Audit: State not cracking down on elevator violations

Posted June 13, 2013

Elevator eases climb at Chimney Rock

— Two divisions of the state Department of Labor aren't properly collecting fines for violations of labor laws and for malfunctioning elevators, according to an audit released Thursday.

The Elevator and Amusement Device Bureau performed follow-up inspections on only 3 percent of the elevators where violations were found, ranging from a dirty pit to more serious issues such as non-working phones or fire-service buttons, the audit states.

The division doesn't track whether any violations have been fixed, and it imposes and collects few penalties, according to the audit. Last year, the division assessed only 36 penalties, even though about 1,150 elevators had repeat violations for at least two consecutive years, and it collected only $4,650 of the $7,400 owed.

Also, auditors say the division violated state law by reducing penalties based the length of time between violations instead of an elevator's past history of violations.

The division said in its response to the audit that it is installing a new software program to track violations and penalty collection better. Managers also will retrain inspectors on the correct way to calculate penalties, and the division will refer unpaid penalties to the Attorney General's Office for collection.

Separately, auditors found that the Wage and Hour Bureau didn't perform follow-up inspections to determine whether labor laws were being followed by businesses where a compliance agreement had been issued. Also, any penalties issued weren't tracked, and allowing field inspectors to collect penalties opened the system up to fraud.

The division said in its response to the audit that it put new policies in place for tracking compliance agreements and centralized the collection of any penalties through its budget office.


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  • CestLaVie Jun 14, 2013

    They could start with Archdale & DPS. Dirty elevators. Emergency phones don't work. Slamming doors. Non-closing doors that seem stuck. People getting caught on them when stopped between floors, having to scream & pound to get outsider's attention for rescue. Elevators stopped @ a floor, with the door just opening & closing for no apparent reason, with no one on the elevator. I'm sure others in this bldg could add to my list.

    I try to not even get on one without my cell in my pocket. I've purposely entered several emergency phone numbers just because of these elevators.

  • LastSon1981 Jun 13, 2013

    Ohhhhhhh Cherie Berry

  • Terkel Jun 13, 2013

    Yet another agency like DHHS, does very little, does what it feels like when it feels like it. No oversight, no consequences, everyone keeps their job and cushy retirement.

    But Berry was always more interested in coercing more free stuff for mommies than working for the citizens. She's very lucky no one has been hurt due to her crummy work ethic.

  • computer trainer Jun 13, 2013

    Check out DES. Their elevators are ALWAYS broken!!!

  • hp277 Jun 13, 2013

    Cherie Berry has her picture in every elevator in the state. Too bad she's not doing her job.