Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 16. Labor and Employment
Agency 25. Safety and Health Codes Board
8/3/2020

Chapter 40. Standard for Boiler and Pressure Vessel Operator Certification

16VAC25-40-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Accredited" means accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

"Act" refers to § 15.2-910 of the Code of Virginia.

"Agent" means the agent established by a county, city or town, under local ordinance to examine and determine an applicant's qualifications for certification under the Act.

"Approved" means acceptable to the Commissioner of Labor and Industry.

"Board" means the board established by a county, city or town, under local ordinance to examine and determine an applicant's qualifications for certification under the Act.

"Boiler" means a closed vessel in which water is heated, steam is generated, steam is superheated, or any combination of them, under pressure or vacuum for use externally to itself by the direct application of heat. The term "boiler" shall include fired units for heating or vaporizing liquids other than water where these units are separate from processing systems and are complete within themselves.

"Boiler operator" means an individual who would normally be the senior operational and maintenance person at the site of the boiler who would be expected to react to changing operational and maintenance situations.

"Certificate of Competency" means a certificate issued to a person who has passed the prescribed examination as provided in subsection C of 16VAC25-40-30.

"Heating plant" means a heating system containing a low pressure steam or hot water boiler used to generate energy for use in heating buildings, potable water or processing.

"High pressure boiler" means a steam boiler where the safety valves are set to relieve at a pressure of more than 15 pounds per square inch.

"Horsepower rating of a boiler" for the purpose of this chapter shall be the largest rating determined in accordance with each of the following (i) by dividing the square feet of boiler heating surface by 10; or (ii) the manufacturer's rated output in horsepower; or (iii) where the manufacturer's rated output is expressed in terms other than horsepower, such rating converted into horsepower by the use of one of the factors as defined in this chapter.

"Hot water heating boiler" means any hot water boiler operated at pressures not exceeding 160 psi or temperatures not exceeding 250°F.

"Jurisdiction" as referred to in this standard shall mean counties, cities and towns in the Commonwealth.

"Low pressure boiler" means a steam boiler where the safety valves are set to relieve at a pressure of 15 pounds per square inch or less and hot water heating boilers.

"Pressure vessel" as referred to in this chapter shall be any vessel in which (i) the pressure is obtained from an external source, or by an internal or external application of heat; and (ii) is an auxiliary to a boiler plant.

"One boiler horsepower" shall be defined as (i) the evaporation of 34.5 pounds of water per hour from and at 212°F; or (ii) 33475 British Thermal Units (B.T.U.) per hour; or (iii) 140 square feet of steam radiation; or (iv) 224 square feet of water radiation at 150°F; or (v) 10 kilowatt per hour electrical input to boiler.

"Steam plant" means a system containing a high pressure boiler to generate energy for use in heating, power generation or processing operations.

Statutory Authority

§§ 15.2-910 and 40.1-51.6 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR425-01-64 § 1, eff. January 17, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 26, eff. October 15, 2004; Volume 29, Issue 22, eff. August 15, 2013.

16VAC25-40-20. Authority and application.

A. This chapter is established in accordance with § 15.2-910 of the Code of Virginia for use by counties, cities and towns for the certification of boiler and pressure vessel operators.

B. This chapter shall apply to any person who engages in, or offers to engage in, for the general public for compensation, the operation or maintenance of a boiler or pressure vessel. All jurisdictions who choose to regulate the certification of boiler and pressure vessel operators shall utilize this standard for control of certification within the Commonwealth.

C. This chapter shall not affect licensing or inspection under any other provision of the Code of Virginia.

D. Localities shall forward a copy of their certification ordinance upon adoption or amendment to the board.

E. The Department of Labor and Industry will provide advisory opinions concerning interpretation and application of this chapter upon request.

F. This chapter shall not apply to any person who, in his capacity as an employee, is engaged in the operation or maintenance of a boiler or pressure vessel owned by his employer.

Statutory Authority

§§ 15.2-910 and 40.1-51.6 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR425-01-64 § 2, eff. January 17, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 26, eff. October 15, 2004; Volume 29, Issue 22, eff. August 15, 2013.

16VAC25-40-30. Certification.

A. Boiler operators and pressure vessel operators covered under this chapter shall be duly certified in the proper class by the examining agent or board of the jurisdiction adopting a boiler certification ordinance.

B. The agent or board shall be appointed by the adopting jurisdiction. Any such agent or board shall provide for the examination of applicants for boiler and pressure vessel operator certification no less than 12 times per year.

C. The written examination for boiler operator certification shall be administered by the agent or board.

Such examination shall include questions, diagrams and practical tests of sufficient scope to demonstrate that the applicant has the necessary qualifications, experience and knowledge of the basic principles involved in operation, care and maintenance to operate safely the boiler and auxiliary pressure vessels of the class for which an application for certification has been made.

Specific competencies shall include, but not be limited to the following:

1. Principles of boiler design;

2. General operation practices;

3. Effects of water treatment;

4. Inspection requirements; and

5. Emergency shutdown procedures.

D. The class of certification and the training and experience requirements are as follows:

1. Class-1 Boiler Operator - To take charge of and operate or maintain any steam plant.

Requirements:

Two years experience as an operator of high pressure boiler beyond that experience which is required for a Class-2 operator.

Substitution of a degree in mechanical engineering from an accredited college, university or school of technology or successful completion of an approved boiler operator apprenticeship program or a U.S. military training course may be permitted for one year of the required experience.

2. Class-2 Boiler Operator - To take charge of and operate any of the following:

a. A high pressure steam plant where the total horsepower rating of the boiler is not in excess of 500 boiler horsepower, or a combination of high pressure boilers and heating boilers and auxiliary pressure vessels; or

b. A heating plant having low pressure boilers with a pump return with no limitation on total capacity; or

c. A heating plant having hot water heating boilers, with no limitation on total capacity.

Requirements:

At least two years experience as a boiler operator or an assistant boiler operator, fireman or oiler, in a high pressure steam plant of more than 75 boiler horsepower; or

Four years of such experience in a plant of not less than 50 boiler horsepower.

Substitution of a degree in mechanical engineering from an accredited college, university or school of technology or successful completion of any approved boiler operator apprenticeship program or a U.S. military training course may be permitted for one year of the required experience.

E. In cases where a boiler operator has been operating a plant for a period of at least one year prior to the effective date of implementation of this chapter by the adopting jurisdiction, or where the classification of such a boiler operator has been changed by this chapter, such an operator may be conditionally certified for a three-year period by the agent or board in order that the operator may continue operation of that plant and no other. A suitable endorsement should be noted on his certification documents.

F. Application for examination in the class of certification shall be made on an approved form provided by the agent or board of the adopting jurisdiction. A notarized statement of education, training and experience in operating steam boilers or low pressure boiler plants and auxiliary pressure vessels shall be provided with the application.

G. No certification shall be required of an individual holding a valid license or certificate, under Chapter 3.1 (§ 40.1-51.5 et. seq.) of Title 40.1 of the Code of Virginia, or certified under this chapter by another jurisdiction. An applicant who holds a valid certificate or license from any state or local government outside the Commonwealth may be certified without examination upon the presentation of the following to the agent or board (i) a valid certificate or license from that authority and (ii) the certification or licensure requirements of that authority; provided that the authority's requirements for certification or licensure are equal to or greater than those established under this chapter.

H. Applicants must successfully complete an examination and the other requirements to be deemed certified, except as indicated in subsection G above.

I. The agent or board shall evaluate the applications and examinations and issue certificates of competency to applicants successfully completing the examination process.

J. The agent or board of the adopting jurisdiction may permit an applicant to sit for a written examination at a lower class than that for which the applicant has applied, if it is determined that an applicant lacks either experience or requisite knowledge of the class applied for.

K. Applicants who fail to pass the required examination may not be reexamined until 90 days after the date of the last examination.

L. Applicants shall be notified in writing by the agent or board of the results of their application within 30 days following the date of the examination.

M. The certification fee shall be established by the adopting jurisdiction.

N. Certificates of Competency shall be provided by the adopting jurisdiction at a frequency established by the adopting jurisdiction.

O. When a Certificate of Competency has been lost or destroyed, the owner shall present a notarized statement to that effect and pay a processing charge established by that jurisdiction for issuance of a duplicate certificate.

Statutory Authority

§§ 15.2-910 and 40.1-51.6 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR425-01-64 § 3, eff. January 17, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 22, eff. August 15, 2013.

16VAC25-40-40. Exemptions from certification.

A. Exempt from certification are operators of:

1. Boilers and pressure vessels on boats or vessels operated under the regulations of the Marine Inspections, U.S. Coast Guard;

2. Steam driven vehicles used solely for traction or show purposes;

3. Hot water heating boilers having total boiler horsepower not exceeding 100 boiler horsepower;

4. Low pressure steam boilers having gravity or trap returns; and

5. Nuclear plant facilities under the control of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

B. Notwithstanding exemptions listed above, no provision here shall be construed as authorizing or permitting operation of a boiler without a valid and unexpired certificate, where an ordinance requiring such a certification has been adopted.

Statutory Authority

§ 15.1-11.6 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR425-01-64 § 4, eff. January 17, 1990.

16VAC25-40-50. Penalties.

Section 15.2-910 of the Code of Virginia provides that penalties for noncompliance with this chapter shall be set and levied by the governing body of a jurisdiction and may not exceed those penalties for a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Statutory Authority

§ 40.1-22 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR425-01-64 § 5, eff. January 17, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 26, eff. October 15, 2004.

16VAC25-40-60. Revocation or lapse of certification.

The agent or board of the adopting jurisdiction may revoke a Certificate of Competency for either of the following:

1. Any misrepresentation in obtaining or renewing the certification; or

2. Negligence or incompetence in the practice of the profession.

A Certificate of Competency shall lapse if an individual has not been employed in the trade during the last five years. In the event of revocation or lapse of certification, examination is necessary to obtain future certification.

Statutory Authority

§ 15.1-11.6 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR425-01-64 § 6, eff. January 17, 1990.

16VAC25-40-70. Appeals.

A. An individual may appeal a determination of the agent or board of the adopting jurisdiction in regard to:

1. The application of this chapter.

2. A decision of the agent or board.

B. Each local governing body shall establish a method of appeals.

Statutory Authority

§ 15.1-11.6 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR425-01-64 § 7, eff. January 17, 1990.



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