This page is designed to provide a better understanding
of the Weights and Measures Division within the County Auditor's
COMMUNITY AWARENESS PROGRAM
The County Auditor serves as the Sealer of Weights
and Measures for the entire County. According to the Ohio Revised
Code, Section 319.55, "The Auditor shall see that all state laws
relating to weights and measures are strictly enforced throughout
his county, and shall assist generally in the prosecution of all
violations of such laws."
Some Ohio cities have also implemented Weights and
Measures programs as part of their city services.
The County Auditor is responsible for testing the accuracy
of weighing and measuring devices used in the purchase and sale
The Director of Agriculture is the State Sealer of
Weights and Measures.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture is the custodian
of the Ohio primary standards of Weights and Measures, which are
traceable to U.S. standards of the National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The International
standards are kept in Paris, France.
According to the 2005 Annual Activities Sum mary for
all jurisdictions in Ohio, inspectors tested approximately 47,204
scales and 102,528 gas pumps. This number is steadily increasing.
As consumers, the products we buy are sold by weight,
volume, length, count, or measure.
The time-tested methods of verifying weight, volume
and pricing are being replaced by computerized devices.
There are positives as well as cautions involved with
the advances in technology.
As U.P.C. pricing and computers are replacing price
stickers, customers receive faster service but they cannot visually
verify each item's price.
Therefore, Weights and Measures officials and
merchants must work harder to provide custom ers with pricing and
Weights and Measures inspectors are required to receive training
and certification from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division
of Weights and Measures.
Inspectors must pass a series of 20 tests and 2 exams,
as well as attend 18 hours of continuing education class per year
to maintain their certification.
Error rates vary within each of Ohio's 88 counties.
Ohio jurisdictions are very responsive to calls. Upon
receiving a complaint a Weights and Measures official will usually
inspect the site within 24 to 48 hours.
If an error is found, the facility's equipment may
be temporarily shut down or the operators may be fined. Records
are maintained for all reported complaints.
All commodities must be marked with a statement declaring
net contents. Net weight does not include the weight of the bag,
wrapper or container of any kind in which a commodity may be packaged.
This is called the tare weight, which must be accounted for before
the product is weighed. Inspectors from the State and County periodically
check the accuracy of these pre-packaged items.
The Universal Product Code (U.P.C.) is used in
most retail stores to scan the price of the item. The price of the
item is entered into a computer. When the item is scanned the price
will immediately appear on the register. The County Auditor is helping
to ensure that the labeled shelf price or the advertised price matches
the price appearing at the checkout.
To increase Weights and Measures awareness among consumers,
County Auditors participate in a variety of outreach or educational
programs to help explain the role of the county sealer and the protection
consumers and merchants receive.
The purpose of these events is for citizens to realize
they have rights as well as responsibilities in the market place.
Fuel is sold by volume in gallons or liters. A computer
in the gasoline pump (retail motor fuel dispenser) calculates what
you owe based on the amount and unit price of the gasoline.
Weights and Measures officials post a seal to show
that the equipment was tested and found to be correct.
In Ohio, the legal method of sale for fire wood
is the cord or fraction of a cord. A "cord" is defined as 128
cubic feet. Fire wood must be labeled in cubic feet or cubic
- When buying an item by count, such as prescription
drugs, make sure the label indicates the amount you are to receive
- When buying firewood, be sure to request a receipt
which has the name, and the address of the vendor, as well as
the delivery date, amount delivered, quantity upon which the price
is based and the total price of the amount delivered
- When purchasing gas, be sure to multiply the price
per gallon by the number of gallons so you are sure the price
- When purchasing merchandise on a counter scale,
remember that the height of the person can cause a difference
when reading the indicator on scales that are not electronic
- Over-the-counter-scales and their quantity value
indicators must be in plain view of the customer during transactions
- Look for the current year Weights and Measures seals
on all weighing devices