Weights & Measures
The Belmont County Auditor is required by Ohio law to inspect commercial devices used in retail trade for weighing and measuring in his jurisdiction. This includes scanners and retail scales such as computing, point of sale, hopper, grain, counter, vehicle, also checked are liquefied petroleum gas meters and fuel dispensers.
Each device must meet all specifications, tolerances and other technical requirements for weighing and measuring devices as prescribed by the National Institute of Standard and Technology in Handbook 44.
New or used devices that are placed in commercial use for the first times are checked to see if the device has been evaluated under the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP). This program evaluates commercial devices to make sure that they comply with the applicable technical requirements of Handbook 44. If a device is found to be inaccurate, the Auditor, through his inspectors, can reject the device, condemn the device, or in extreme cases confiscate the device. In Belmont County, approval seals are affixed to devices to indicate whether they were passed or rejected. This is done primarily for the benefit of the public to show that such equipment has been officially examined and approved.
The net contents of random and standard packages are checked for short weight or measure. Each lot or shipment checked must meet two requirements. First, the average quantity of the contents of the packages in the lot must equal or exceed the quantity printed on the label. Secondly, the variation of individual package content must not be unreasonably large. The failure of either requirement will cause the inspector to issue a stop sale, hold, or removal order.
The procedures followed by the Weights and Measures Inspector are defined by the Ohio Department of Agriculture-Division of Weights and Measures (ODA/WM). The inspectors attend an initial training program. They are required to attend eighteen hours of continuing education yearly, covering both the basics and any new innovations in scales, equipment and procedures. These procedures are defined in Handbooks 44 and 133. These Handbooks are prepared by the United States Department of Commerce-National institute of Standards and Technology and adopted by the National Conference of Weights and Measures. Under Ohio law, these handbooks are made part of the Ohio’s Administrative Code under regulations accepted by the ODA/WM.
The Auditor shall see that all state laws relating to weights and measures are strictly enforced throughout his county, and shall assist generally in the prosecution of all violations of such laws. In extreme cases, the matter is turned over to the ODA/WM which in turn asks for the assistance of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.