure safe installations of electrical products and systems.

The nec nrtls and febs
The NEC, NRTLs and FEBs

  • How does this apply to AHJs and Electrical Inspectors?

The nec nrtls and febs1
The NEC, NRTLs and FEBs

  • The NEC is the driver that causes local Electrical Inspectors and AHJs to look for labels and listing marks!

  • 110.2 Approval.

    • The conductors and equipment required or permitted by this Code shall be acceptable only if approved.

      (See also NEC 90.7)

The nec nrtls and febs2
The NEC, NRTLs and FEBs

  • NEC 110.3 provides a list of considerations to be made in evaluating equipment:

    • Suitability

    • Mechanical strength

    • Wire bending space

    • Insulation

    • Heating effects under normal and abnormal conditions

The nec nrtls and febs3
The NEC, NRTLs and FEBs

  • In itself, 110.3(A) does not require listing or labeling of equipment. It does, however, require considerable evaluation of equipment. Section 110.2 requires that equipment be acceptable only if approved. The term approved is defined in Article 100 as acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). Before issuing approval, the authority having jurisdiction may require evidence of compliance with 100.3(A).

  • The most common form of evidence considered acceptable by authorities having jurisdiction is a listing or labeling by a third party.

The nec nrtls and febs4
The NEC, NRTLs and FEBs

  • Another important Point from the NEC!

    • (B)Installation and Use.Listed or labeled equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with any instructions included in the listing or labeling.

Nrtl listing marks
NRTL Listing Marks

  • The following slides show typical NRTL listing marks and were taken from the OSHA NRTL Website:

    (Note: Other forms and older labels are also shown there.)

Nrtl listing marks1
NRTL Listing Marks

  • Canadian Standards Association

  • Communication Certification Laboratory (CCL)

Nrtl listing marks2
NRTL Listing Marks

  • Curtis-Strauss LLC (CSL)

  • FM Global Technologies LLC (FM)

Nrtl listing mark
NRTL Listing Mark

  • Intertek

  • MET Laboratories, Inc (MET)

Nrtl listing marks3
NRTL Listing Marks

  • NSF International

  • National Technical Systems Inc NTS

Nrtl listing marks4
NRTL Listing Marks

  • TUV SUD America, Inc

  • TUV SUD Product Services

Nrtl listing marks5
NRTL Listing Marks

  • TUV Rheinland of No. America

  • TUV Rheinland PTL, LLC

Nrtl listing marks6
NRTL Listing Marks

  • Underwriters Laboratories, Inc

  • QPS Evaluation Services Inc (QPS)

Feb labeling marks
FEB Labeling Marks

  • The following slides show typical FEB labels.

    (Note: Since there are many more FEBs than NRTLs, this if far from a comprehensive listing of FEB labels)

Feb labels
FEB Labels

  • MET Laboratories, Inc.

  • LabTest Certification Inc.

Feb labels1
FEB Labels

  • TUV SUD America Inc.

  • NSS Laboratories, Incorporated

Feb labels2
FEB Labels

  • QPS Evaluation Services, Inc

  • SGS North America

Feb labels3
FEB Labels

  • CSA International

  • Applied Research Laboratories

Feb labels4
FEB Labels

  • Intertek

  • ASC Engineering Service

Feb labels5
FEB Labels

  • Underwriters Laboratories

  • eti Conformity Services

What do nrtls and febs do
What do NRTLs and FEBs do?

  • NRTLs and FEBs evaluate products for safety.

  • This evaluation includes:

    • Determination of the proper standard to use to evaluate the product.

    • Review samples and information provided by the manufacturer or customer.

What do nrtls and febs do1
What do NRTLs and FEBs do?

  • This evaluation includes (continued):

    • Verification of the information provided by checking references and comparing to the actual product.

    • Review of the standard and comparing the product to the standard, evaluating each part covered by the standard.

    • Conducting testing required per the standard.

What do nrtls and febs do2
What do NRTLs and FEBs do?

  • Once the testing and evaluation is done and product is determined to comply with the standard, the product or equipment is eligible to receive the listing mark of the NRTL, or label of the FEB.

What do nrtls and febs do3
What do NRTLs and FEBs do?

  • The listing process requires that representative samples of a product be tested to determine acceptability. Therefore NRTLs perform factory follow-up inspections on new production (typically 2-4 times/year). These inspections check that critical components are the same.

Ahjs nrtls febs and nec

The safety system is a cooperative effort:

  • The NRTLs and the FEBs determine that products meet safety standards and are capable of being installed in accordance with the NEC.

  • The AHJs determine that the installation has been made in accordance with applicable codes.

Importance of nrtls and febs2
Importance of NRTLs and FEBs

  • US Electrical Safety System

Ahjs nrtls and febs
AHJs, NRTLs and FEBs

  • AHJs rely on the NRTL listing or FEB label to know products have been evaluated and are suitable for the identified purpose.

  • Should product problems arise, NRTLs and FEBs rely on the AHJ, consumers and others to identify problems with products, so that further investigation can be done to improve the system.

Ahjs nrtls and febs1
AHJs, NRTLs and FEBs

  • When AHJs rely on listed or labeled products, it can make the job easier since the inspector does not need to evaluate all the parts as required by NEC 110.3(A).

  • Use of listed or labeled products provides a minimum level of consistent safety when installed properly. NRTLs, FEBs and inspectors working together!

Ahjs nrtls and febs2
AHJs, NRTLs and FEBs

  • We have discussed NRTL and FEB processes and how they help the inspectors in general.

  • Now we will look at some places where working together we make a difference and how the NRTL or FEB can help the Electrical Inspector complete work more efficiently.

Inspector issues
Inspector Issues

  • What if a listed or labeled product just does not look right or has obvious violations?

    • Notify the NRTL or FEB.

      • Might be a counterfeit label on a product.

      • Might be modified somehow.

      • Might be the manufacturer is incorrectly manufacturing the product.

    • In any case the NRTL or FEB has a process to review, evaluate and stop problems in the future.

Inspector issues1
Inspector Issues

  • What if a product bears an NRTL mark but has been repaired, reconditioned, modified, refurbished or remanufactured such that its features or design have been changed?

  • These product changes, even if inadvertent, void the NRTL’s approval for that product, and an employer’s use of these products in the workplace violates the OSHA standard requiring that products be NRTL approved.

  • Recommended Action: ASK if any equipment falls under above criteria.

    Refer to OSHA’s Safety and Health Informational Bulletin (SHIB) 02-16-2010.

Inspector issues2
Inspector Issues

  • What if a listed or labeled product just does not look right or has obvious violations?

    • Once you notify the NRTL or FEB, now what? What about the item holding up the opening of the business?

    • FEBs provide field label service paid for by one of the parties involved - typically the manufacturer or installer - to determine if the specific unit in the field is compliant in the specific installation.

What is field labeling
What Is Field Labeling ?

  • What if a product is not listed, or has been field modified, refurbished or relocated?

  • OSHA’s Safety and Health Informational Bulletin (SHIB) 02-16-2010 states: “Changes made to a product after NRTL approval will void the NRTL’s approval of the product.”

  • Such products can be field evaluated to provide assurance to the AHJ that the equipment complies with applicable safety standards.

What is field labeling1
What Is Field Labeling ?

Field Labeling

  • FEBs and most NRTLs offer field evaluation services.

  • NFPA – the same organization that publishes the NEC – also published NFPA 790. This standard will help formalize and bring more consistency to the field labeling process.

Inspector issues3
Inspector Issues

  • Field Labeling

    • NFPA 790 – Standard for Competency of Third Party Field Evaluation Bodies.

      • Used by accreditors to show an FEB is qualified and has minimum skills and procedures necessary to do this type of work.

      • These rules could also be used by states and local jurisdictions to determine if a field evaluation firm meets minimum requirements.

Inspector issues4
Inspector Issues

  • Field Labeling

    • NFPA 791 – Recommended Practice and Procedures for Unlabeled Equipment Evaluation.

      • These are the guidelines that accredited Field Evaluation Bodies will use to evaluate equipment in the field.

      • These guidelines will provide for more consistency in the evaluation process and in evaluation reports.

Inspector issues5
Inspector Issues

The CE Mark

  • It looks like this:

  • The CE Mark is the manufacturer’s self-declaration of compliance to European standards.

  • It says nothing about compliance with US requirements.


  • The use of listed and labeled products are great evidence that the products you are seeing are in compliance with US standards and codes.

For more information
For More Information:

  • Contact Us:

    eti Conformity Services

    800-Go to eti (468-6384)