• Chip Nyborg

New NYS Governing Entity Formed to Oversee Elevator Contractors, Work Permits and Mechanic Licensing

Written by Chip Nyborg, President of Tri-State Elevator

If there wasn’t enough turmoil unleashed by Albany bureaucrats for property owners, get ready for more changes and more government regulation. An entirely new NYS governing entity will be formed to oversee elevator contractor and mechanic licensing as well as elevator work permits. Work permits must be obtained for new elevator installations, alterations etc. The permit for said work can originate in the local municipality only if the municipality publishes the permit on their website, otherwise a permit must come from this new NYS governing authority. NYC meets this online requirement. It remains to be seen which other municipalities meet the online requirement.

Elevator contractors and mechanics will be required to obtain a NYS license and maintain their license with 8 hours of continuing education thereafter. NYC will have a similar, but separate license requirement. Naturally there are fees to be paid initially and at the time of renewal. Also, there are the costs of training and taking the exams. All this adds up to higher labor costs for the contractor that will be passed on to the property owners. Licensing also has the effect of dampening competition and thus raise costs even further. Licensing favors established companies while erecting another barrier to entry for start-ups.

The State of Connecticut requires licensed mechanics and contractors. The effect of which has effectively blocked out of state contractors from working within the state and diminished open market forces, protecting local, established contractors. Protectionism almost always leads to higher prices for the end user. Ultimately when free and open markets become restricted by government intervention, the quality of goods and services suffers. Less competition, less choice, but higher costs.

I fully support enhanced safety, training, skills development and continuing education for the elevator industry with the riding public as the ultimate benefactor. There is going to be a typical initial period of chaos and uncertainty and hopefully for the duration of the legislation, consistency, efficiency and markedly improved safety. Afterall the legislation is about increased public and worker safety.

So, property owners can expect an increase in the cost of elevator services, an increase in cost for permitting fees, sign-off fees, and the obligatory penalties. But wait, with the increase in safety shouldn’t the liability premiums for the property owners and elevator contractors decrease? Shouldn’t the workers compensation cost decrease for the contractors? After all the investment in time, money and growth in government oversite Albany should tie the increase in elevator safety and mandate lower insurance premiums. Yeah right, like that will ever happen.

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