CERTIFICATION - WHAT DOES IT MEAN? WHO OR WHAT IS THE ALI?
The Automotive Lift Institute, Inc, (ALI) was founded in 1945 as the trade association of
U.S. manufacturers of in-ground and above ground auto and truck lifts. Since 1947, the ALI in cooperation with OSHA and the National Bureau of Standards has sponsored the only standard governing vehicle lifts. The ALI still considers safety its primary activity and currently sponsors the national standard ANSI/ALI ALCTV current edition "Automotive Lifts - Safety Requirements for Construction, Testing, and Validation".
WHO OR WHAT IS ETL?
Responsible automotive lift manufacturers have many standard lift models certified in accordance with the requirements of the Automotive Lift Institute’s ETL Certification Program. The Automotive Lift Institute hired ETL/Intertek, an outside products testing firm or NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory) to maintain ALI members product conformance to ANSI/ALI ALCTV current edition standards. For automotive lifts to be listed by the Automotive Lift Institute as certified product, manufacturers must execute an "ALI/ETL Automotive Lift Certification Program Participation Agreement" with the Automotive Lift Institute and ETL/Intertek Testing Services, and must meet the following requirements as set forth in the Program Procedural Guide:
- Automotive lift models must be tested in accordance with to the Program Procedural Guide and to verify conformance with the performance requirements of the American National Standard "Automotive Lifts - Safety Requirements for Construction, Testing, and Validation" ANSI/ALI ALCTV current edition.
- All motor operated automotive lift models must be listed by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), in accordance with ANSI/UL 201 entitled "American National Standard for Safety for Garage Equipment"; and in accordance with CAN/CSA C22.2 No. 68 for installation in Canada; and other electrical standards where applicable.
- The automotive lift manufacturer's production facility must meet quality control requirements set forth in the Program Procedural Guide, as verified by frequent surveillance and plant inspections.
- Manufacturer-provided instructions and manuals, as well as lift operator safety documents, must be comprehensive and complete to the requirements of the Program Procedural Guide.
An automotive lift bearing the ALI Certification Mark, as shown below and an ETL Listing Mark, as applicable, indicates that it meets these requirements.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UL, CSA, AND ETL LISTED MARKS?
All of these nationally recognized marks demonstrate that the product has met the minimum requirements of widely accepted product safety standards as determined through the independent testing of a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). And, as part of that testing regimen, the product manufacturer has agreed to periodic follow-up inspections to verify continued compliance.
WHAT IS AN NRTL?
A Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) is an independent laboratory recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to test products to the specifications of applicable product safety standards – such as those from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and other standards-writing bodies. An NRTL's function is to provide an independent evaluation, testing, and certification of a product. ETL is recognized as an NRTL in the United States and, in a similar capacity, as a Testing Organization (TO) and Certifying Body (CB) in Canada, and as a Notified Body in Europe.
WHAT ARE THE SPECIFICS OF THE NRTL PROGRAM?
The NRTL program is part of OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support. As part of OSHA's directive to ensure that products are safe for use in the U.S. workplace, the NRTL program recognizes the capabilities of private sector organizations to determine if specific products meet consensus safety standards. OSHA safety standards are United States law and can be found in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). It is important to note that OSHA's recognition of an NRTL is not a grant of government authority, but rather an acknowledgment of the organization's ability to perform product safety testing and certification within the scope of its OSHA recognition.
AREN'T MANUFACTURERS REQUIRED TO USE U.L. (UNDERWRITERS LABORATORIES) FOR COMPLIANCE TESTING?
The answer is "no." In fact, this misconception has misled many manufacturers to believe that they don't have a choice in their third-party testing partner. To satisfy the prerequisite of having your products tested by an independent organization, the true legal requirement is that the laboratory which performs the testing be a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) recognized by OSHA. ETL is recognized worldwide as a competent testing, inspection, and certification organization, and our ETL Listed Mark serves as proof of product compliance with U.S. standards.
WHAT DOES THE ETL LISTED MARK MEAN WHEN DISPLAYED ON A LIFT?
In short, the ETL Listed Mark indicates that the lift has been tested by ETL, found in compliance with accepted national standards, and meets the minimal requirements required for sale or distribution. To consumers, the ETL Mark is assurance that the product is compliant with safety standards, having been tested and certified by a third-party organization.
WILL CITY, STATEWIDE OR LOCAL INSPECTORS ACCEPT THE ETL LISTED MARK?
Yes. Since the ETL Listed Mark is an accepted and recognized demonstration of product compliance, and Intertek is recognized as an NRTL, there is no reason why any statewide agency should not accept the ETL Listed Mark and, as such, inspectors are required by law to recognize, acknowledge, and accept the mark as proof of product compliance.
WHAT COUNTRIES ACCEPT THE ETL MARK?
The ETL Mark is an accepted demonstration of product compliance in both the United States and Canada.