Virginia Works Newsletter
September-October 2006

 

Safety and Health Codes Hold Board Meeting

The Safety and Health Codes Board met on Monday, June 19, 2006 in Court Room A of the State Corporation Commission, 1300 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia. The following regulatory actions were taken:

a)        Adoption of 16 VAC 25-55, Proposed Regulation Governing Financial Responsibility of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Contract Fee Inspectors; Final Adoption

The Board approved for final adoption regulation of the Board the Regulation Governing Financial Responsibility of Boiler and Pressure vessel Contract Fee Inspectors, with a proposed effective date of October 1, 2006.

The regulation requires contract fee inspectors operating in the Commonwealth to demonstrate financial responsibility for bodily injury and property damage resulting from, or directly relating to, an inspector’s negligent inspection or recommendation for certification of a boiler or pressure vessel. Financial responsibility in the form of insurance, guaranty, surety, or self-insurance will be required as follows:

Aggregate limits of $500,000 for any contract fee inspector with less than 1% market share; $1 million for those with 1% up to and including 10% market share; and $2 million for those with more than 10% market share or any contract fee inspector that employs or has an arrangement with other contract fee inspectors.

As before, the draft final regulation had one change from the proposed regulation adopted by the Board at its meeting on May 24, 2005. This change, based on a comment received during the 60-day public comment period, did not change regulatory intent, but was made solely to provide further clarification. The final draft definition of a ‘Contract fee inspection agency’ was modified to add the word “certificate” to further define the type of inspection being performed under these regulations:

“Contract fee inspection agency” means a company that directly employs contract fee inspectors or has contractual arrangements with other contract fee inspectors for the purpose of providing boiler and pressure vessel certificate inspections to the general public.

The purpose of the regulation is to set minimum aggregate limits for insurance coverage or other means provided for in the Code of Virginia and approved by the Board to ensure the financial responsibility of boiler and pressure vessel contract fee inspectors operating in the Commonwealth. The intent of this financial responsibility is to assure additional protection to the public, including compensation to third parties, in cases where there is bodily injury and property damage resulting from, or directly relating to, a contract fee inspector’s negligent inspection or recommendation for certification of a boiler or pressure vessel.

With respect to impact, contract fee inspectors would be required to indemnify boiler and pressure vessel owners for any bodily injury and property damage resulting from or directly related to an inspector’s negligent inspection or recommendation for certification of a boiler or pressure vessel. Contract fee inspectors would be required to provide documentation of their means of indemnification at the time of their certification or before performing inspections and at renewal of the instrument of insurance, guaranty, surety or self-insurance.

The Department anticipates that any additional costs to the contract fee inspector, as a result of the requirements of this regulation, would be passed on to the boiler or pressure vessel owner, who is the end user of the service.

Employers, employees, and the general public would be compensated up to the level of the required financial responsibility in cases of bodily injury and property damage resulting from or directly related to a contract fee inspector’s negligent inspection or recommendation for certification of a boiler or pressure vessel.

b)        Various Corrections and Technical Amendments to: Part 1910 – General Industry; Part 1915 – Shipyard Employment; and Part 1926 – Construction

The Safety and Health Codes Board adopted federal OSHA’s revised final rule for various Corrections and Technical Amendments to Parts 1910, 1915 and 1926 (except for the revisions relating to §1910.20), with an effective date of September 1, 2006.

As part of the ongoing review of its regulations, federal OSHA amended various safety and health standards in need of corrections, housekeeping changes or technical amendments. The revisions include updating references and removing obsolete effective dates and startup dates from existing OSHA standards. The revisions do not affect the substantive requirements or coverage of the standards involved, modify or revoke existing rights and obligations, or establish new rights and obligations.

VOSH did not request adoption of the changes which covered updated references from what was 29 CFR 1910.20. In 1988, federal OSHA substantively revised and renumbered 29 CFR 1910.20 as the current 29 CFR 1910.1020. At that time in 1988, however, the Board chose to continue the enforcement of the old federal standard §1910.20 and did not adopt the revisions and section renumbering to 29 CFR 1910.1020. VOSH also did not request the changes to Part 1913 as it too changes §1910.20 references to the current federal 29 CFR 1910.1020, which, as stated previously, is not in effect in Virginia.

 



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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 30, 2006 10:48 AM