Can UL 62368-1 be applied to battery-powered devices like smart phones? As a result, if used in the workplace, will such certified devices be in compliance with OSHA Regulations?
In the U.S., OSHA workplace regulations (29 CFR 1910 Subpart S - Electrical) require that electrical products used in the workplace be approved for the purpose. One way to demonstrate approval is via an NRTL Mark, like UL. In fact, UL 62368-1 is an ‘appropriate test standard’ on the list published by OSHA - https://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/list_standards.html .
Related to applicability of the regulations to smart phones and similar hand held, battery powered av/ict equipment, OSHA occasionally issues Standard Interpretations that clarify the OSHA viewpoint on the regulations.
In 2006 OSHA issued interpretations on several questions, one of them which asked whether the definition of the term "electric utilization equipment" used in the regulations also includes hand held, battery powered equipment?
“Question 1: Does the definition of "electric utilization equipment" include hand held, battery powered equipment such as electrical test equipment, hand held gas detectors, water quality meters, groundwater pumps, PDA's and cellular telephones?”
The reply by OSHA helps clarify the formal OSHA view on the subject.
“Reply: Yes. The definition for "utilization equipment" is located in 29 CFR 1910, Subpart S - Electrical, §1910.399, Definitions applicable to this subpart. It reads: "Utilization equipment means equipment which utilizes electric energy for mechanical, chemical, heating, lighting, or similar useful purpose." The type of equipment you described above does meet this definition.”
Although most av/ict equipment used in the workplace is powered by a building’s electrical supply system (mains), the scope of UL/IEC 62368-1 also covers hand held, battery powered av/ict equipment, including mobile (smart) phones, tablets, notebook computers, wearable electronics and similar devices. (See Clause 1 & Annex A of 62368-1.) Therefore, hand held, battery powered av/ict equipment, including smart phones, if NRTL certified to UL 62368-1 would be expected to be in compliance with the OSHA workplace regulations for electrical utilization equipment.
We encourage you to contact us if you would like to explore UL safety certification of hand held, battery powered av/ict equipment to align with U.S. OSHA workplace regulations