COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — If you’ve purchased anything sold by length, weight, or volume, the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Weights and Measures is likely behind it, checking devices like scales and meters for consistency and accuracy.
“We primarily focus on scales and meters, things that weigh products or measure products,” Daniel Walker, chief of the Division of Weights and Measures, said. “A lot of people associate us with gas pumps, checking gas pumps.”
Walker said checking those devices helps to ensure that the customer always gets what they pay for.
“It also ensures that the business that’s selling the product is fairly compensated for the amount they sell,” Walker said.
Products we use every day like fuel, produce and milk, but the division also does a lot of work behind the scenes at the Ohio State Fair.
“Any booth that’s selling bulk items, like candy or chocolate by the pound,” Walker said. “We do check those scales to ensure that you’re getting what you pay for.”
Walker showed Better Call 4 the process of testing a typical retail scale, by placing a weight in each corner of the scale, to verify that it’s within the department’s allowed tolerance.
“We want to make sure that no matter where the product is placed on the scale, that the scale is going to accurately read the product,” Walker said.
But product isn’t the only thing that holds weight at the state fair.
“We help test and certify all the livestock and animal scales that are used in the 4H shows,” Walker said.
And make adjustments if needed.
“We have to ensure that that scale is 100% accurate for those weigh-ins,” Walker said. Accurate for the buyer, the seller and every fairgoer in between.
“Our motto is, ‘Equity in the marketplace.’ And we’re ensuring that all transactions are accurate,” Walker said.
If a vendor scale is inaccurate, Walker said it’s up to the business owner to repair or replace it. Walker said the division did find one inaccurate scale at the fair last year. The error was in the buyer’s favor, meaning it would have cost the vendor money. That scale was taken out of service and replaced.
If you feel like you aren’t getting what you pay for, you can take your concerns to the department or to your county auditor’s office.