INTRODUCTION TO W&M:

The County Auditor serves as the Sealer of Weights & Measures for the entire County. According to the Ohio Revised Code, Section 319.55, “The Auditor shall see that all state laws relating to weights and measures are strictly enforced throughout his/her county, and shall assist generally in the prosecution of all violations of such laws.”

The County Auditor is responsible for the testing of weighing and measuring devices used in the purchase and sale of commodities.

The Director of Agriculture is the State Sealer of Weights and Measures.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is the custodian of the Ohio primary standards of Weights and Measures, which are traceable to U.S. standards of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The International Standards are kept in Paris, France.

According to the 2015 Annual Activities Summary for all jurisdictions in Ohio, inspectors tested approximately 61,733 scale devices and 134,086 liquid measuring devices, gas pumps. This number is steadily increasing every year.

It is the responsibility of the County Auditor’s office, in all 88 counties in Ohio, to have established Weights & Measures programs designed to safeguard us ALL in the marketplace.  An accurate system of Weights & Measures regulates each link in the economic chain, from the consumer, to the retailer, to the distributor. Keeping our economy in balance and everyone protected.

 

EQUITY IN THE MARKET PLACE:

More often than not, weights & measures will remain behind the scenes but, it plays a crucial role in our everyday lives. By and large our economy is built on the monetary value placed on the goods and services bought and sold every day. And, almost everything we buy is sold by some sort of measure, whether it’s weight or volume, or count. So at the end of the day, an accurate weights and measures system plays a huge role in determining that monetary value.

When making a purchase, consumers should be aware that products are sold by weight, volume, length, count, or measure. The County Weights and Measures Inspectors ensure that consumers receive the proper quantity by providing minimum standards and conducting testing to these standards. Weights and Measures officials work with merchants to ensure, with a high degree of accuracy, that what is purchased is the proper quantity. By doing so, this protects all of Coshocton County businesses and consumers.

All Weights and Measures inspectors are required to receive training and certification from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Weights and Measures. Inspectors must pass a series of 20 tests and 2 exams, as well as attend 8 hours of continuing education classes per year to maintain their certification. It is the job of your state and local certified weights & measures inspectors to test and inspect legal for trade scales and meters for accuracy. ALL legal for trade scales and meters are required to meet national standards for technical and user requirements.

County Inspectors are very responsive; upon receiving a complaint a Weights and Measures official will usually inspect the site within 24-48 hours. If an error is found, the facilities equipment may be temporarily shut down or the operators may be fined. Records are maintained for all reported complaints.

 
PROTECT YOURSELF:

READ THE LABEL. Product labels provide valuable information and have set standards for what information needs to be included on them.

PAY FOR PRODUCTS NOT PACKAGING. When purchasing products by weight, you should only be paying for the product itself, NOT for packaging materials. Watch products being weighed to make sure prices reflect the weight of the actual product and not any packaging materials.

GET A RECEIPT. There is little that can be done to resolve a consumer complaint if there is no proof of the amount, type of product purchased, and the price paid.

 

SKIMMERS:

Credit card skimming devices are being used in places such as gas pumps and ATMs to steal credit card and debit card information as well as PIN numbers for the purpose of identity theft. These are electronic devices that attach onto credit card readers and record the data of cards swiped. These devices often have Bluetooth capabilities, allowing identity thieves to access the private data from up to a distance of 100 yards. Gas pumps are particularly vulnerable because they are outside, often away from station employees which makes them more easily accessible to criminals compared to ATM’s and credit card readers inside stores. It only takes as little as 30 seconds for a skimmer to be installed. This is becoming an increasingly prevalent crime, not only in Ohio but across the country. However, the change toward chip-readers instead of magnetic strip readers on cards and card readers should aid in curtailing these crimes in the future. Credit card companies such as Europay, Mastercard, and Visa have extended a deadline for a requirement that is making  gas stations upgrade their pumps with chip-readers by October 2020.

 

How To Protect Yourself From A Skimmer

County Auditors Launch Statewide Skimmer Sweep

 

RESOURCE LINKS:

WWW.NCWM.NET- NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON WEIGHTS AND MEASURES

WWW.NIST.GOV- NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY

WWW.OHIOATTORNEYGENERAL.GOV- OHIO ATTORTNEY GENERAL

WWW.AGRI.OHIO.GOV- OHIO DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

WWW.FTC.GOV- FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

 

Annual State Report:

2017 State Report

 

Consumer Complaint Form

Any questions/comments regarding Weights & Measures, please call the office at 740-622-1243 and ask for Dustin or email him at dustingregory@coshoctoncounty.net