Elevator Safety Board Meeting Minutes November 21, 2019

ELEVATOR SAFETY BOARD

Meeting Minutes

November 21, 2019

I.     Call to order

Chairperson Kris Kesterson called the meeting to order at 1:01 p.m. in Conference Room 106 at 150 Des Moines Street, Des Moines, Iowa.

II.     Roll call

Members present:       Kris Kesterson, Kerry Dixon, Kathleen Uehling, Craig Clabaugh, Justin Carleton, Wayne Sims and Peggy VandenBerg (via phone)

Members absent: Marvin Schumacher and Amy Infelt

No representative of the Attorney General attended.

III.     Approval of agenda

Mr. Sims moved to approve the agenda and Ms. Uehling seconded the motion. The Board approved it unanimously.

IV.     Approval of minutes from October 2, 2019

Ms. Dixon moved to approve the October 2, 2019, minutes. Mr. Clabaugh seconded the motion and the board approved it unanimously.

V.     Items for Action

  1. Variance request from Steve Deutsch on behalf of Spencer Hospital and concerning clearance in the machine room of an existing elevator (E2019-033).

Mr. Steve Deutsch and Mr. Joel Wassom of Spencer Hospital addressed the board regarding the variance. They distributed additional photos to the board for reference.

Spencer Hospital is requesting a variance from the 18” minimum for clearance in the machine room due to the rope gripper.  Mr. Deutsch noted that a yellow cover now shields the entire assembly that wraps from floor-to-floor. According to Mr. Jim Borwey, Elevator Manager, the rope gripper is a tripping hazard and should be painted as well.

Ms. Dixon moved to approve the variance as this is an existing condition that places an undue hardship on the owner.  The following conditions shall be met: 1) a sign stating “Caution Low Overhead” shall be posted on the machine room door in contrasting colors with a minimum of one inch lettering; 2) a sign shall be posted on the machine room door advising “Caution Reduced Maintenance Pathway to the Elevator Controller” in contrasting colors with a minimum of one-inch lettering; 3) the rope gripper and rope guards shall be painted with bright, yellow paint; 4) a minimum of 19ftc lighting shall be maintained in all areas of the elevator machine room; and, 5) the inspector shall verify adequacy of rope nip point guards.  Mr. Clabaugh seconded and the board unanimously approved.

  1. Petition for Reconsideration of Variance submitted by Darrell Gierstorf on behalf Des Moines Public Schools (E2019-034).

Mr. Darrell Gierstorf, Des Moines Public Schools, spoke to the board regarding this reconsideration of a condition required by a prior variance ruling.  Mr. Gierstorf is requesting that the requirement to remove conduit be rescinded.

Ms. Dixon moved that requirement #1 “electrical wires and junction box be removed from the stairwell” be rescinded from the order of October 2, 2019.

Mr. Clabaugh seconded the motion and the board approved it unanimously.

  1. Petition for variance from Ryan Galloway concerning the hoistway doors of the Maytag Hotel in Newton (E2019-035).

This variance request was withdrawn November 20, 2019.

VI.     Division of Labor Report

The Labor Commissioner, Rod Roberts, updated the board on several changes to the facilities at 150 Des Moines Street. 

  • The sign in front of the building now names Division of Labor and Division of Workers Compensation as the building occupants.
  • The three large ash trees were removed from the side of the building.
  • A new office for Joe Mullen, State Program Administrator, was constructed. Joe’s previous position with OSHA Consultation/Education will be filled.
  • A project in the spring will include installing gates to the parking lot.  There will be visual and audio communication from the gates to the front desk leading into the lot.  Also a request was made to resurface the lot.

The Commissioner recently provided an in-depth report to the legislature’s State Government Efficiency Review Committee. The committee was interested in whether the elevator and boiler boards are necessary.  The committee also spent a significant amount of time discussing I.T. and how to improve public access.  The Commissioner distributed a copy of the same agency organization chart that he gave to the committee. The Commissioner stated he is not sure what may come from the meeting.  Commissioner Roberts promised to keep the board posted on what may come from the report.

Also, a legislative inquiry was made for the number of elevators in the state and the number of elevators in churches, non-profits and private schools.  The Commissioner was uncertain of the purpose of this request.

Mr. James Borwey, Manager, provided the financial report

  • July 1 to now revenue $811,323.95
  • Expenses $763, 484.28
  • Net $47,839.27.
  • Carryover from last year $472,844.18

One inspector opening will be posted in the spring for the eastern part of the state.

Mr. Carleton asked why the board increased permit fees.  Mr. Borwey explained that years ago the program was virtually bankrupt and the fee increase was to cover the cost of the program.  Mr. Borwey also noted that the division must continue to achieve our mission to inspect all elevators. Mr. Borwey estimated that the number of overdue inspections is at 25%. The state performs approximately 90% of the inspections.

Mr. Clabaugh questioned whether the reinspection fees are punitive or is safety the main goal.  Ms. Dixon stated that unless there is a reinspection, the work won’t be done. Mr. Borwey noted that the most common deficiency noted during an inspection is an overdue safety test. Mr. Borwey also stated that the reinspection fee was not meant to be punitive but to increase safety. The code says elevators must comply and inspectors verify compliance.   

VII.     ​​​​​​​Communications

ADM withdrew 11 variances on October 16, 2019.

VIII.     ​​​​​​​Next meeting dates

  • Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. 150 Des Moines Street
  • Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. 150 Des Moines Street

IX.     Next meeting agenda

  • Petition for waiver submitted on behalf of First Presbyterian Church in Waterloo (E2019-036)
  • Petition for waiver submitted by Drew Woodard on behalf of Sioux City Hotel (E2019-037)
  • Petition for waiver submitted by Grain Processing Corporation (E2019-39)

January 16, 2020 agenda

  • Tabled variance application on behalf of First Presbyterian Church in Waterloo (E2019-036)
  • Rules Review
  • Report on carry-over year-to-year for the last five years including vacant positions at year’s end.

X.     ​​​​​​​Public comments 

Gary Briggs stated that he remembers the fees were to be increased to cover computerization costs and then the fees were to be reduced. The board noted that further discussion of fees is planned for the January meeting. The division will research the fee history and the number of inspections and reinspections per year.

Mr. Sims noted that there is an alliance agreement between EIWPI and OSHA.  Mr. Eric McClaskey EIWPI approached the board in a prior meeting about joining the alliance.

XI.     ​​​​​​​Adjournment

Mr. Clabaugh moved to adjourn the meeting. The board approved.  The meeting adjourned at 2:01 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Ms. Kerry Dixon, Secretary

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