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TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 14 TO TITLE 41 SO AS TO ENACT THE "BOILER SAFETY ACT" TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING AND REGULATION SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS FOR THE SAFE INSTALLATION, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR OF BOILERS IN THIS STATE, INCLUDING STANDARDS FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION AND FOR BOILERS IN USE; TO EXEMPT CERTAIN BOILERS FROM REGULATION UNDER THIS CHAPTER; TO IDENTIFY STANDARDS FOR WORKING PRESSURE OF A BOILER; TO AUTHORIZE THE APPOINTMENT OF A CHIEF BOILER INSPECTOR, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENFORCING THE LAWS OF THIS STATE REGULATING THE USE OF BOILERS; TO PROVIDE CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIAL INSPECTORS FOR COMPANIES INSURING BOILERS IN THIS STATE; TO PROVIDE BOILER INSPECTION TIMEFRAMES, CRITERIA, AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS; TO PROVIDE PENALTIES; AND TO PROHIBIT A COUNTY, MUNICIPALITY, OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION FROM ENACTING ORDINANCES REGULATING THE CONSTRUCTION, INSTALLATION, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR OF BOILERS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Title 41 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 41-14-10. This chapter may be cited as the 'Boiler Safety Act' and, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, applies to all boilers.
Section 41-14-20. For the purposes of this chapter:
(1) 'Board' means the Contractors' Licensing Board.
(2) 'Boiler' means a closed vessel in which water or other liquid is heated, steam or vapor is generated, or steam is superheated, or in which any combination of these functions is accomplished, under pressure or vacuum, for use externally to itself, by the direct application of energy from the combustion of fuels or from electrical, solar, or nuclear energy. The term 'boiler' includes fired units for heating or vaporizing liquids other than water where these units are separate from processing systems and are complete within themselves. The term 'boiler' is further defined to include any of the following terms:
(a) 'heating boiler' means a steam or vapor boiler operating at pressures not exceeding 15 psig or a hot water boiler operating at pressures not exceeding 160 psig or temperatures exceeding 250 degrees Fahrenheit; or
(b) 'high pressure, high temperature water boiler' means a water boiler operating at pressures exceeding 160 psig or temperatures exceeding 250 degrees Fahrenheit; or
(c) 'power boiler' means a boiler in which steam or other vapor is generated at a pressure of more than 15 psig.
(3) 'Department' means the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
(4) 'Director' means the director of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
(5) 'Owner' means the person or persons who own or operate any business operating a boiler required to be register under this Chapter.
Section 41-14-30. (A)(1) The department, with the advice of the board, shall promulgate regulations for the safe installation, maintenance, and repair of boilers in this State.
(2) The regulations promulgated for new construction must be based upon and at all times follow the generally accepted nationwide engineering standards, formulas, and practices established and pertaining to boiler installation and safety. The department, with the advice of the board, may adopt an existing published codification, known as the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), with the amendments and interpretations made and approved by the council of the society, and may adopt the amendments and interpretations subsequently made and published by the same authority. When adopted, the codification is deemed to be incorporated into and constitutes a part of the regulations of the department. Upon promulgation, amendments and interpretations to the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code are deemed to be incorporated into the regulations of the department and are effective immediately to the end that the departments boiler and pressure vessel and regulations at all times follow the generally accepted nation-wide engineering standards.
(3) The department, with the advice of the board, shall promulgate regulations for installation and repair of boilers which were in use in this State prior to the date upon which the first regulations under this chapter pertaining to existing installations become effective or during the 12-month period immediately thereafter. The regulations must be based upon, and at all times follow, generally accepted nation-wide engineering standards and practices and may adopt applicable sections of the Inspection Code of the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors.
(B) The regulations and any subsequent regulations promulgated by the department must be adopted pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act. The regulations when promulgated have the force and effect of law, except that the regulations applying to the construction of new boilers do not become mandatory until twelve months after their promulgation by the department.
(C) Subsequent amendments to the regulations promulgated by the department must be permissive immediately and become mandatory twelve months after their promulgation.
Section 41-14-40. (A) Any new boiler installed and operated in this State, unless otherwise exempted, must be designed and constructed in accordance with the ASME code or a nationally recognized code of construction. Any new boiler installed in this State must be marked in accordance with the code of construction and must be registered with the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors. Copies of registration documents must be provided to the jurisdiction when requested.
(B) Only a boiler that conforms to the regulations of the department governing installation must be installed and operated in this State after twelve months from the date upon which the first regulations under this chapter pertaining to installation have become effective; however, the department may issue a special installation and operating permit for a boiler that is of special design or construction and that is not inconsistent with the spirit and safety objectives of the regulations.
Section 41-14-50. (A) The maximum allowable working pressure of a boiler carrying the ASME code symbol must be determined by the applicable sections of the code under which it was constructed and stamped. Subject to the concurrence of the enforcement authority at the point of installation, the boiler may be re-rated in accordance with the rules of a later edition of the ASME Code and in accordance with the rules of the National Board Inspection Code.
(B) The maximum allowable working pressure of a boiler which does not carry the ASME or the API-ASME Code symbol must be computed in accordance with the Inspection Code of the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors.
(C) This chapter must not be construed to prevent the use, the sale, or the reinstallation of a boiler referred to in this section if the boiler has been made to conform to the regulations of the board governing existing installations and has not been found upon inspection to be in an unsafe condition.
Section 41-14-60. (A) This chapter does not apply to:
(1) boilers under federal control or under regulations of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 192 and 193;
(2) hot water supply boilers equipped with ASME-National Board approved safety relief valves which are directly fired with oil, gas, or electricity when none of the following limitations are exceeded: heat input of 200,000 BTU per hour; water temperature of 210 degrees Fahrenheit; nominal water-containing capacity of 120 gallons;
(3) boilers in the care, custody, and control of research facilities and used solely for research purposes which require one or more details of non-code construction or which involve destruction or reduced life expectancy of those vessels;
(4) boilers operated and maintained for the production and generation of electricity. A person, firm, partnership, or corporation operating such a boiler must have insurance or must be self-insured;
(5) boilers operated and maintained as part of a manufacturing process. A person, firm, partnership, or corporation operating such a boiler must have insurance or must be self-insured;
(6) boilers that are subject to OSHA standards of compliance;
(7) boilers operated and maintained by a public utility including, but not limited to, boilers operated and maintained for the production of electricity.
(B) The following boilers are exempt from the requirements of Sections 41-14-120(B) and (C) and 41-14-130:
(1) boilers that are located on farms and used solely for agricultural or horticultural purposes.
(2) heating boilers that are located in private residences or in apartment houses of less than six family units.
(C) All pressure vessels are exempt from regulation under this chapter.
Section 41-14-70. (A) The director may appoint as chief inspector a resident of this State who at the time of the appointment has at least five years' experience in the construction, installation, operation, maintenance, or repair of high pressure boilers as a mechanical engineer, steam operating engineering, or boilermaker and who has passed the same type of examination prescribed in Section 41-14-90. The chief inspector may be removed for cause after due investigation by the board and its recommendation to the director.
(B) The chief inspector, if authorized by the director, must be charged, directed, and empowered to:
(1) take action necessary for the enforcement of the laws and regulations of this State regulating the use of boilers;
(2) keep a complete record of the name of each boiler owner or user and his or her location, the type, dimensions, maximum allowable working pressure, age, and the last record inspection of all boilers; and
(3) publish and make available, upon request, copies of the department regulations.
Section 41-14-80. (A) The director, upon the request of any company licensed to insure and insuring boilers in this State, shall issue to each inspector of the insurance company a certificate of competency as a special inspector. Before receiving his certificate of competency, each inspector shall satisfactorily pass the examination provided for in Section 41-14-90 or, in lieu of the examination, shall hold a commission or a certificate of competency as an inspector of boilers from a state that has a standard of examination substantially equal to that of this State or possess a commission as an inspector of boilers issued by the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors.
(B) The expenses or salary of special inspectors must not be paid by the State. The continuance of their certificates of competency must be conditioned upon the special inspectors continuing in the employ of the boiler insurance company.
(C) The special inspectors may inspect all boilers insured or operated by their respective companies.
Section 41-14-90. The examination for chief inspector or special inspectors must be in writing and must be held by the board or by an examining board appointed in accordance with the requirements of the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, with at least two members present at all times during the examination. The examination must be confined to questions that aid in determining the fitness and competency of the applicant for the intended service and may be those prepared by the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors. If an applicant fails to pass the examination, the applicant may appeal to the board for another examination that must be given by the board after ninety days. The record of an applicant's examination must be accessible to the applicant and employer of the applicant.
Section 41-14-100. (A) An inspector's certificate of competency may be suspended by the director after investigation and recommendation by the board for the incompetence or untrustworthiness of the holder of the certificate, for wilful falsification of any matter or statement contained in the application of the inspector, or in a report of any inspection he or she made. Written notice of any suspension must be given by the director within ten days of the suspension to the inspector and the employer of the inspector. A person whose certificate of competency has been suspended may appeal to the board and may be represented by counsel at the hearing of the appeal.
(B) If the board believes that an inspector is no longer qualified to hold his or her certificate of competency, the board, upon ten days' written notice to the inspector, shall hold a hearing at which the inspector shall have an opportunity to be heard. If, as a result of the hearing, the board finds that the inspector is no longer qualified to hold his or her certificate of competency, the board shall recommend to the director that the certificate of competency be revoked and the director shall immediately revoke the certificate of competency.
(C) A person whose certificate of competency has been suspended may apply, after ninety days from the date of the suspension, for reinstatement of the certificate of competency.
Section 41-14-110. If a certificate of competency is lost or destroyed, a new certificate of competency must be issued without further examination.
Section 41-14-120. (A) The director or the chief inspector shall give twenty-four hours notice to enter any premises in the State where a boiler is being installed or repaired for the purpose of ascertaining whether the boiler is being installed or repaired in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(B)(1) After December 31, 2005, each boiler used, or proposed to be used in this State, except boilers exempt under this chapter, must be thoroughly inspected as to their installation and condition as follows:
(a) Annually, a certificate inspection must be conducted on power boilers and high pressure, high temperature water boilers and this inspection must be an internal inspection; however, if it is not possible to perform an internal inspection, the inspection must be as complete an inspection as possible. The boilers must also be externally inspected while under pressure, if possible.
(b) Biennially a certificate inspection must be conducted on low pressure steam or vapor heating boilers and an internal inspection must be conducted every four years where installation permits.
(c) Biennially a certificate inspection must be conducted on hot water heating and hot water supply boilers and an internal inspection must be conducted at the discretion of the inspector.
(2) A grace period of two months beyond the periods specified in items (a) and (b) of subsection (B)(1) may elapse between certificate inspections.
(3) The department may provide for longer periods between certificate inspection in its regulations.
(4) Pursuant to this chapter, the department is responsible for providing for the safety of life, limb and property and has jurisdiction over the interpretation and application of the inspection requirements as provided for in regulations of the department. The person conducting the inspection during installation or repair shall certify as to the minimum requirements for safety as defined in the ASME Code. Inspection requirements of operating equipment must be in accordance with generally accepted practice and compatible with the actual service conditions, which must include all of the following:
(a) previous experience, based on records of inspection, performance, and maintenance;
(b) quality of inspection and operating personnel;
(c) provisions for related safe operation controls;
(d) interrelation with other operations.
(5) The board may permit variations in the inspection requirements based upon documentation of the actual service conditions by the owner or user of the operating equipment.
(C) The inspections required in this chapter must be made by the chief inspector or a special inspector provided for in this chapter.
(D) If the inspector determines that a hydrostatic test is necessary, it must be made by the owner or user of the boiler.
(E) All boilers, other than cast iron sectional boilers, installed in this State after the twelve-month period from the date upon which the regulations of the board become effective must be inspected during installation in accordance with this chapter.
Section 41-14-130. (A) Each company employing special inspectors, within thirty days following each certificate inspection conducted by a company inspector, shall file a report of the inspection with the chief inspector upon appropriate forms as determined by the director. The company is not required to file reports of external inspections, other than certificate inspections, except if an inspection discloses that the boiler is in a dangerous condition.
(B) If a report filed pursuant to this section shows that a boiler is found to comply with the regulations of the department, the chief inspector, or his designee, shall issue to the owner or user an inspection certificate bearing the date of inspection. The inspection certificate is valid for up to fourteen months from its date of issuance in the case of power boilers and twenty-six months in the case of heating and hot water supply boilers. In the case of those boilers covered in Section 41-14-120(B)(1), the certificate is valid for a period of not more than two months beyond the period set by the board. Certificates for boilers must be maintained by the owner or user.
(C) No inspection certificate issued for an insured boiler based upon receipt of a special inspector is valid after the boiler for which it was issued ceases to be insured by a company authorized by this State to provide the insurance.
(D) The director or his designee may issue a written order for the temporary cessation or operation of a boiler because of faulty installation or incorrect repair if the boiler has been determined after inspection to be hazardous or unsafe. Operations must not resume until the conditions are corrected to the satisfaction of the director, or his designee.
Section 41-14-140. After June 30, 2006, it is unlawful for a person, firm, partnership, or corporation to operate a power boiler or a low pressure steam heating hot water heating or hot water supply boiler without a valid inspection certificate. The operation of a boiler without the inspection certificate or at a pressure exceeding that specified in the inspection certificate or in violation of this chapter constitutes a misdemeanor and upon conviction the owner may be fined up to one thousand dollars or imprisoned for up to thirty days or both.
Section 41-14-150. No county, municipality, or other political subdivision has the authority to make any laws, ordinances, or resolutions providing for the construction, installation, maintenance, and repair of boilers within the limits of the county, municipality, or other political subdivision.
SECTION 2. If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this article, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval of the Governor.
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