Visual inspection not enough for fair rides to be safe

When you go to a local fair, you want everything to be as safe as possible. Safety protocols are in place to prevent injuries, but they don't always work. Although this didn't happen in Tennessee, it has the potential to, which is why it's important to know your rights.

Recently, a ride at the Ohio State Fair had a catastrophic failure that led to the death of one 18-year-old man. Seven other people were injured. The crash was a result of damage to the ride that the daily visual inspection could not see.

The ride inspectors did not perform in-depth tests on the ride prior to the incident. If they had taken an ultrasound or used an X-ray, they may have caught the damage that has been implicated as the cause for the ride's malfunction. The inspectors from the Ohio Department of Agriculture gave the ride a visual inspection, clearing it for use at the fair. Unfortunately, under the paint and lacquer, the ride had corroded. That resulted in the ride snapping apart while it was in use.

One ride consultant stated that rides like these need to have X-rays and ultrasounds at least once yearly to identify corrosion and internal damage. The problem is that there is no standard for who is supposed to test the rides. In Ohio, inspectors don't do intensive testing. They do make sure the testing has been performed, though, and in this case, the Fire Ball ride had been tested each year.

In this situation, one person died due to safety-related issues. If you lose a loved one, you can fight for compensation after an accident like this.

Source: USA Today, "Eyes-only inspection didn't see Ohio fair ride's corrosion," Jessie Balmert and Randy Tucker, Aug. 07, 2017

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