Boiler inspection regulations were first established in 1921. These laws were later repealed by new regulations enacted in 1982.
The Oklahoma Department of Labor has jurisdiction over high-pressure boilers, low pressure steam and hot water boilers, other pressure vessels and licensing requirements for firms engaged in the repair, service and installation of boilers and pressure vessels. All boilers are to be inspected by either the state or an authorized insurance company at least once a year with high pressure boilers being inspected twice a year. Some pressure vessels are inspected every three years.
All inspectors are required to be commissioned by the National Board of Boilers and Pressure Vessels. Today, there are approximately 15,000 boilers and pressure vessels in use in Oklahoma with approximately 475 firms licensed to install, service, and repair.
The boiler regulations enacted in 1982 also include the requirement for inspection of domestic hot water heaters located in city, county or state facilities. This change was the result of the tragic deaths of six children and one teacher who were killed when a hot water heater exploded in the Star Elementary School cafeteria in Oklahoma City.
In all, the Oklahoma Department of Labor has jurisdiction to inspect almost 20,000 hot water heaters. Of these, approximately 9,000 hot water heaters are inspected annually.