Weights and Measures is mandated by state law to protect the interests of the buyer and seller to ensure honesty and integrity of everyday business transactions. This protection is accomplished through our continuous and systematic inspection of all equipment that weighs or measures a commodity that is sold. Every transaction involving the exchange of goods, property, and service is affected in a very vital way by some form of weights and measures.
John Quincy Adams once said "Weights and Measures may be ranked among the necessaries of life to every individual of human society. They enter into the economical arrangements and daily concerns of every family. They are necessary to every occupation of human industry; to the distribution and security of every species of property; to every transaction of trade and commerce; to the labors of husbandman; to the ingenuity of the artificer; to the studies of the philosopher; to the researches of the antiquarian; to the navigation of the mariner and the marches of the soldier; to all the exchanges of peace, and all the operations of war. The knowledge of them as in established use, is among the first elements of education and is often learned by those who learn nothing else, not even to read and write. This knowledge is riveted in the memory by the habitual application of it to the employments of men throughout life."
Weights and Measures started in Hamilton County in 1991, nationally the 1st Weights and Measures law dates back to March 2, 1799. Hamilton County Weights and Measures consists of 2 inspectors, Chief Deputy Inspector Cary Woodward as well as 1st Deputy Inspector Mike Thomas. From the time of the enactment of the 1st General Weights and Measures Law in March 1911, over 87 years ago, weights and measures activities performed at the state level have been done by personnel of the State Department of Health (formerly State Board of Health). Minor amendments were made to the act in 1913 and 1925, but the basic act remained the same.
State Level Administration
The Acts of 1947 created a Division of Weights and Measures in the State Board of Health. In 1949 the Public Health Code was enacted, and this act preserved and transferred to the Division of Weights and Measures all the rights, powers, and duties previously granted under the General Weights and Measures Law. It is under this act, with more minor amendments having been made, that the Division of Weights and Measures operates today. The Division budget is 100% general funded and equals about $0.57 per citizen per year. The County programs are supported by the Indiana Weights and Measures and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Violation of Weights and Measures laws are criminal misdemeanors or felonies in the state of Indiana. Inspections are conducted unannounced so the device or business practice is evaluated on an "as used" basis.
The Deputy Inspectors are licensed by the State of Indiana in 3 areas, Weight Verification, Measurement Verification, and Transaction and Product Verification. Inspectors who drive the heavy capacity weight truck and trailer must also have a valid Class A driver's license. Inspectors who tow the propane meter testing unit must also qualify for a hazardous materials endorsement. Management positions require additional certification.