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NEW JERSEY REGISTER
VOLUME 38, ISSUE 18
ISSUE DATE: SEPTEMBER 18, 2006
RULE PROPOSALS
LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
NEW JERSEY BOARD OF EXAMINERS OF MASTER PLUMBERS

Proposed Amendment: N.J.A.C. 13:32-5.1
Proposed New Rules: N.J.A.C. 13:32-7

Medical Gas Piping

Authorized By: New Jersey Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers, Barbara Cook, Executive Director.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:14C-7 and P.L. 2003, c. 205.

Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.

Proposal Number: PRN 2006-314.

Submit written comments by November 17, 2006 to:

Barbara Cook, Executive Director
New Jersey Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers
PO Box 45008
124 Halsey Street
Newark, NJ 07101

The agency proposal follows:

Summary

Effective January 7, 2004, with the enactment of P.L. 2003, c. 205, the Board of Master Plumbers was given responsibility for the regulation of individuals involved in the installation and repair of medical gas piping in health care facilities licensed by the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). Medical gas systems in health care facilities are literally a patient's lifeline, providing oxygen and medical air to patients, as well as certain anesthetic agents, like nitrous oxide. Nitrogen may be provided to operate surgical power tools. These systems also can remove, by vacuum, excess blood, carbon dioxide, and organic debris. By implementing the certification scheme, the Board of Master Plumbers will be ensuring that those individuals entrusted to work on these systems meet the industry standards and are knowledgeable and well trained.

The legislation calls for three distinct certifications: medical gas pipe installers, brazers (those who solder using a hard solder with a high melting point) and instructors of medical gas piping. A proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:32-5.1 delineates the fees to be charged for initial applications, for renewal and for other services. Proposed new Subchapter 7, pursuant to the express authority set forth at N.J.S.A. 45:14C-31(b), establishes the eligibility criteria for each certification category and spells out the component parts of the application, including the specific number of hours of training that need to be obtained and the examinations that will be recognized by the Board. Proposed N.J.A.C. 13:32-7.1 contains the operative prohibitory language - barring persons from installing, improving, repairing or maintaining medical gas piping - or offering instruction in those activities - unless certified by the Board (or licensed as an electrical contractor, or performing duties as a licensed electrical contractor.) Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:32-7.2 provides definitions and identifies the acronyms used in the rule to identify nationally recognized entities, all of which were expressly referenced in the statute.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:32-7.3 requires applicants for certification as a medical gas piping installer to complete 32 hours of classroom instruction in the January 19, 2004 edition of the American Society of Sanitary Engineering Series 6010 Professional Qualifications Standards for Medical Gas Systems Installers. These standards set forth performance criteria for medical gas system installers and are incorporated by reference. Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:32-7.5 requires applicants for certification as a medical gas piping instructors to complete 40 hours of classroom instruction in the January 19, 2004 edition of the American Society of Sanitary Engineering Series 6050 Professional Qualifications Standards for Medical Gas Systems Instructors. These standards set for performance criteria for medical gas system instructors and are incorporated by reference.

Pursuant to proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:32-7.3, 7.4 and 7.5, those licensed as master plumbers, those qualifying as journeymen (who have completed an apprenticeship program), and those employed by steam fitters or pipe fitters are, as a preliminary matter, deemed eligible for certification as medical gas piping installers, brazers or medical gas piping instructors. Medical gas pipe installers and brazers may also be deemed eligible if they have completed three years of the apprenticeship program or are certified in their field of expertise by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Regardless of the manner in which the applicant is deemed eligible, all are required to complete classroom training.

Instructors must meet the most stringent eligibility criteria, as laid out in proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:35-7.5. Individuals not licensed as master plumbers or journeymen who have completed an apprenticeship program or were employed by plumbing contractors, steam fitters or pipe fitters must have five years of experience in the practice of installing medical gas piping or have been certified in accordance with NFPA standards for at least five years. They must also complete 40 hours of instructional training approved by the Board.

Examinations are also identified for each certification category. Applicants for certification as a medical gas piping installer will be required to either pass the National Inspection Testing and Certification Corporation Medical Gas Installer examination or pass a brazer examination offered by the American Welding Society and complete a training program approved by a major medical has producer. Applicants for certification as a brazer will be required to either pass the National Inspection Testing and Certification Corporation Brazing Process or pass a brazer examination offered by the American Welding Society and complete a training program approved by a major medical gas producer. Applicants for certification as a medical gas piping instructor will be required to either pass the National Inspection Testing and Certification Corporation Medical Gas Instructor examination or pass a brazer examination offered by the American Welding Society and complete a training program approved by a major medical gas producer.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:32-7.6 provides an opportunity for those working in the installing and brazing field to continue, so long as they make application before two years from the effective date of these rules. Provisions relating to renewals, modeled on those applicable to all other licenses, are set forth at N.J.A.C. 13:32-7.7. As the Board has provided a 60-day comment period on this notice of proposal, this notice is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5.

Social Impact

The Board believes that the proposed new rules and amendment will have a positive impact on society. By setting certification standards for individuals who install medical gas piping and perform brazing incidental to the installation of medical gas piping, the rules ensure that these individuals have the requisite knowledge and skills to safely install medical gas piping.

Economic Impact

The Board believes that the proposed new rules and amendment will have an economic impact on any individual who is currently installing medical gas piping or brazing incidental to the installation of medical gas piping. These individuals will be required to obtain certification from the Board and pay the associated certification fees. Individuals who are not currently engaged in such practice, and who will not qualify for certification pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:32-7.6, will be required to obtain and pay for specific education and to pay the fees associated with obtaining and maintaining certification, if they wish to install or braze medical gas piping. The proposed new rules and amendment will also require individuals who seek to become medical gas piping instructors to obtain and pay for specific education and to pay the fees associated with obtaining and maintaining certification.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards statement is not required because there are no Federal standards or requirements applicable to the subject matter of the proposed new rules and amendment.

Jobs Impact

The Board believes that the proposed new rules and amendment will not increase or decrease jobs in New Jersey. However, by setting forth certification standards for installers, brazers and instructors, the proposed new rules and amendment may limit the pool of individuals who can perform this work.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed new rules and amendment will have any impact on the agriculture industry in the State.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

Since the individuals who will apply for and obtain certification as medical gas piping installers, brazers and instructors will be individually licensed by the Board, under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., they may be considered "small businesses" for the purposes of the Act. The costs imposed by the proposed new rules and amendment are the same for all certificants as set forth above in the Economic Impact. The Board does not believe that certificants will need to employ any professional services to comply with the requirements of the new rules and amendment. The proposed new rules and amendment impose no reporting or recordkeeping requirements, but impose compliance requirements upon certificants, as discussed in the Summary above. The Board believes that because the proposed new rules and amendment further the welfare and safety of the public by ensuring that those who install and braze medical gas piping are adequately prepared to perform these tasks, the provisions must be applied uniformly to all certificants regardless of the size of the business.

Smart Growth Impact

The Board does not anticipate that the proposed new rules and amendment will have any impact on the achievement of smart growth and implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, otherwise known as the State Plan.

Full text of the proposal follows (additions indicated in boldface thus; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):

13:32-5.1 Fee schedule

(a) (No change.)

(b) The following fees shall be charged by the Board in connection with the certification of medical gas piping installers, medical gas piping brazers and medical gas piping instructors:

1. Application fee....................................... $ 75.00

2. Initial certification as medical gas piping installer:

i. If paid during the first year of a triennial renewal period.................................................... $ 150.00

ii. If paid during the second year of a triennial renewal period.................................................... $ 100.00

iii. If paid during the third year of a triennial renewal period.................................................... $ 50.00

3. Initial certification as medical gas piping brazer........ $ 50.00

4. Initial certification as instructor in medical gas piping:

i. If paid during the first year of a triennial renewal period.................................................... $ 150.00

ii. If paid during the second year of a triennial renewal period.................................................... $ 100.00

iii. If paid during the third year of a triennial renewal period.................................................... $ 50.00

5. Certification renewal as a medical gas piping installer, triennial................................................. $ 150.00

6. Certification renewal as a medical gas piping brazer, annual.................................................... $ 50.00

7. Certification renewal as a medical gas piping instructor, triennial................................................. $ 150.00

8. Late renewal fee.......................................... $ 50.00

9. Reinstatement fee......................................... $ 50.00

10. Inactive fee....to be determined by Director by regulation)

SUBCHAPTER 7. MEDICAL GAS PIPING

13:32-7.1 Purpose and scope

(a) The purpose of this subchapter is to implement the provisions of P.L. 2003, c. 205 (N.J.S.A. 45:14C-28 et seq.). which requires medical gas piping installers and brazers to be certified by the Board.

(b) Except as set forth in (d) below, no person shall install, improve, repair or maintain medical gas piping within a health care facility licensed pursuant to P.L. 1971. c. 136 (N.J.S.A. 26:2H-1 et seq.). located after the source valve and intended for patient use unless certified by the Board.

(c) No person shall provide instruction regarding the installation, improvement, repair or maintenance of medical gas piping unless certified as an instructor by the Board.

(d) This subchapter shall not apply to any electrical contractor licensed pursuant to P.L. 1962. c. 162 (N.J.S.A. 45:5A-1 et seq.), or any person employed by such an electrical contractor, who is performing the duties of his or her employment and who is acting within the scope of his or her profession or occupation.

13:32-7.2 Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meaning, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"ASSE" means the American Society of Sanitary Engineering.

"AWS" means the American Welding Society.

"Board" means the State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers.

"Brazing" means joining metals by the use of brass filler or intensely heating the metals to be joined and applying a high temperature melting solder which ranges in melting point from alloys rich in silver to pure copper.

"Medical gas piping" means the piping used for medical gases within a health care facility licensed pursuant to P.L. 1971, c. 136 (N.J.S.A. 26:2H-1 et seq.), located after the source valve and intended for patient use.

"NFPA" means the National Fire Protection Association.

"NITC" means the National Inspection Testing and Certification Corporation.

13:32-7.3 Certification as a medical gas piping installer

(a) To be eligible for certification as a medical gas piping installer an applicant shall be either:

1. A licensed master plumber in New Jersey;

2. A journeyman plumber who has successfully completed an apprenticeship program accredited by the United States Department of Labor;

3. An apprentice plumber who has successfully completed at least three years of an apprenticeship program accredited by the United States Department of Labor;

4. A steam fitter or pipe fitter employed by a plumbing contractor; or

5. An individual who holds certification from NFPA.

(b) An applicant for certification as a medical gas piping installer shall submit to the Board:

1. A completed application for certification;

2. Two affidavits attesting to the applicant's good moral character;

3. Evidence that the applicant has met the qualifications of (a) above;

4. Evidence that the applicant has successfully completed 32 hours of classroom training, taught by an instructor certified pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:32-7.5, in the January 19, 2004 ASSE Series 6010 Professional Qualifications Standards for Medical Gas Systems Installers, incorporated herein by reference, as amended and supplemented, published by the ASSE, 901 Canterbury Road, Suite A, Westlake, OH, 44145;

5. Evidence that the applicant has passed the examination requirements of (c) below; and

6. The application fee and initial certification fee pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:32-5.1.

(c) To qualify for certification, an applicant shall either:

1. Successfully pass the NITC Medical Gas Installer examination; or

2. Successfully pass a brazer examination offered by the AWS and successfully complete a training program in installation approved by a major medical gas producer.

13:32-7.4 Certification to perform only brazing incidental to installation of medical gas piping

(a) To be eligible for certification to perform only brazing incidental to installation of medical gas piping, an applicant shall be either:

1. A licensed master plumber in New Jersey;

2. A journeyman plumber who has successfully completed an apprenticeship program accredited by the United States Department of Labor;

3. An apprentice plumber who has successfully completed at least three years of an apprenticeship program accredited by the United States Department of Labor;

4. A steam fitter or pipe fitter employed by a plumbing contractor; or

5. An individual who holds a certification from NFPA.

(b) An applicant for certification to perform only brazing incidental to installation of medical gas piping shall submit to the Board:

1. A completed application for certification;

2. Two affidavits attesting to the applicant's good moral character;

3. Evidence that the applicant has met the qualifications of (a) above;

4. Evidence that the applicant has successfully completed 20 hours of classroom training related to the performance of brazing duties required to install, improve, repair or maintain medical gas piping taught by an instructor certified pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:32-7.5, including 10 hours in practical, hands-on experience in brazing;

5. Evidence that the applicant has passed the examination requirements of (c) below; and

6. The application fee and initial certification fee pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:32-5.1.

(c) To qualify for certification, an applicant shall either:

1. Successfully pass the NITC Brazing Processes; or

2. Successfully pass a brazer examination offered by the AWS and successfully complete a training program in brazing of medical gas piping approved by a major medical gas producer.

13:32-7.5 Certification of medical gas piping instructors

(a) To be eligible for certification as a medical gas piping instructor an applicant shall be either:

1. A licensed master plumber in New Jersey;

2. A journeyman plumber who has successfully completed an apprenticeship program accredited by the United States Department of Labor;

3. A steam fitter or pipe fitter employed by a plumbing contractor;

4. An individual who has engaged in the practice of installing medical gas piping for the past five years; or

5. An individual who holds certification from NFPA for the past five years.

(b) An applicant for certification as a medical gas piping instructor shall submit to the Board:

1. A completed application for certification;

2. Evidence that the applicant has met the qualifications of (a) above;

3. Evidence that the applicant has successfully completed a 40-hour course that covers the January 19, 2004 ASSE Series 6050 Professional Qualifications Standards for Medical Gas Systems Instructors, incorporated herein by reference, as amended and supplemented, published by the ASSE, 901 Canterbury Road, Suite A, Westlake, OH, 44145;

4. Evidence that the applicant has passed the examination requirements of (c) below; and

5. The application fee and initial certification fee pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:32-5.1.

(c) To qualify for certification, an applicant shall:

1. Successfully pass the NITC Medical Gas Instructor examination; or

2. Successfully pass a brazer examination offered by the AWS and a training program in instructional training approved by a major medical gas producer.

13:32-7.6 Certification for individuals engaged in practice prior to January 7, 2004

(a) An applicant who applies prior to (two years from the effective date of these rules) and who has engaged in the installation, improvement, repair or maintenance of medical gas piping since at least January 7, 2001, shall be eligible for certification if he or she meets the requirements of N.J.A.C. 13:32-7.3(c).

(b) An applicant who applies prior to (two years from the effective date of these rules) and who has engaged in brazing incidental to the installation, improvement, repair or maintenance of medical gas piping since at least January 7, 2001, shall be eligible for certification if he or she meets the requirements of N.J.A.C. 13:37-7.4(c).

13:32-7.7 Renewal of certificates

(a) Certificates for instructors and installers shall be renewed triennially on a form provided by the Board. Certificates to perform only brazing incidental to installation of medical gas piping shall be renewed annually on a form provided by the Board.

(b) The Board shall send a notice of renewal to each certificant at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the certificate. If the notice to renew is not sent 60 days prior to the expiration date, no monetary penalty or fines shall apply to the holder for any unlicensed practice during the period following the licensure expiration, not to exceed the number of days short of 60 before the renewals were issued.

(c) Certificants shall submit the renewal application and pay the renewal fee pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:32-5.1 prior to the date of expiration of the certificate. If a certificant does not renew the certificate prior to its expiration date, he or she may renew the certificate no later than 30 days after its expiration date by submitting a renewal application and paving a renewal fee and a late fee pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:32-5.1. A certificant who fails to renew the certificate within 30 days after the expiration date of the certificate shall be suspended without a hearing.

(d) A person who continues to practice or hold him or herself out as a certificant after being suspended shall be deemed to have engaged in uncertified practice pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:14C-28, even if no notice of suspension has been provided to the person.

(e) A person seeking reinstatement within five years following the suspension of a certificate shall submit to the Board:

1. A completed reinstatement application;

2. Payment of all past delinquent renewal fees as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:32-5.1;

3. Payment of a reinstatement fee as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:32-5.1; and

4. An affidavit of employment listing each job held during the period of suspension which includes the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of each employer.

(f) A person seeking reinstatement after more than five years following the suspension of a certificate shall successfully complete the examination required for initial certification as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:32-7.3(c), 7.4(c) or 7.5(c) and shall submit to the Board:

1. A completed reinstatement application;

2. Payment of all past delinquent renewal fees as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:32-5.1;

3. Payment of a reinstatement fee as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:32-5.1; and

4. An affidavit of employment listing each job held during the period of suspension which includes the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of each employer.

(g) Renewal applications for certificants shall provide the applicant with the option of either active or inactive renewal. Applicants electing to renew as inactive shall not practice or hold themselves out to the public as certificants. A certificant renewing as inactive shall submit a completed renewal application to the Board.

(h) Upon application to the Board, the Board may permit an applicant who has been on inactive status to return to active status provided such applicant pays the renewal fee as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:32-5.1.

If you wish to submit comments about this rule proposal, please fill out the form below. When you have completed the form, click the "Submit Your Comments" button below.

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