GEDDES, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — There are 72 rides on the Midway. Most have been there for more than a week and the state, along with the vendors and the ride operators, have been inspecting them every day since then to make sure they are in tip-top shape.
“Any time the rides move over the road, there’s a potential for different things to happen. Screws to come undone, and when the rides come in, we check them” said Eileen Franko, Director of Safety and Health with the Department of Labor.
Inspectors take notes at three stages. They look at each piece of the ride before it is put together. They then look at the whole structure once it is all set up. They even walk around during the fair to make sure people are following the safety rules written on these signs.
“And sometimes you’ll see parents that’ll say ‘oh can my child go on when there’s a limit?’ And that really shouldn’t be because these are all designed with the safety of the patron in mind,” Franko said.
And while New York State is luck to have carnival inspectors…
“If something isn’t fixed or corrected, we don’t let them run until that’s been corrected,” Franko said.
Fairgoers should also take safety into their own hands. Right at the entrance of each ride, there’s a ticket that tells you when it was last inspected. In this case, it should have a date of August 21st or later.
Franko said, “You can look at it. It will have the date that it passed and also who it was inspected by, either their initials or their signature.”
Franko continued, “We do our due diligence to make sure that when people come to the fair, they have a great time.”
Since Franko started this job seven years ago, she can only remember one fatality, and that was on Long Island.
At the New York State Fair, there was a minor incident a couple of years ago where a light hit someone walking by a ride, but the state and everyone at the fair are doing everything they can to ensure safety.