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Daily ride inspections required by state are not as closely regulated as annual inspections

Posted at 4:20 PM, Jul 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-28 17:19:10-04

Twenty four rides at Solon Home Days were given routine annual inspections by the state at the start of the fair season and they were also voluntarily re-inspected by state inspectors on Friday.

For 14 years, Rich Parker, the Community Center Manager for the Solon Parks and Rec Department has been the guy in charge of Solon Home Days. He’ll tell you, one of the most important aspects of fair safety, is working with a reputable carnival company that has a spotless record with the state.

“The company that we currently work with, we’ve had a long standing rapport and have used them for all 18 years of the Solon Home Days history,” he said.

“We take the additional step of working with the state to have the rides called, what’s re-inspected once they’re on site and set up just immediately prior to the fair opening,” said Parker.

It is not a requirement in Ohio to have carnival rides re-inspected once they’re assembled at a new location. A re-inspection must be requested by the host organization, as was done Friday in Solon.

Ohio law though requires the carnival company operating the ride, perform daily inspections of their own equipment. This is a far less regulated practice though.

“Each day, the ride operator has the responsibility by statute to inspect the ride and operate it before a patron gets on it. So that is the regular safety inspection,” said Howard Call, the Executive Director of the Ohio Fair Managers Association.

State inspectors are required to check 37 different components before a ride can be declared safe. A News 5 investigation revealed there are only nine state inspectors slated for inspections performed on 3,000 rides across the state.