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Dec. 17, 2010
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

US Department of Labor determines it will not
adopt an SDoC system
EU had requested adoption of its system

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced that it will not abandon its system for ensuring that electrical products used in the workplace are safe. The European Union requested that OSHA explore the possibility of adopting its system, known as Supplier's Declaration of Conformity ("SDoC"). Under the EU system, manufacturers declare that their products meet safety requirements before placing these products on the market, thus requiring EU governments to operate a post-market surveillance system to verify whether products are safety compliant after they already are on the market.

Currently, OSHA requires employers to use electrical devices tested and certified by independent testing companies recognized by OSHA. These companies, known as nationally recognized testing laboratories, conduct tests to determine whether products are safe before manufacturers or distributors place them on the market and employers use them in the workplace.

"OSHA's current system is a reliable and cost-effective approach to ensuring the safety of American workers," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "A request for information did not reveal compelling evidence to abandon this system."

In 2008, in response to the EU's request for the U.S. to adopt an SDoC system, OSHA issued a request for information ("RFI"). It was the second RFI on this issue published by OSHA in the last five years. By statute, OSHA must demonstrate, based on substantial evidence, that its safety regulations and standards will provide or maintain a high degree of protection for U.S. workers. After reviewing comments submitted in response to the RFI, OSHA determined that the burden required for OSHA to revise its standards was not met.

OSHA also is not convinced that the co