Profile: Martha McLaskey

Products and Standards Inspector

Martha McLaskey is proud of her work to make sure members of the public get what they’re paying for at the gas pump or the grocery store. McLaskey is a state products and standards inspector. It’s her job to examine and test commercial weighing and measuring devices.

Although sometimes she has to endure insults about being a public employee, says McLaskey, “when people figure out exactly what you are doing—protecting their [consumer] dollars—they say ‘thank you.’ It makes up for any negative remark.”

The veteran inspector with the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s bureau of weights and measures tests the accuracy of about 10,000 scales and gasoline pumps annually in her 24-county territory in southern Illinois. She also collects motor fuel samples that are lab tested for their octane rating, volatility, alcohol and water contents.

“I truly enjoy what I do,” says McLaskey, a member of the Illinois Federation of Public Employees. “Not a whole lot of people can say that.”