The UL and MET marks both indicate that the product has met the minimum requirements of the applicable safety standards. Additionally, both marks validate the product’s continued compliance to these standards as evidenced by periodic factory follow-up inspections.
30 years ago, MET broke the UL monopoly for product safety testing & certification in the United States becoming the first OSHA-licensed Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) in the U.S. The main difference between these two marks is with the level of involvement and partnership between the manufacturer and the test lab.
What is a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL)?
OSHA created the NRTL program to ensure that certain types of equipment be tested and certified for safe use in the workplace.
A Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) is a private-sector organization that OSHA has recognized as meeting the legal requirements to perform testing and certification of products using consensus based test standards. NRTL 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, products that have been properly certified by the NRTL, are acceptable to OSHA for use in the workplace.
In 1970, Congress created OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration – to “assure as far as possible every working man and woman in the nation safe and healthful working conditions.” In the same year, OSHA published its regulation 1910.308(d) stating the electrical equipment would be held acceptable “if it is accepted or certified, or listed, or labeled or otherwise determined to be safe, by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), such as, but not limited to Underwriters Laboratories Inc. and Factory Mutual [Research] Corporation.” OSHA did not, however, provide a means of determining how a lab could gain NRTL status.
OSHA’s NRTL regulations were established in June of 1988. MET sued OSHA three times which eventually resulted in the creation of a set of criteria which a lab could prove itself to be worthy of NRTL status. MET became the first organization to become recognized as a NRTL in 1989.
Why is NRTL Certification Important?
NRTL certification provides clear evidence that your electrical and electronic products comply with the required standards of the North American market. The MET Mark on your product indicates national compliance by virtue of MET’s equivalent accreditations to UL and CSA. The MET mark clearly indicates compliance to US and Canadian requirements.
At the client’s option, the MET mark can specify the applicable UL and/or CSA standard to which the product complies. The MET Mark for product safety is accepted throughout the United States and Canada. For Canada, MET was one of the first labs to be fully accepted by the Standards Council of Canada as a Certification Body. The MET-c Mark is recognized by the Standards Council of Canada and provincial authorities throughout Canada. In addition, MET is one of the few labs in the US with international recognition as a National Certification body (NCB) as part of the IECEE CB scheme that includes 50 countries.
Do retail stores sell products with the MET Listed Mark?
MET listed products are sold in every major retail stores throughout the United States and Canada. The MET Mark indicates that the product has been evaluated for safety by an approved independent lab in accordance with the national standard. MET is available to provide the necessary information if any retail store requests clarification of the national requirements. Retailers accepting products that bear the MET NRTL Mark include Walmart, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sears, Staples, Target, Amazon, and HSN.
How does the MET label prove that a product meets the national requirements?
The MET Mark indicates national compliance by virtue of MET’s equivalent accreditations to UL and CSA. The MET mark clearly indicates compliance to US and Canadian requirements. At the client’s option, the MET mark can specify the applicable UL and/or CSA standard to which the product complies.
What products have MET tested? What manufacturers have relied on MET?
MET has certified products as diverse as:
- Telecom equipment
- Food processing equipment
- Gas detectors
- Hazardous location equipment
- Air conditioners
- Washing machines
- Power tools
- Medical equipment
- Home audio equipment