Article 14A.

Elevator Safety Act of North Carolina.

§ 95-110.1.  Short title and legislative purpose.

 (a) This Article shall be known as the Elevator Safety Act of North Carolina.

 (b) The General Assembly finds that the use of unsafe and defective lifting devices imposes a substantial probability of serious and preventable injury to employees and the public exposed to unsafe conditions and that prevention of these injuries and protection of employees and the public from unsafe conditions is in the best interests and welfare of the people of the State. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 990, s. 1.)

 

§ 95-110.2.  Scope.

This Article shall govern the design, construction, installation, plans review, testing, inspection, certification, operation, use, maintenance, alteration, relocation and investigation of accidents involving:

 (1) Elevators, dumbwaiters, escalators, and moving walks;

 (2) Personnel hoists;

 (3) Inclined stairway chair lifts;

 (4) Inclined and vertical wheelchair lifts;

 (5) Manlifts; and

 (6) Special equipment.

This Article shall not apply to devices and equipment located and operated in a single family residence, to conveyors and related equipment within the scope of the American National Standard Safety Standard for Conveyors and Related Equipment (ANSI/ASME B20.1) constructed, installed and used exclusively for the movement of materials, or to mining equipment specifically covered by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act or the Mine Safety and Health Act of North Carolina or the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 990, s. 1.)

 

§ 95-110.3.  Definitions.

 (a) The term "Commissioner" shall mean the North Carolina  Commissioner of Labor or his authorized representative.

 (b) The term "Director" shall mean the Director of the Elevator and Amusement Device Division of the North Carolina Department of Labor.

 (c) The term "dumbwaiter" shall mean a hoisting and lowering mechanism equipped with a car or platform which moves in guides in a substantially vertical direction, the floor area of which does not exceed nine square feet, the total inside height of which, whether or not provided with fixed or removable shelves, does not exceed four feet, the capacity of which does not exceed 500 pounds, and which is used exclusively for carrying materials.

 (d) The term "elevator" shall mean a hoisting and lowering mechanism equipped with a car or platform which moves in guides, and which serves two or more floors of a building or structure.

 (e) The term "escalator" shall mean a power driven, inclined continuous stairway used for raising and lowering passengers.

 (f) The term "inclined stairway chair lift" shall mean a hoisting  and lowering mechanism with one or more chairs or a platform for one or more wheelchairs installed on a stairway for the purpose of transporting a physically disabled person.

 (g) The term "inclined or vertical wheelchair lift" shall mean a powered platform-elevating device used to transport a physically disabled person in a wheelchair.

 (h) The term "manlift" shall mean platforms or brackets and accompanying handholds, mounted on, or attached to, an endless belt operating vertically in one direction only and being supported by, and driven through, pulleys at the top and bottom and intended primarily for the conveyance of persons.

 (i) The term "moving walk" shall mean a type of passenger carrying device on which passengers stand or walk and in which the passenger carrying surface remains parallel to its direction of motion and is uninterrupted.

 (j) The term "operator" shall mean any person having direct control over the operation of any covered device or equipment.

 (k) The term "owner" shall mean any person or authorized agent of  such person who owns a device or equipment subject to regulation under this Article, or in the event the device or equipment is leased, the lessee. The term "owner" also shall include the State of North Carolina or any political subdivision thereof or any unit of local government.

 (l) The term "person" shall mean any individual, association, partnership, firm, corporation, private organization, or the State of North Carolina or any political subdivision thereof or any unit of local government.

 (m) The term "personnel hoist" shall mean an elevator installed inside or outside of buildings during construction, alteration or demolition and used primarily to raise and lower workers and other persons connected with or related to the building project.

 (n) The term "special equipment" shall mean any permanently or semi-permanently located device, manually or power-operated, used for moving or lifting person or persons and materials but not considered as an elevator, escalator, dumbwaiter, moving walk, personnel hoist, inclined stairway chair lift, inclined or vertical wheelchair lift, or manlift. Special equipment shall include, but not be limited to, manhoists, lift bridges, elevators which are used only for handling building materials and workmen during construction, and stage and orchestra lifts. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 990, s. 1.)

 

§ 95-110.4.  Elevator and Amusement Device Division established.

There is hereby created an Elevator and Amusement Device Division within the Department of Labor. The Commissioner shall appoint a director of the Elevator and Amusement Device Division and such other employees as the Commissioner deems necessary to assist the director in administering the provisions of this Article. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 990, s. 1.)

 

§ 95-110.5.  Powers and duties of Commissioner.

The Commissioner of Labor is hereby empowered:

(1)        To delegate to the Director of the Elevator and Amusement Device Division such powers, duties and responsibilities as the Commissioner determines will best serve the public interest in the safe operation of lifting devices and equipment;

(2)        To supervise the Director of the Elevator and Amusement Device Division;

(3)        To adopt, modify, or revoke such rules and regulations as are necessary for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Article including, but not limited to, those governing the design, construction, installation, plans review, testing, inspection, certification, operation, use, maintenance, alteration and relocation of devices and equipment subject to the provisions of this Article. The rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this rulemaking authority shall conform with good engineering practice as evidenced generally by the most recent editions of the American National Standard Safety Code for Elevators, Dumbwaiters, Escalators and Moving Walks, the National Electrical Code, the American National Standard Safety Requirements for Personnel Hoists, the American National Standard Safety Code for Manlifts, the American National Standard Safety Standard for Conveyors and Related Equipment and similar codes promulgated by agencies engaged in research concerning strength of material, safe design, and other factors bearing upon the safe operation of the devices and equipment subject to the provisions of this Article. The rules and regulations may apply different standards to devices and equipment subject to this Article depending upon their date of installation. The rules and regulations for special equipment shall not adopt specifically any portion of the American National Standard Safety Code for Elevators, Dumbwaiters, Escalators and Moving Walks to inclined and vertical reciprocating conveyors;

(4)        To enforce rules and regulations adopted under authority of this Article;

(5)        To inspect and have tested for acceptance all new, altered or relocated devices or equipment subject to the provisions of this Article;

(6)        To make maintenance and periodic inspections and tests of all devices and equipment subject to the provisions of this Article as often as every six months;

(7)        To issue certificates of operation which certify for use such devices and equipment as are found to be in compliance with this Article and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder;

(8)        To have free access, with or without notice, to the devices and equipment subject to the provisions of this Article, during reasonable hours, for purposes of inspection or testing;

(9)        To obtain an Administrative Search and Inspection Warrant in accordance with the provisions of Article 4A of Chapter 15 of the General Statutes;

(10)      To investigate accidents involving the devices and equipment subject to the provisions of this Article to determine the cause of such accident, and he shall have full subpoena powers in conducting such investigation;

(11)      To institute proceedings in the civil or criminal courts of this State, when a provision of this Article or the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder has been violated;

(12)      To issue a limited certificate of operation for any device or equipment subject to the provisions of this Article to allow the temporary or restricted use thereof;

(13)      To adopt, modify or revoke rules and regulations governing the qualifications of inspectors;

(14)      To grant exceptions from the requirements of the rules and regulations promulgated under authority of this Article and to permit the use of other devices when such exceptions and uses will not expose the public to an unsafe condition likely to result in serious personal injury or property damage;

(15)      To require that a construction permit must be obtained from the Commissioner before any device or equipment subject to the provisions of this Article is installed, altered or moved from one place to another and to require that the Commissioner must be supplied with whatever plans, diagrams or other data he deems necessary to determine whether or not the proposed construction is in compliance with the provisions of this Article and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder;

(16)      To prohibit the use of any device or equipment subject to the provisions of this Article which is found upon inspection to expose the public to an unsafe condition likely to cause personal injury or property damage. Such device or equipment shall be made operational only upon the Commissioner's determination that such device or equipment has been made safe;

(17)      To order the payment of all civil penalties provided by this Article. Funds collected pursuant to a civil penalty order shall be deposited with the State Treasurer;

(18)      To require that any device or equipment subject to the provisions of this Article which has been out-of-service and not continuously maintained for one or more years shall not be returned to service without first complying with all rules and regulations governing existing installations; and

(19)      To coordinate enforcement and inspection activity relative to equipment, devices and operations covered by this Article in order to minimize duplication of liability or regulatory responsibility on the part of the employer or owner.

(20)      To establish fees not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200.00) for the inspection and issuance of certificates of operation for all devices and equipment subject to this Article upon installation or alteration, for each follow-up inspection, and for annual periodic inspections thereafter. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 990, s. 1; 1995, c. 217, s. 2; 2001-427, s. 11(e).)

 

§ 95-110.6.  Noncomplying devices and equipment; appeal.

(a)       Whenever the Commissioner determines that a device or equipment is subject to the provisions of this Article, and that the operation of such device or equipment is exposing the public to an unsafe condition likely to result in serious personal injury or property damage, he may immediately order in writing that the use of the device or equipment be stopped or limited until such time as he determines that the device or equipment has been made safe for use by the public.

(b)       Whenever the Commissioner determines that the provisions of this Article or the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder have not been complied with, he may refuse to issue or renew or may revoke, suspend or amend a certificate of operation.

(c)       Any action taken under this section by the Commissioner shall be final, unless within 15 days after receipt of notice thereof by certified mail with return receipt, by signature confirmation as provided by the U.S. Postal Service, by a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2) with delivery receipt, or via hand delivery, the person against whom such action was taken takes exception to the determination, in which event the final determination of the action shall be made in an administrative proceeding and in a judicial proceeding pursuant to Chapter 150B of the General Statutes, the Administrative Procedure Act .  (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 990, s. 1; 2015-221, s. 1.5.)

 

§ 95-110.7.  Operation without certificate; operation not in accordance with Article or rules and regulations; operation after refusal to issue or after revocation of certificate.

 (a) No person shall operate or permit to be operated or use any device or equipment subject to the provisions of this Article without a valid certificate of operation unless the absence of a valid certificate is the result of the Commissioner's failure to inspect such device.

 (b) No person shall operate or permit to be operated or use any device or equipment subject to the provisions of this Article otherwise than in accordance with this Article and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.

 (c) No person shall operate or permit to be operated or use any device or equipment subject to the provisions of this Article after the Commissioner has refused to issue or has revoked the certificate of operation for such device or equipment. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 990, s. 1.)

 

§ 95-110.8.  Operation of unsafe device or equipment.

No person shall operate, permit to be operated or use any device or equipment subject to the provisions of this Article if such person knows or reasonably should know that such operation or use will expose the public to an unsafe condition which is likely to result in personal injury or property damage. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 990, s. 1.)

 

§ 95-110.9.  Reports required.

 (a) The owner of any device or equipment regulated under the provisions of this Article, or his authorized agent, shall within 24 hours notify the Commissioner of each and every occurrence involving such device or equipment when:

(1)        The occurrence results in death or injury requiring medical treatment, other than first aid, by a physician. First aid means the one time treatment or observation of scratches, cuts not requiring stitches, burns, splinters and contusions or a diagnostic procedure, including examination and x-rays, which does not ordinarily require medical treatment even though provided by a physician or other licensed personnel; or

(2)        The occurrence results in damage to the device indicating a  substantial defect in design, mechanics, structure or equipment, affecting the future safe operation of the device. No reporting is required in the case of normal wear and tear.

 (b) The Commissioner, without delay, after notification and determination that an occurrence involving injury or damage as specified in subsection (a) has occurred, shall make a complete and thorough investigation of the occurrence. The report of the investigation shall be placed on file in the office of the division and shall give in detail all facts and information available. The owner may submit for inclusion in the file results of investigations independent of the department's investigation.

 (c) No person, following an occurrence as specified in subsection (a), shall operate, attempt to operate, use or move or attempt to move such device or equipment, or part thereof, without the approval of the Commissioner, unless so as to prevent injury to any person or persons.

 (d) No person, following an occurrence as specified in subsection (a), shall remove or attempt to remove from the premises any damaged or undamaged part of such device or equipment or repair or attempt to repair any damaged part necessary to a complete and thorough investigation. The department must initiate its investigation within 24 hours of being notified. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 990, s. 1.)

 

§ 95-110.10.  Violations; civil penalties; appeals.

(a)        Any person who violates G.S. 95-110.7(a) or (b) (Operation without certificate; operation not in accordance with Article or rules and regulations) shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for each day each device or equipment is so operated or used.

(b)        Any person who violates G.S. 95-110.7(c) (Operation after refusal to issue or after revocation of certificate) or G.S. 95-110.9(c) (Reports required) shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each day any such device or equipment is operated or used.

(c)        Any person who violates the provisions of G.S. 95-110.9(d) (Reports required) shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00).

(d)       In determining the amount of any penalty ordered under authority of this section, the Commissioner shall give due consideration to the appropriateness of the penalty with respect to the size of the business of the person being charged, the gravity of the violation, the good faith of the person and the record of previous violations.

(e)        The determination of the amount of the penalty by the Commissioner shall be final, unless within 15 days after receipt of notice thereof by certified mail with return receipt, by signature confirmation as provided by the U.S. Postal Service, by a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2) with delivery receipt, or via hand delivery, the person charged with the violation takes exception to the determination in which event the final determination of the penalty shall be made in an administrative proceeding and in a judicial proceeding pursuant to Chapter 150B of the General Statutes, the Administrative Procedure Act.

(f)        The Commissioner may file in the office of the clerk of the superior court of the county wherein the person, against whom a civil penalty has been ordered, resides, or if a corporation is involved, in the county wherein the corporation maintains its principal place of business, or in the county wherein the violation occurred, a certified copy of a final order of the Commissioner unappealed from, or of a final order of the Commissioner affirmed upon appeal. Whereupon, the clerk of said court shall enter judgment in accordance therewith and notify the parties. Such judgment shall have the same effect, and all proceedings in relation thereto shall thereafter be the same, as though said judgment had been rendered in a suit duly heard and determined by the superior court of the General Court of Justice. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 990, s. 1; 2003-308, s. 3; 2007-231, s. 7.)

 

§ 95-110.11.  Violations; criminal penalties.

(a)        Any person who violates G.S. 95-110.8 (Operation of unsafe device or equipment) shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(b)        Any person misrepresenting himself as an authorized inspector administering or enforcing the provisions of this Article or the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(c)        Any person knowingly making a material and false statement, representation or certification in any application, record, report, plan or any other document filed or required to be maintained pursuant to this Article or the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor which may include a fine of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000). (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 990, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 669; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

 

§ 95-110.12.  Legal representation.

It shall be the duty of the Attorney General of North Carolina, when requested, to represent the Department of Labor in actions or proceedings in connection with this Article or the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 990, s. 1.)

 

§ 95-110.13.  Authorization for similar safety and health federal-State programs.

Consistent with the requirements and conditions provided in this Article and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, the State, upon recommendation of the Commissioner of Labor, may enter into agreements or arrangements with appropriate federal agencies for the purpose of administering the enforcement of federal statutes and rules and regulations governing devices and equipment subject to the provisions of this Article. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 990, s. 1.)

 

§ 95-110.14.  Confidentiality of trade secrets.

All information reported to or otherwise obtained by the Commissioner or his agents or representatives in connection with any inspection or proceeding under this Article or the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder which contains or might reveal a trade secret shall be considered confidential, except as to carrying out this Article and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, or when it is relevant in any proceeding under the same. In any such proceeding the Commissioner or the court shall issue such orders as may be appropriate to protect the confidentiality of trade secrets. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 990, s. 1.)

 

§ 95-110.15.  Construction of Article and rules and regulations and severability.

This Article and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder shall receive a liberal construction to the end that the welfare of the people may be protected. If any provisions of either or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect those provisions or applications which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to that end the provisions of this Article are severable. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 990, s. 1.)

 

§ 95-111.  Reserved for future codification purposes.