Wikipedia: Underwriters Laboratories

Posted in General by TenagaSurya on April 21, 2011

Underwriters Laboratories

Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
The UL Mark
Abbreviation UL
Formation 1894
Type Standards organization
Headquarters Northbrook, Illinois, United States
Region served 98 countries
President, CEO and Trustee Keith E. Williams
Staff 6,808 (2008)
Website http://www.ul.com
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is an independent product safety certification organization. Established in 1894,[1] the company has its headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois.[2] UL develops standards and test procedures for products, materials, components, assemblies, tools and equipment, chiefly dealing with product safety. UL also evaluates and certifies the efficiency of a company’s business processes through its management system registration programs. Additionally, UL analyzes drinking and other clean water samples through its drinking water laboratory in South Bend, Indiana and evaluates products for environmental sustainability through its subsidiary, UL Environment.
UL is one of several companies approved for such testing by the U.S. federal agency OSHA. OSHA maintains a list of approved testing laboratories, known as Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories.


UL headquarters

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. was founded in 1894 by William H. Merrill. At age 25—the beginning of his career as an electrical engineer in Boston—Merrill was sent to investigate the Chicago World Fair’s Palace of Electricity. Upon seeing a growing potential in his field, Merrill stayed in Chicago to found Underwriters Laboratories.
Merrill soon went to work developing standards, launching tests, designing equipment and uncovering hazards. Aside from his work at UL, Merrill served as the National Fire Protection Association’s secretary-treasurer (1903–1909) and president (1910–1912) and was an active member of the Chicago Board and Union Committee. In 1916, Merrill became UL’s first president.
UL published its first standard, “Tin Clad Fire Doors,” in 1903. The following year, the UL Mark made its debut with the labeling of a fire extinguisher. In 1905, UL established a Label Service for certain product categories that require more frequent inspections. UL inspectors conducted the first factory inspections on labeled products at manufacturers’ facilities—a practice that remains a hallmark of UL’s testing and certification program.
UL has expanded into an organization with 64 laboratory, testing and certification facilities serving customers in 98 countries.[1] It has also evolved from its roots in electrical and fire safety to address broader safety issues, such as hazardous substances, water quality, food safety, performance testing and environmental sustainability.
For-profit subsidiary
On August 28, 2007, the nonprofit and tax-exempt UL announced that its Board of Trustees had resolved to develop a for-profit testing and certification subsidiary.[3]
The parent nonprofit company will continue to develop safety standards—with the for-profit subsidiary intended to generate money to be used for this work. The for-profit part of the business promotes the sales of standards developed by the nonprofit part. [4]

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