What’s the difference between the UL and MET Listed Marks?
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. The main difference between these two marks is with the level of involvement and partnership between the manufacturer and the test lab. MET does not believe in putting the manufacturer in a defensive mode. MET’s safety engineers are customer oriented, and will keep an open line of communication with their client to prevent unnecessary and costly delays.
What is an NRTL?
NRTL is a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory. 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.
MET sued OSHA three times. This eventually resulted in the creation of a set of criteria to which a lab could prove itself to be worthy of NRTL status. In June 1988, MET became the nation’s first NRTL, making good OSHA’s pledge to undo the “anti-competitive effects” created by its regulations. Thanks to MET Laboratories, manufacturers were freed from the stranglehold of an implied federal monopoly.
Since UL writes the safety standards, don’t manufacturers need to display the UL mark?
The legal requirement is that the laboratory which performs the testing is a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) recognized by OSHA. While UL does coordinate standards writing, they are only one of several NRTLs for testing and certification.
Do retail stores sell products with the MET Listed Mark?
MET listed products have been sold in more than 7,000 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, Radio Shack, 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
What countries accept the MET Mark?
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 states and local jurisdictions have requirements for product safety certification?
Many states, cities and counties have requirements for product safety certification. MET is approved by all of those states and local jurisdictions that have an approval program.