I did a web search for these standards and quickly discovered I would have to pay about $450 apiece to obtain the documents that contained these two standards.UL508 is in its 17th edition as of January 1999, and contains revisions through July 2005. UL508A is a first edition, dated April 2001, and also includes revisions through July 2005. UL508 contains 208 pages of actual information, and UL508A is 160 pages.
I read both standards from cover to cover. When I finished, one thought kept going through my head: "Why am I paying so much for these documents?" There were about two dozen pages between both of these documents that actually pertained to my specific situation.I have two issues with this. First, a significant portion of these standards don't contain information relevant to a particular application. This has been going on for decades but never seems to get addressed. Second, standards companies still charge as if you were getting an actual book, but they are delivering PDF files. I had to tell my customer I paid $900 for two PDF files to find which paragraph referenced the required signage.
It's fair for a company to recoup its research costs, but hasn't UL been able to amortize their initial costs for a safety standards book by the time the 17th edition appears? Spare me the "continuing research" argument. The physics of electrical panel safety does not change that often.And why can't standards companies also provide more application-focused material? Is it that hard to extract the standards requirements for retrofitting a machine?
There must be a less expensive way for the engineering consumer to have access to specific, relevant information.
To read more on this topic, read Why Is Safety Information So Pricey?