The General Laws are hereby amended by inserting after chapter 143 the following chapter:-
INSPECTION OF HEALTH CLUBS
Section 1. In this chapter the following terms, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, shall have the following meanings:-
“Board”, board of exercise equipment appeals.
“Commissioner”, the commissioner of public safety.
“Department”, department of public safety.
“Exercise equipment”, any device used in a health club in conjunction with physical exercise or the development of muscles, including weights, dumbbells, straps, adaptive hand mitts, prone scooter boards, parallel bars, treadmills and manually propelled exercise bicycles.
“Health club”, each facility, in which any person, firm, corporation, partnership, unincorporated association, franchise or other business enterprise offers its exercise equipment for instruction, training or assistance in the preservation, maintenance, encouragement or development of physical fitness, conditioning or well being that includes exercise equipment.
Section 2. The commissioner shall cause a system of inspection of exercise equipment to be instituted and maintained in the commonwealth. The commissioner shall assign an adequate number of competent exercise equipment inspectors taking into account the number of health clubs in the commonwealth. The commissioner shall have supervision of the inspection of all exercise equipment in the commonwealth.
Section 3. The owner or person in control of a health club shall pay fees to be determined annually by the secretary of administration and finance pursuant to section 3B of chapter 7 for inspection and safety tests conducted pursuant to this chapter. Such fees shall be set at a rate sufficient to meet the department’s cost for conducting said inspections and safety tests.
Section 4. Each health club operated in the commonwealth shall be inspected at least once every 6 months by an inspector appointed by the commissioner pursuant to this chapter. During each inspection, the inspector shall inspect and test all exercise equipment operated in the health club. Within 10 days of an inspection, the inspector shall file a report of safety with the commissioner and shall forward a copy of such report to the owner or person in control of the health club. In the report, the inspector shall list and appropriately identify any exercise equipment he or she determines to be defective or unsafe for use in conjunction with physical exercise or the development of muscles. The report shall also include an explanation as to why any such equipment was determined to be defective or unsafe.
Upon receipt of the report of safety, the owner or person in control of a health club shall remove any exercise equipment determined to be defective or unsafe or otherwise prohibit the use of any such exercise equipment by any customers. The owner or operator of an elevator who fails to comply with this paragraph shall be punished by a fine of $100 for each day that any such exercise equipment is not removed or otherwise prohibited; provided, however, that the maximum fine shall be $5,000. The commissioner or the commissioner's designee may waive all or a portion of the $100 per day fine and may promulgate rules and regulations establishing criteria used to determine whether the fine may be waived.
Section 5. There shall be in the department, but not under the control of the commissioner, a board to be known as the board of exercise equipment appeals, which shall consist of the commissioner or a member of the department designated by the commissioner and 4 members to be appointed by the governor, for terms of 6 years each, 1 of whom shall be an engineer, 1 of whom shall be a representative of a liability insurance company and 1 of whom shall be representative of an exercise equipment manufacturer. Upon the expiration of the term of a member appointed by the governor, his or her successor shall be appointed in the same manner for a term of 6 years. Any vacancy shall be filled in the manner aforesaid for the remainder of the unexpired term. The chairman of the board shall be designated from time to time by the governor.
Each appointive member of the board shall be paid not less than $50 for each day while in actual performance of his or her duties as such, but not exceeding $2,000 in a fiscal year, and shall also receive from the commonwealth all expenses necessarily incurred by the member in connection with his or her official duties.
Such clerical, technical and other assistants as may be required by the board shall be assigned to it by the commissioner.
Whoever is aggrieved by a determination pursuant to this chapter by an inspector that certain exercise equipment is defective or unsafe may within 30 days after the person receives notice thereof appeal such determination to the board of exercise equipment appeals. The filing fee for an appeal shall be $50. After giving notice to the appellant, a public hearing shall be had before the board at an early and convenient time and place fixed by it, not later than 30 days after the entry of such appeal, unless such time is extended by agreement with the appellant. Any such party may appear in person or by agent or attorney at such hearing. The board shall within 30 days after such hearing, unless such time is extended by agreement with the appellant, issue an appropriate decision or order reversing, affirming or modifying in whole or in part the determination of the inspector. A copy of such order or decision of the board shall be sent forthwith by registered mail to all interested parties.
The board may make such rules or by-laws, not inconsistent with law, as it may deem necessary in the performance of its duties.
Section 6. The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of this chapter.
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