MA Elevator Inspection Law Subjects Owners to $100 per Day Fine
Did you know that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can fine building owners $100 per day if they operate an uninspected elevator? Back in May, 2011 the Massachusetts State Legislature approved a budget amendment that requires a valid elevator inspection certificate before operating any elevator or escalator in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The penalty for failure to comply with the amendment is a $100 per day fine for the elevator or escalator owner, with a maximum fine of $20,000 per unit. The amendment applies to new installations and annual safety inspections for existing equipment. The amendment took affect on December 28, 2011.
Potential Risk for Elevator Owners
This is potentially troublesome for building owners and their property managers who do not have an elevator company performing routine maintenance or have contracted with an elevator company that does not have a process to ensure the inspection is applied for in a timely fashion.
Has Your Elevator Maintenance Company Got You Covered?
Verify your elevator company has an inspection application process to ensure they are properly protecting you from violating the new amendment. Most qualified companies will use software to track the application process and also implement a backup system so they test all the elevators they maintain in accordance with the laws of Massachusetts. The elevator company should apply for the permit 60 days before the current certificate is expired. At this point, failure to apply in time, even in error, will likely result in a fine.
What the New Elevator Law Actually Says
The amendment clearly states that the fine is levied on the elevator/escalator owner so it is important to verify that your elevator company is doing its job and properly protecting you and your building’s occupants.
Here is the amendment:
SECTION 95. Section 65 of said chapter 143, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following 2 paragraphs:-
No elevator licensed under this chapter shall be operated without a valid inspection certificate. If a certificate has expired, no new certificate shall be issued until a new inspection has been completed and no elevator shall be operated until a new certificate has been issued by a qualified state inspector. The owner or operator of an elevator who fails to comply with this section shall be punished by a fine of $100 for each day that an elevator is in operation without a valid certificate. The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee, and such other person as may be specifically authorized, may issue a written notice of violation under section 21 of chapter 22 for a violation of this section.
An owner or operator of an elevator shall not be assessed a fine for having violated this section if: (i) 30 days prior to the expiration of a certificate, the owner or operator has, in writing or in any manner prescribed by the department, requested an inspection of the elevator by the department and an inspection was not completed within the 30-day period; and (ii) the elevator was not determined to be unsafe at any time during the 30-day period, notwithstanding that the results of an inspection were rendered beyond such 30-day period.