It was last May that a young girl in Omaha had a portion of her scalp torn off while on a carnival ride. Last weekend a boy was killed on a ride at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City and Monday night three girls were injured while riding a Ferris wheel. It is fair season and midways are big attractions. Nebraska Department of Labor’s Director of the Office of Safety Chris Cantrell says each amusement ride is inspected by the state at the start of the season.
Cantrell says, “We use the original manufacturers manual and operating instructions for our inspectors to look at the rides to make sure they are being maintained and operated according to the original manufacturer’s instructions. That involves visual inspections. Sometimes if it needs further inspections we require non-destructive examination of welds or mechanical joints. Primarily we are looking at the mechanical system to verify it is still capable of performing its intended design function.”
The Office of Safety has three full time inspectors and two extra that are brought in this time of year to inspect rides. He says all rides inspected and approved by the state have a gold permit sticker dated 2016. He says owners and operators of carnival rides are required to verify and inspect them on a daily basis.
Cantrell says when it comes to thrill rides there is always a risk involved. He says families must make that determination on their own and need to follow all rules and regulations before getting on.