Elevator Safety Board Signed Meeting Minutes December 9, 2020


Meeting Minutes

December 9, 2020

  1. Call to order

Chairperson Kris Kesterson called the meeting to order at 9:04 a.m.  The meeting was held via Zoom.

  1. Roll call

Members present:       Kerry Dixon, Kathleen Uehling, Justin Carleton, Wayne Sims, , Craig Clabaugh, Kris Kesterson, Chairperson, Amy Infelt

Member absent: Marvin Schumacher

Ms. Caroline Barrett, Assistant Attorney General, participated.

  1. Approval of agenda

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

  1. Approval of minutes from September 30, 2020

Ms. Dixon moved to approve the minutes of the last meeting. Mr. Sims seconded the motion and the board approved it unanimously.

  1. Items for Action
  1. Tabled variance application from Polk County concerning fire recall in the criminal courthouse (E2020-010)

Mr. Matt Murphy, KONE, Inc, provided an update on this tabled variance. Permit applications were filed and the software was shipped.  The software will be installed later this month.  Mr. Borwey, Division of Labor Elevator Manager, stated that the paperwork submitted by KONE was incomplete.  Mr. Borwey will consult with Mr. Murphy after the meeting to discuss what is still needed.  Mr. Borwey agreed that the planned work would make the variance unnecessary.

Mr. John Tyler, Director of General Services with Polk County, will submit a withdrawal for the variance.  

  1. Tabled variance application from MidWest One Bank concerning access door height in an existing building (E2020-011)

Mr. Kevin Goranson, 2nd V.P. of Facilities for MidWest One and Mr. Mike Brown with O’Keefe Elevator Company, spoke to the board about this tabled variance request. 

Mr. Brown stated that this is the second modernization on this elevator as the governor was previously replaced. It is a newer style Hollister Whitney 12-inch governor that is in a secondary location that does not have enough headroom.  If it were to be raised to the machine room, the existing machine that has yet to be modernized would be in the way.  Mr. Goranson stated that the issue isn’t the space but the access door. The door is only 24 inches but the code requires 29 inches.

The board discussed issues besides the door height.  The space is most likely a permit required confined space.  The height inside must be 53 inches but it is only 48 inches.  There are exposed cables and rotating equipment that should be guarded.  The mobile ladder is not acceptable access to the door.

The board discussed options including moving the governor to the hoistway and using a self-resetting governor. 

Mr. Carlton moved to table the variance application until the next meeting. Ms. Dixon seconded the motion and the board unanimously approved.

  1. Variance application submitted by R & R Realty Group concerning 4 sump pumps at 4700 and 4800 Westown Parkway (E2020-014)

Mr. Clabaugh recused himself from the discussion.

Mr. Scott Cooley with R & R Realty Group spoke to the board regarding this request to waive the requirement for permanent sump pumps. Mr. Borwey agreed that permanent sump pumps are not practical and stated a variance can be granted with certain conditions.

Ms. Dixon moved to approve the variance on the following conditions that are applicable to each elevator separately:  1) a portable sump pump capable of extracting at least 50 gallons per minute shall be on site; 2) a hose with sufficient capacity and length to remove 50 gallons per minute shall be on site; 3) the pumps and hoses shall be secured in a location that is outside of the elevator equipment room and is accessible by authorized personnel; 4) signs identifying the pump and hose locations shall be placed in the elevator equipment room;  5) a written procedure shall be developed instructing authorized personnel where to place the pumps and hoses during a situation where water is discharged into the elevator pit.  The written procedure shall be a permanent addition to the elevator maintenance control plan.  Copies shall be provided to the building representative; and, 6) work shall be completed within 60 days. The petitioner shall notify the Division of Labor when these conditions have been met.  The Division of Labor will conduct an inspection to confirm compliance.

The considerable cost and significant damage to the lobby and adjacent tenant spaces associated with permanent sump pumps create an undue hardship.

Ms. Uehling seconded the motion.  Mr. Clabaugh abstained.  The other board members unanimously approved the motion.

  1. Division of Labor report

Labor Commissioner Rod Roberts attributed the work continuity at the Division of Labor to the staff in the office, those working remotely, and those in the field. The Division of Labor is fortunate that there has been minimal impact of illness within the agency. He stated that with the vaccine on the horizon, we may hopefully see “a light at the end of the tunnel.” 

The Commissioner stated that general elections have a profound effect on government agencies. Commissioner Roberts doesn’t anticipate any change in how we work with the legislature. There will be a new State Senate Labor Committee Chair with Zach Whiting of Spirit Lake.  The Division of Labor submitted a status quo budget for the next fiscal year. On the federal level, the biggest item will be who will become the new Secretary of Labor.

The Commissioner thanked Jim Borwey for his service to the Division of Labor and congratulated him on his new job with NAESA. 

Mr. Joe Mullen, Administrator at the Division of Labor, stated that he’s known Jim for 15 years “we are in a better position due to his work.”

A notice to fill Jim’s bureau chief position will be posted for 15 days.  The position is classified as a Public Service Manager 1.  The position has a requirement for QEI and NAARSO certification and is responsible for conveyances, boilers, and amusement rides.  The bureau chief supervises four boiler inspectors, fourteen elevator/amusement ride inspectors, two safety inspection coordinators and five support staff. 

Commissioner Roberts noted Don Peddy, an OSHA manager, will also retire at the beginning of the year. Commissioner Roberts thanked the board members for their service and wished them a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Ms. Kesterson and the other board members thanked Jim for his service and his important role with the board. Mr. Borwey stated he will make himself available to the board when he takes his new position as Executive Director with NAESA.  Mr. Borwey added that he appreciates the ability to leave on good terms with the Division of Labor.  He stated that working with the board has been a wonderful experience.

  1. Communications
  1. Variance application concerning pipes in an existing hoistway at the Des Moines International Airport was received and withdrawn (E2020-013). 
  1. Variance application concerning installation of a phone in a freight elevator car at Broadlawns Medical Center was received and withdrawn (E2020-015)
  1. Ms. Peggy VandenBerg submitted her resignation from the board. Ms. Candace Biddle, who was previously on the board, has reportedly turned in her application to serve in that position.
  1. Letter from Gary Briggs concerning material lifts.

Mr. Gary Briggs, Briggs Consulting, submitted a letter to the board concerning material lifts. Mr. Briggs questioned which Iowa rule prohibits conversion of an elevator into a material lift.  Mr. Borwey stated that the board has not addressed the alteration of an elevator to a material lift in our rules.  The code addresses upgrading a lift to an elevator.  Ms. Kesterson mentioned that downgrading an elevator to a material lift would  downgrade safety.

There was significant discussion about ASME interpretations and the safety and function of material lifts.  Ms. Kesterson informed Mr. Briggs that the best procedure is for him to submit a Petition for Rulemaking or Petition for Declaratory Order.  Mr. Briggs thanked the board and stated he will proceed accordingly.

  1. Next meeting dates
  • Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, February 10, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.
  1. Next meeting agenda
  • Rules Review
  • Polk County’s tabled variance application (E2020-010), if not withdrawn
  • MidWest One’s tabled variance application (E2020-011)
  1. Public comments 

Ms. Dixon notified the board that she is leaving Iowa State University on Monday and taking a position for University of Iowa working with Engie North America. She will be operating utilities systems for the university and hospitals as head of capital improvements and management. She will be able to maintain her position on the board.

  1. Adjournment

Mr. Sims moved to adjourn the meeting. The board approved. The meeting adjourned at 10:20 p.m.

   Respectfully submitted,


Ms. Kerry Dixon, Secretary