Many of the state's 7,000 elevators are behind on inspections.
The problem came to a head last year. One elevator company manager remembers the nightmare well.
"There was a lot of elderly in the building. There was one elevator. We had to wait two months to do a two-hour inspection," said Bert Yorita of Mitsubishi Elevators.
Now, he said the wait is cut to a week.
Lawmakers appropriated additional funding last year to hire 10 additional staff and to boost salaries to help retain the new hires.
During a legislative briefing, members of the private sector expressed gratitude that a long overdue overhaul of an understaffed program is getting underway.
The state’s labor director, a former lawmaker, said the support is really helping to make a significant change.
"What used to be a state program paid for by general funds was transformed into a self suffient system based on a collection of fees," said Labor director Dwight Takamine.
The fees had not been raised in 13 years.
But still even with the added inspectors, he admits it could take three years before the state can get that backlog of 5,000 inspections down to a more manageable level.