Senate Bill No. 609
(By Senators Prezioso and Scott)
[Introduced February 19, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee
A BILL to amend and reenact sections one, two, four, five, six,
seven, eight, nine, ten and eleven, article three-c, chapter
twenty-one of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, all relating to transferring
the responsibility for elevator safety from the division of
labor to the state fire marshal.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections one, two, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine,
ten and eleven, article three-c, chapter twenty-one of the code
of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3C. ELEVATOR SAFETY.
(1) "Certificate of operation" means a certificate issued by
division of labor state fire marshal certifying that an
elevator has been inspected and deemed safe for operation, thus
authorizing its operation. The "certificate of operation" shall
be conspicuously posted on the elevator at all times.
"Division""Fire marshal" means the division of labor
state fire marshal.
(3) "Elevator" means all the machinery, construction,
apparatus and equipment used in raising and lowering a car, cage
or platform vertically between permanent rails or guides and
includes all elevators, power dumbwaiters, escalators, gravity
elevators and other lifting or lowering apparatus permanently
installed between rails or guides, but does not include hand
operated dumbwaiters, manlifts of the platform type with a
platform area not exceeding nine hundred square inches,
construction hoists or other similar temporary lifting or
(4) "Freight elevator" means an elevator used for carrying
freight and on which only the operator, by the permission of the
employer, is allowed to ride.
(5) "Inspector" means a person hired by the
marshal, a county or municipality who has successfully completed
the required West Virginia state elevator inspector examination and is thereby qualified to conduct safety inspections on
(6) "Passenger elevator" means an elevator that is designed
to carry persons to its contract capacity.
§21-3C-2. Inspectors; certificates of competency; application;
No person may serve as an elevator inspector unless he or
she successfully completes the examination required by this
article and holds a certificate of competency for elevator
inspections issued by the
division fire marshal.
Application for examination for elevator inspections shall
be in writing, accompanied by a fee of ten dollars, upon a form
designed and furnished by the
division fire marshal and shall, at
a minimum, state the level of education of the applicant, list
his or her employers, his or her period of employment and the
position held with each. In addition to any other information
required, the application shall include the applicant's social
security number. The applicant shall also submit a letter from
one or more of his or her previous employers concerning his or
her character and experience.
Applications which contain any willfully submitted false or
untrue information shall be rejected. After review of the
application by the
division fire marshal, the applicant, if deemed appropriate by the division fire marshal, shall be tested
by means of a written examination as prescribed by the division
fire marshal dealing with the construction, installation,
operation, maintenance and repair of elevators and their
division fire marshal shall issue a certificate of
competency for elevator inspections to any applicant who
successfully completes the examination, as determined by
standards set in legislative rules promulgated by the division
fire marshal, as authorized by this article. An applicant who
fails to successfully complete an initial examination may submit
an application for a second examination ninety days or more after
the initial examination and upon payment of the ten dollar
examination fee. Should an applicant fail to successfully
complete the prescribed examination on the second trial, he or
she shall not be permitted to submit an application for another
examination for a period of one year after the second failure.
Any person hired as an elevator inspector by a county or
municipality shall possess a certificate of competency issued by
division fire marshal.
division fire marshal may hire certified inspectors or
enter into a contract to hire inspectors who are certified by the
division fire marshal. The division fire marshal shall hire an inspector supervisor who shall supervise the inspection
activities under this article.
§21-3C-4. Registration of elevators; notification to counties
The owner or operator of any elevator shall register with
division fire marshal every elevator operated by him or her,
giving the type, capacity and description, name of manufacturer,
and purpose for which each is used. Such registration shall be
made on a form designed and furnished by the division fire
marshal. The division fire marshal shall forward a list of
registered elevators to the county or municipality wherein said
elevators are located.
§21-3C-5. Powers and duties of counties and municipalities;
annual inspections required.
A county or municipality may hire its own elevator inspector
or contract with any person who possesses a West Virginia
elevator inspector's certificate of competency issued by the
division fire marshal. The county or municipality shall ensure
that every elevator which has been in use for five years or more
is inspected annually.
§21-3C-6. Report of inspection; hearing on construction plans
and specifications; findings and orders of fire
Every inspector shall forward to the
division fire marshal
and to the county or municipality wherein the elevator is located
a complete report of each inspection made of any passenger
elevator, showing the exact condition of the elevator. The
inspector shall leave a copy of the report at the elevator on the
day the inspection is completed. The division fire marshal shall
promulgate legislative rules, as authorized by this article,
prescribing inspection procedures. The owner or operator of the
elevator shall be required to pay the fees for inspections levied
pursuant to this article.
If any elevator requires changes or repairs to make it safe
to operate, such recommendations shall be contained in the
inspection report. A copy of the report as approved by the
division fire marshal shall be submitted to the owner or operator
of such elevator. Unless the findings in the report are
appealed, the owner or operator of the elevator shall make the
required changes or repairs before a certificate of operation is
The owner or operator, within twenty days from receipt of
the copy of an inspection report, may make written application to
division fire marshal, upon forms to be furnished by the
division fire marshal, for a hearing on the inspection report as
to whether the elevator in question is reasonably safe. The division fire marshal shall promptly consider such application
and proceedings consistent with the provisions of this section.
If it appears from the evidence that the elevator will be
reasonably safe to operate without such changes or repairs as
shown in such report or by making only a part or all thereof, the
division fire marshal shall make its finding and order
accordingly. If such finding and order requires changes or
repairs to be made in the elevator, the division fire marshal
shall issue a certificate of operation when such order has been
executed or issue its approval of the plans or specifications.
If the finding and order of the division fire marshal has been
affirmed or modified by appeal, on the grounds of reasonable
safety considered by the division fire marshal, the division fire
marshal shall, upon compliance with such order, issue such
certificate of operation, but if such finding and order of the
division fire marshal has been vacated, such certificate of
operation shall be issued forthwith. No elevator may be operated
after being inspected without having the certificate of operation
conspicuously posted thereon, except pending a hearing on the
§21-3C-7. Safety equipment.
Every passenger elevator, whether not such elevator has been
in use for five years or longer, shall be equipped, maintained and operated in a safe manner in accordance with legislative
rules promulgated by the
division fire marshal as authorized by
§21-3C-8. Certificate of operation; renewal.
A certificate of operation for any elevator shall not be
issued until the elevator has been inspected for safety and the
inspection report thereof filed with the
division fire marshal:
Provided, That only elevators which have been in use for five
years or more shall be required to be inspected. The
certificate of operation shall list the date of inspection and
shall expire one year after the date of inspection. An expired
certificate of operation shall be renewed in the manner that the
prior certificate was obtained.
§21-3C-9. Permits for removal or repairs.
Before any existing elevator is removed to a different
location, an application of specifications shall be submitted to
division fire marshal listing such information concerning the
installation and operation of the elevator as the division fire
marshal may require on forms designed and furnished by the
division fire marshal. Copies of the complete installation plans
shall be submitted with the application.
In all cases where any changes or repairs proposed by the
owner or operator which alter the elevator's construction or classification, grade or rated lifting capacity, except when made
pursuant to a report of an inspector, the owner or operator of
the elevator shall submit to the
division fire marshal an
application containing such information as deemed appropriate by
the division fire marshal.
Upon approval of such application and installation plans,
division fire marshal shall issue a permit for the
installation or repair of such elevator. No elevator being
removed and reinstalled or repaired may be operated until its
completion, in accordance with the approved plans and
specifications: Provided, That the division fire marshal may
grant a temporary permit to such elevator, authorizing its
§21-3C-10. Enforcement; notice of defective machinery.
If during an inspection the
division fire marshal or the
inspector finds that a passenger elevator or a part thereof
cannot be operated safely, the division fire marshal or the
inspector shall contact the owner or operator in writing stating
the deficiencies and recommend changes or alterations and shall
post a notice upon such elevator prohibiting further use of the
elevator. The notice shall be in effect until the changes or
alterations set forth in the notice have been made. The notice
shall contain a statement that operators or passengers are subject to injury by its continued use, a description of the
alteration or other change necessary to be made in order to
secure its safe operation, date of such notice, and the name and
signature of the inspector issuing the notice.
If any inspector finds a passenger elevator to be so unsafe
that it represents imminent danger of death or physical injury,
that unit shall be sealed out of service and a hazard notice as
prescribed by the
division fire marshal posted thereon. The
division fire marshal shall be notified immediately as to the
location and condition of the unit.
Any passenger elevator, once sealed, may not be operated
except for the purpose of making repairs and in such a manner as
prescribed by the
division fire marshal until all defects are
corrected and the unit has been inspected and deemed safe by the
division fire marshal. The division fire marshal shall
promulgate legislative rules, as authorized by this article, to
develop procedures for sealing and barricading an elevator once
it has been declared inoperable.
No seal, notice or barricade placed on or around an elevator
in accordance with the provisions of this article may be removed,
obstructed or in any way altered without the written consent of
division fire marshal.
§21-3C-11. Disposition of fees; legislative rules.
division fire marshal shall propose for promulgation
legislative rules pursuant to article three, chapter
twenty-nine-a of this code in order to implement the provisions
of this article.
(b) The rules proposed for promulgation pursuant to
subsection (a) of this section shall establish the amount of any
fee authorized pursuant to the provisions of this article:
Provided, That in no event may the fees established for
inspection exceed one hundred dollars for any one inspection:
Provided, however, That in buildings with more than one elevator,
the fee shall not exceed one hundred dollars for the first
elevator inspected and twenty-five dollars for each additional
elevator: Provided further, That in no event may the fees
established for the issuance of permits exceed twenty-five
(c) All fees collected pursuant to the provisions of this
article shall be deposited in an appropriated special revenue
account hereby created in the state treasury known as the
"Elevator Safety Fund" and expended for the implementation and
enforcement of this article: Provided, That amounts collected
which are found from time to time to exceed funds needed for the
purposes set forth in this article may be transferred to other
accounts or funds and redesignated for other purposes by appropriation of the Legislature.
division fire marshal may enter into agreements with
counties and municipalities whereby such counties and
municipalities be permitted to retain the inspection fees
collected to support the enforcement activities at the local
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to transfer responsibility
for elevator safety from the division of labor to the state fire
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.