What does NRTL, UL/CSA mean, and do I need it?
If you’ve spent time shopping for laboratory supplies, you may have come across the terms NRTL, UL, and CSA. For example, on the JULABO USA site, you may have the option to select a temperature control unit that’s NRTL/UL/CSA marked. But, what do these letters mean, and do you need them for your lab?
Let’s start with NRTL. NRTL is an abbreviation for National Recognized Testing Laboratories. NRTL is an independent organization recognized by the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to provide third-party testing, evaluations, and certifications for equipment and products that require OSHA/NRTL approvals.
Many workplaces require electrical devices with NRTL certification to ensure compliance with building, electrical, safety, and municipal codes. An NRTL mark indicates that a product meets the electrical and safety standards set out by OSHA. Any product that has been certified by NRTL carries an NRTL mark.
Many scientific and industrial laboratories that use JULABO temperature control equipment require NRTL certification. If you don’t know whether or not you need NRTL-certified products, you might want to check with your company’s procurement or purchasing department. If your company requires this certification, JULABO USA can easily accommodate the request. We have many items in stock with NRTL/CS/UL marks. Our team is well versed in any modifications needed for NRTL testing, and we have inspectors come in monthly to inspect, test, and certify JULABO units. You can see more about JULABO USA’s certification process in this video.
So what about UL and CSA? What do they mean, and what’s the difference? Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and CSA Group (CSA) are both NRTL testing and certification labs recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). UL is typically more common in the United States, while customers and end-users in Canada often need equipment certified by CSA.
Whether you need an NRTL/UL/CSA certification may depend on your organization, laboratory, and municipality. Your laboratory manager or procurement and purchasing department can help you determine whether you need this type of product declaration for a laboratory chiller, heating circulator, refrigerated heating circulator, immersion circulator, or water bath. JULABO USA products with the NRTL/UL/CSA designation are marked with a blue sticker on the back of the instrument. If you see a product without the NRTL/UL/CSA option, reach out to our team, we’ll be happy to help you get the unit certified with the appropriate NRTL mark.