Notice of Public Hearing on DPS Assessing Civil Fines
A public hearing will be held on November 28, 2012, at 10am at One Ashburton Place, Ashburton Café, Boston, MA regarding the regulations for two new laws. The first authorizes the Department to assess civil fines of up to $5,000.00 as an alternative to initiating criminal proceedings for violations of certain statutes and regulations enforced by the Department. The second law imposes a $1,000/day fine for the owner of an elevator (and lift) for every day that the elevator is operated beyond its expiration date. This includes lifts/elevators in private residences.
Fines for Violations of Department Statutes and Regulations
The first law allows the Department to assess fines of up to $5,000 for violations of the following Department statutes and regulations:
Architectural Access Board: the Department may fine for any violation of the Board’s regulations (521 CMR)
Amusements: the Department may fine for any violation of its amusement regulations (520 CMR 5) or of the statute governing amusement devices (M.G.L. c. 140 s. 205A)
Elevators: the Department may fine for violations of certain identified statutes governing elevators
Recreational Tramways: the Department may fine for violations of certain identified statutes governing recreational tramways
Hoisting: the Department may fine for any violation of its hoisting regulations (520 CMR 6) or of certain identified statutes governing hoisting
Boilers: the Department may fine for violations of the Board of Boiler Rules regulations (522 CMR) or of certain identified statutes governing boilers
Pipefitters, Refrigeration Technicians, and Sprinkler Fitters: the Department may fine for violations of certain identified statutes governing pipefitters, refrigeration technicians, and sprinkler fitters
Public Warehouses and S-Licenses: the Department may fine for violations of certain identified statutes governing public warehouses and S-licenses
State Building Code: the Department may fine for violations of certain sections of the State Building Code (780 CMR) governing construction supervisors
Fines for Operation of an Elevator with an Expired Certificate
The second law allows the Department to assess a fine of $1,000 per day to elevator owners for every day that the unit is operated beyond its expiration date. It is important to note that this fine may be avoided if the owner or operator applies for the inspection at least 30 days prior to the expiration date on the certificate and the elevator passes the inspection or receives a 90 day (blue) temporary certificate. Therefore, it is imperative that owners make application for an inspection at least 30 days in advance of the expiration date and that the elevator passes the inspection or received a temporary certificate. (includes private residences)
New Regulations – 520 CMR 1
The Department created a new regulation to establish reasonable standards for the issuance of these monetary fines by authorized personnel of the Department. Tickets will be issued by authorized individuals and will identify whether it is a warning or a violation as well as what specific statute or regulation has been violated.
The regulation outlines the factors that will be used in determining the amount of a fine. Fines will be assessed on the following scale: a warning or a fine of up to $1,000 per violation will be issued for a first offense; a fine ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 per violation will be issued for a second offense; and a fine ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 per violation will be issued for third and subsequent offenses.
Additionally, the proposed regulation establishes an appeal process for all fines assessed.
Please check the Department’s website for additional information.
520 CMR 1.00: Enforcement of Civil Fines