You most certainly have stepped on an elevator in the state of North Carolina and seen the inspection certificate prominently displayed inside. That document ensures riders that the elevator is safe to operate because it has recently undergone and passed an inspection by a state licensed elevator inspector. North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL) Inspectors conduct these inspections to ensure proper installation and safe operation of elevators, escalators, workman’s hoists, dumbwaiters, moving walks and lifting devices for people with disabilities that operate in public establishments (except federal buildings) and private places of employment.
You surely also noticed a photograph of a distinguished looking woman named Cherie Berry inside the elevator. She is the NC Commissioner of Labor, and her Department of Labor oversees the Elevator and Amusement Device Bureau, which regulates elevators and escalators in the state of North Carolina. Berry was first elected in 2000, and in 2005, she put into place a rule that the placard displaying inspection dates and inspector’s names in every elevator must also include the labor commissioner’s photograph.
Interestingly, and likely due in great part to her ubiquitous photo, Commissioner Berry has earned a bit of a cult following. She is loved across the state of NC and has had the title “Elevator Queen” bestowed upon her. She has inspired songs, t-shirts and even has a spoof twitter account dedicated to her, @ElevatorQueen. Phrases such as “She Lifts Me Up” and “Levels” are used to represent the iconic Commissioner Berry. She was elected to her fifth four-year term on November 6, 2016. Our guess is that having her photo in every commercial elevator in the state has only served to help her re-election chances!
So, the next time you take an elevator, make sure to notice the Elevator Queen. She ensures that every trip you take in an elevator in the state of NC is a safe one!