Product Safety Certification Testing

Product safety certification testing is designed to protect consumers. In order for this type of testing to be appropriately carried out, a number of specific protocols must be in place. In the absence of these protocols, this type of consumer testing is not deemed to have been completed appropriately.

Independent Testing Provider

One of the most fundamental factors associated with product safety certification testing is that it must be undertaken by an independent laboratory or testing facility. There cannot be any type of connection between the testing entity and the enterprise that manufactured a particular product.

The fact is oftentimes a manufacturer seeks out testing facilities to test a product as part of an overall marketing effort. This type of relationship results in testing results that are not considered acceptable as far as an independent analysis of safety is concerned.

Certified Testing Operations

In addition to the independence of a testing facility, center or provider, the entity undertaking safety testing must also be duly certified. Certification is provided by a governmental entity assigned to oversee a particular industry. A variety of different governmental agencies are involved in the certification process.

The certification process is quite extensive. For example, the agency that provides certification confirms the independence of the testing entity. In addition, the agency providing the certification closely examines the safety testing process that is developed and utilized by a particular independent testing organization. The elements of the certification process are routinely updated and altered as technological and other changes occur in the marketplace. In other words, an effort is made to ensure that the independent testing processes do keep up with evolving and changing technology.

In addition to these steps that occur in advance of an entity being granted certification, the assigned governmental agency also maintains ongoing oversight over the testing process, and results. The oversight is necessary to ensure that the testing agency remains both independent and follows the testing protocols that previously were approved during the initial certification process.

Testing Entities Recognized in the United States

Examples of organizations that have been approved to provide product safety certification testing in the United States include:

• Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

• TUV Rheinland PTL, LLC

• TUV America

• TUV SUD Product Services GmbH

• TUV Rheinland of North America

• Canadian Standards Association

• CSA Internationalo

• Curtis-Straus LLC

• FM Approvals LLC

• Factory Mutual Research Corporation

• Intertek Testing Services NA, Inc.

• MET Laboratories, Inc.

• NSF International

• QPS Evaluation Services, Inc.

• SGS U.S. Testing Company, Inc.

• Southwest Research Institute

Underwriters Laboratories is probably the best known of these independent testing agencies, as far as consumers in the United States are concerned. A variety of different household products are tested by this organization.

Additional Data on Testing Certification and Organizations

OSHA maintains a comprehensive listing of organizations dedicated to providing independent testing in the United States. Although OSHA is dedicated to occupational safety issues, the agency nevertheless maintains this information as part of its overall consumer information program. This arises out of the agency’s commission to be

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