The recognition focuses on consumer protection efforts of two state agencies
(DENVER) – On March 2, 1799, President John Adams signed into law a Congressional Act that called for establishing uniform standards for weights and measures. President Adams’ signature that day was an important first step in regulating national standards for weights and measures and regulating their use.
In recognition of that historic legislation, the nation has long designated March 1 – 7 as a time to celebrate the work of inspectors who ensure that the devices used to weigh and measure products for consumers are accurate. Governor Jared Polis has signed a proclamation commemorating Weights and Measures Week in Colorado.
There have been significant changes in how products are weighed and measured. Today, scales are often computerized and new technologies are constantly being introduced. Companies are even developing apps to interface with the precision weighing and measuring equipment to provide better flexibility to both businesses and consumers.
Yet for all the myriad changes and improvements, one constant has remained. Just as they have for decades, thousands of weights and measures inspectors still go out every day to inspect and test weighing and measuring equipment and pre-packaged products. Their work is as vital as ever, providing businesses and consumers with a protection that promotes economic development through equity in the marketplace.
The theme for 2023’s Weights and Measures Week is “Collaborating With Partners and Stakeholders For a Greater Measure of Equity.” It’s a concept that weaves well into Colorado’s interagency collaboration. Inspectors in two state agencies – the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Labor and Employment – combine forces to test the accuracy of weights and measurement devices every day.
Inspectors with the Measurement Standards Program of the Department of Agriculture regularly test the accuracy of scales so that consumers will know they are getting exactly what they are paying for in the produce aisles, deli counters or wherever they purchase items based on weight. These inspectors also check the scales at grain elevators and livestock sales across the state and even make sure the scales at DIA are accurately weighing travelers’ luggage.
And inspectors with the Division of Oil and Public Safety, a part of the Department of Labor and Employment, check the digital readers on gasoline dispensers to ensure pinpoint accuracy. They take samples of the fuel products at gas stations throughout Colorado and analyze them for quality. Similar inspections are done on retail and bulk propane, diesel meters, compressed and liquefied natural gas dispensers. Each year the Colorado program inspects over 55,000 gas pumps, and hundreds of fuel oil and propane truck meters.
“This year, we have joined forces with the Department of Agriculture to get the word out about what the field staff of both agencies do every day to help consumers,” says Mahesh Albuquerque, the Director of the Division of Oil and Public Safety. “We want Coloradans to know there are steps they can take if they have doubts about the accuracy of the measured products they are purchasing.”
This year Weights and Measures week is also especially meaningful for Colorado as Mahesh Albuquerque is serving as the Chairman of the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM), a professional nonprofit association of state and local weights and measures officials, federal agencies, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers. Through collaboration with partners and stakeholders, NCWM has developed United States weights and measures standards for commerce since 1905.
“The important message during Weights and Measures Week,” Albuquerque stresses. “Is that we’re here to promote consistency and equity in the marketplace. There are steps that anyone can take – an individual or a business – when there are doubts about quality and quantity.” Albuquerque says that if consumers have questions or concerns about gas dispensed at a Colorado service station, they should contact the Weights and Measures Section of the Division of Oil and Public Safety at (303) 318-8525 or by email at .
Individuals with questions about the accuracy of produce scales should contact the Measurement Standards Program with the Department of Agriculture at (303) 477-4220.