NY Amusement Ride Inspections Under Way

A ride cannot legally operate without a permit from the New York State Department of Labor, which last year performed nearly 1,600 inspections on more than 9,000 amusement devices and issued more than 2,900 orders to correct violations.

New York State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon announced June 8 that safety inspections of amusement rides around the state are under way in advance of the summer fair season, and she reminded the public to follow all safety guidelines when enjoying amusement rides. "As the summer recreation season approaches, it's important for the public to know that the amusement devices we all enjoy are safe for use," Reardon said. "I encourage concerned parents to utilize the various online resources available and keep a lookout for the Department of Labor's tags on the rides themselves to verify they've been inspected. Credit is due to the hardworking inspectors in the field who carefully examine each and every ride to make sure they're safe for use."

The New York State Department of Labor inspects all rides at stationary parks outside of New York City at least once a year and inspects rides at traveling carnivals or fairs every time the rides are set up in a new location. A ride cannot legally operate without a permit from the department, which last year performed nearly 1,600 inspections on more than 9,000 amusement devices and issued more than 2,900 orders to correct violations.

The inspections are a three-step process:

  • As rides are brought into a fair or festival location, each individual part and component of each individual ride is inspected for defects.
  • The ride is assembled and inspected again to ensure all components have been assembled and secured properly.
  • The operator of the ride is required to run the ride and it is inspected once more while operating. The person operating the ride is also observed to ensure he or she is operating the ride correctly.

The department places inspection tags on each ride after it has passed inspection. No ride that fails an inspection is permitted to operate; the tags allow families to see plainly that the ride has been inspected and deemed safe. Information on the tag includes the name of the ride and the name of the inspector, the date it was inspected, and whether it passed or failed.

The department passed along these tips from ride safety experts "to make a day enjoying amusement rides as fun and safe as possible":

  • Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
  • Keep hands and feet inside the ride while it is moving.
  • Don't reach toward fences or barriers.
  • Secure loose clothing and long hair.
  • Don't drink and ride; you put yourself and others at risk.
  • Don't stand or attempt to leave a ride until it comes to a complete stop.
  • Check restraining devices to make sure they are properly latched. If the equipment does not work, exit the ride and immediately report the issue at http://www.ridesafeny.com/.
  • Avoid horseplay; it's dangerous.
  • Never attempt to unlock or loosen a restraining device until instructed by the operator.

A list of the events that have been inspected and the businesses that own them is available at http://www.labor.ny.gov/ride-safety/.

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