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Weights and Measures: Here’s the team that keeps things consistent

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Inspectional Services

In honor of Weights and Measures Week — yes, that’s a real thing — we wanted to take a moment to highlight our staff at Inspectional Services.

We may not always notice it, but we depend on measurements in our everyday lives. Whether we’re putting gasoline in a car, looking for a carpet for a family room, or buying meat and vegetables for dinner, we need measurements. To that end, the Weights and Measures team at Inspectional Services plays an important role in protecting consumers who buy products sold by weight and volume.

Weights and Measures staff members ensure consumers are able to make informed decisions related to products. They also enforce state codes for devices that weigh and measure products. These include the supermarket scales used when you buy cold cuts, vegetables, and fruit.

Inspectors check devices to make sure measurements are accurate. Inspected devices include:

  • taximeters
  • gas pumps
  • home heating oil trucks, and
  • scales.

By keeping measurements standard, competing businesses are given a level playing field. We can make sure that businesses are competing honestly and fairly.

Weights and Measures inspectors also enforce laws related to pricing and delivery. They inspect devices once every year, as required by law. When an inspector approves a device, they attach approval and security seals. If an inspector doesn’t approve a device, the business can’t use that device until it’s fixed or replaced.

Some quick history: on March 2, 1799, President John Adams signed the first Weights and Measures law. The law governed the accuracy of all things weighed and measured. The City’s Weights and Measures team is proud to continue the mission established more than 200 years ago of ensuring accuracy and fairness in measuring tools across Boston.

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