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NO. 60. AN ACT RELATING TO ELEVATOR SAFETY.

(H.473)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 21 V.S.A. chapter 3, subchapter 2A is added to read:

Subchapter 2A. Elevators and Conveyances

§ 141. PURPOSE; DEFINITIONS

(a) The purpose of this subchapter is to assure that elevators and other automated conveyances are correctly and safely installed and operated within the state by authorizing and enforcing rules for the design, installation, operation and maintenance of automated people conveyances, and by licensing mechanics and inspectors who work on these conveyances.

(b) For the purposes of this subchapter:

(1) "Board" means the elevator safety review board.

(2) "Certificate of operation" means a document issued by the department indicating that a conveyance has passed the required safety inspection, and the conveyance may be operated for a year from the date the certificate is issued.

(3) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of labor and industry, or the commissioner’s designee.

(4) "Conditional certificate of operation" means a document issued by the department that permits a conveyance that is not in compliance with rules adopted under this subchapter, but, after inspection, has been deemed safe for temporary operation to operate for up to 30 days or until the conveyance is in compliance, whichever occurs earlier.

(5) "Conveyance" means an electrically-driven mechanical device that moves people or materials vertically, and includes elevators, escalators, platform lifts and stairway chairlifts.

(6) "Department" means the department of labor and industry.

(7) "Elevator inspector" means an individual who is licensed by the commissioner to perform safety inspections of newly installed and existing conveyances.

(8) "Elevator mechanic" means an individual who is licensed by the commissioner to erect, construct, install, alter, service, repair and maintain conveyances.

(9) "Public building" has the same meaning as that term is defined in section 251a of this title.

§ 142. CONVEYANCES REGULATED

(a) This subchapter regulates the design, construction, operation, inspection, testing, maintenance, alteration, and repair of the following conveyances and associated parts that are installed in or on a public building:

(1) Hoisting and lowering mechanisms equipped with a car or platform, that moves between two or more landings, including:

(A) Elevators.

(B) Platform lifts and stairway chairlifts.

(C) Power-driven stairways.

(D) Escalators.

(2) Hoisting and lowering mechanisms equipped with a car that serves two or more landings and is designed to carry material, not people, but not including dumbwaiters.

(b) This subchapter does not cover the conveyances that are regulated by the Vermont tramway board or by the rules of the Vermont occupational and safety administration, or by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, 30 U.S.C.A. § 801 et seq.

§ 143. LICENSE REQUIRED

No person shall erect, construct, wire, alter, replace or maintain any conveyance located in any public building in this state unless the person is licensed as an elevator mechanic.

§ 144. ELEVATOR SAFETY REVIEW BOARD; MEMBERS; DUTIES

(a) The elevator safety review board is established within the department, and shall consist of five members, one of whom shall be the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee, and four members to be appointed by the governor as follows: one representative from a major elevator manufacturing company; one representative from an elevator servicing company; an owner or manager of a multistoried building, in which a convenyance is installed; and an individual who actually installs, maintains and repairs conveyances. The members appointed by the governor shall be appointed for staggered terms of three years, and shall be entitled to compensation and expenses as provided in 32 V.S.A. § 1010.

(b) The board shall:

(1) Adopt rules regarding the following:

(A) Safety standards for the operation, maintenance, servicing, construction, alteration, installation, and inspection of conveyances covered by this subchapter. At a minimum, the board shall adopt rules that include the Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators, ASME A17.1; the Safety Code for Existing Elevators and Escalators, ASME A17.3; the Safety Standards for Platform Lifts and Stairway Chairlifts, ASME A18.1; and Standard for the Qualification of Elevator Inspectors, ASME QEI-1. The board shall amend the rules to include any changes or amendments to these standards within six months after the effective date of the standard changes. The board may adopt rules to modify these standards as the board deems necessary.

(B) Any other rule necessary to implement this subchapter.

(2) Grant variances, provided the variance provides an equal or greater level of public safety. The decision of the board in regard to an application for a variance shall be final.

(c) The board may:

(1) Adopt rules for temporary elevator mechanic licenses in the event of an emergency.

(2) Contract with a national testing service to develop and administer licensing examinations.

§ 145. ELEVATOR MECHANIC LICENSE

An individual shall submit to the commissioner a written application for an elevator mechanic license on a form provided by the board, accompanied by the required fee. A license shall be granted to an applicant who demonstrates to the satisfaction of the board that the applicant meets the qualifications established by the board.

§ 146. ELEVATOR INSPECTOR LICENSE

An individual shall submit to the commissioner a written application for an elevator inspector license on a form provided by the board, accompanied by the required fee. A license shall be granted to an applicant who demonstrates to the satisfaction of the board that the applicant meets the qualifications established by the board.

§ 147. EXAMINATION NOT REQUIRED

A license for elevator mechanic or inspector shall be issued to an applicant, upon application and payment of the required fee, or to an individual who holds a comparable valid license or certification from a state that has equal or more stringent requirements.

§ 148. ISSUANCE AND RENEWAL OF LICENSES; FEES

(a) A license issued by the board shall be valid for two years. The board may renew a license, provided the applicant submits a written application for renewal accompanied by the required fee prior to expiration of the license.

(b) Applicants for license renewal shall provide evidence, satisfactory to the board, of completion of eight hours of instruction approved by the board, designed to ensure the continued qualifications of the applicant.

(c) License and renewal fees are as follows:

(1) Elevator mechanic license: $75.00.

(2) Elevator inspector license: $150.00.

§ 149. CIVIL PENALTIES; SUSPENSION; REVOCATION OF LICENSE

After notice and hearing, the board may suspend or revoke a license and assess administrative penalties pursuant to section 156 of this title for any of the following reasons:

(1) Fraud or deceit in obtaining the license.

(2) Failure to notify the department and the owner or lessee of a conveyance of noncompliance of the conveyance with the standards adopted under this subchapter.

(3) Violation of any provisions of this subchapter.

§ 150. REGISTRATION OF CONVEYANCES

(a) The owner or lessee of a conveyance shall register the conveyance with the department, pursuant to rules adopted by the board. The registration shall include the type, rated load and speed, manufacturer, location, purpose, date of installation, and any additional information the board may require.

(b) The commissioner may, after notice and hearing, assess an administrative penalty of no more than $1,000.00 against a building owner or lessee who fails to register a conveyance as required by this subchapter 30 days after being directed to do so by the commissioner.

§ 151. PERMITS

(a) No conveyance shall be erected, constructed, installed or altered in a public building unless a permit has been obtained from the department before work is commenced. Before a material alteration, as defined by rule, is begun, the conveyance shall conform to rules adopted by the board regulating the alteration. A copy of the permit shall be kept at the construction site at all times while work is in progress.

(b) Each application for a permit shall be accompanied by a fee of $25.00, and copies of specifications and accurately-scaled and fully-dimensioned plans that clearly indicate location of the elevator in the building; the location of the machinery room and the equipment to be installed, relocated or altered; all structural supporting members, including foundations; and a specification of all materials to be used and all loads to be supported or conveyed. The plans and specifications shall be sufficiently complete to illustrate all details of construction and design.

(c) A permit may be revoked for any of the following reasons:

(1) A false statement or a misrepresentation of a material fact in the application, plans, or specifications on which the permit was based.

(2) Failure of the permittee to perform work in accordance with the conditions of the permit, the provisions of the application, plans or specifications, or with the standards required by this subchapter.

(3) Failure of the permit holder to comply with any order issued pursuant to section 154 of this title.

(d) Work shall commence within six months after the date of issuance of a permit, or within a shorter period of time as the commissioner may specify in the permit.

(e) A permit shall expire if work is suspended or abandoned for more than 60 days after work has begun, or a shorter period of time as the commissioner may specify in the permit. For good cause shown, the commissioner may extend this period.

§ 152. NEW INSTALLATIONS; ANNUAL INSPECTIONS AND REGISTRATIONS

(a) A new conveyance shall not be placed in operation until it has been inspected by an elevator inspector, and a certificate of operation has been issued.

(b) Every conveyance subject to this subchapter shall be inspected annually by an elevator inspector. An inspector may charge a fee not to exceed $100.00 for each inspection. The inspector shall notify the department if a conveyance is found to be in violation of this subchapter or any rule adopted under this subchapter.

(c) An elevator inspector shall issue a certificate of operation after the inspector has inspected a new or existing conveyance, and has determined that the conveyance is in compliance with this subchapter. A certificate of operation shall be renewed annually. An owner of a conveyance shall ensure that the required inspections and tests are performed at intervals that comply with rules adopted by the board. Certificates of operation shall be clearly displayed on or in each conveyance or in each machinery room.

(d) The department may issue a conditional certificate of operation for a conveyance that is not in complete compliance, provided the conveyance has been inspected and determined to be safe for temporary operation. This conditional certificate of operation permits a conveyance to operate for no more than 30 days or until the conveyance is in compliance, whichever occurs first.

(e) The inspector shall submit $25.00 to the department for each certificate of operation issued under this subchapter.

§ 153. INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS; LICENSE

A licensed elevator inspector shall submit to the department an insurance policy, or certified copy issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in Vermont, that provides general liability coverage in an amount to be determined, by rule.

§ 154. ENFORCEMENT

(a) The commissioner may contract with elevator inspectors to perform random on-site inspections and tests on existing conveyances, conduct periodic inspections and tests to ensure satisfactory performance by licensed individuals, and develop public awareness programs.

(b) If the commissioner finds a violation of this subchapter, the commissioner may:

(1) Order the owner of the premises or the owner’s agent and the individuals performing the work to correct or remove the violation.

(2) Suspend or retract the permit.

(3) Order the owner, a public utility or a private party furnishing electricity to the installation not to connect or disconnect electrical energy from the conveyance until the violation is corrected.

§ 155. LIABILITY

This subchapter shall not be construed to relieve any person that owns, operates, controls, maintains, erects, constructs, installs, alters, inspects, tests or repairs any elevator or other conveyance covered by this subchapter from liability for damages to persons or property caused by any defect in any conveyance.

§ 156. PENALTY

(a) Any owner or lessee who violates any of the provisions of this subchapter shall be fined not more than $1,500.00 for each occurrence.

(b) The commissioner may, after notice and hearing, assess an administrative penalty of not more than $1,000.00 for each violation of this subchapter.

(c) Any person who erects, constructs, wires, alters, replaces, or maintains any conveyance located in any public building in this state without being licensed as required by this subchapter, or who employs an unlicensed person to perform this work, shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 for each offense.

§ 157. ELEVATOR SAFETY FUND; CREATION

The elevator safety fund is created for the purpose of funding the elevator safety inspection and licensing program. All revenues from fees collected for licensing elevator mechanics and inspectors, and issuing permits and certificates of operation, shall be deposited in the fund. The commissioner, pursuant to an appropriation from the fund, shall request disbursements from the fund by the commissioner of finance and management. The fund shall be maintained by the state treasurer and shall be managed in accordance with the provisions of subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32.

Sec. 2. REPORT

On or before January 1, 2003, the commissioner of labor and industry shall report to the General Assembly on the success and status of the elevator safety inspection and licensing program created in Sec. 1 of this act, and the adequacy of the staff and resources provided for the program.

Sec. 3. APPROPRIATION; POSITION AUTHORIZED

(a) There is appropriated to the department of labor and industry from the elevator safety fund in fiscal year 2002, the amount of $90,000.00 to fund the purposes of this act, including payment for consultation services regarding elevator safety.

(b) One (1) new classified position - administrative assistant A - is established and authorized in the department of labor and industry in fiscal year 2002.

Sec. 3a. 21 V.S.A. § 150(b) is amended to read:

(b) The commissioner may, after notice and hearing, assess an administrative penalty of no more than $1,000.00 against a building owner or lessee who fails to register a conveyance as required by this subchapter *[30 days after being directed to do so by the commissioner]*.

Sec. 4. EFFECTIVE DATES

This act shall take effect on passage, except that:

(1) Under 21 V.S.A. § 144 (elevator safety review board; members; duties), the members shall be appointed no later than October 1, 2001, and rules shall be adopted by the board no later than January 15, 2002.

(2) The following sections of Title 21 shall take effect on July 1, 2002:

(A) § 143, relating to license required.

(B) § 149, relating to civil penalties; suspension; revocation of license.

(C) § 151, relating to permits.

(D) § 152, relating to new installations; annual inspections and registrations.

(E) § 156, relating to civil penalties; suspension; revocation of license.

(3) 21 V.S.A. § 150(a), relating to registration of existing conveyances, shall take effect on March 1, 2002, and (b), relating to penalties for failure to register a conveyance, shall take effect March 1, 2003.

(4) Sec. 3a shall take effect January 1, 2006.

Approved: June 16, 2001