Ride inspections help ease fair-goers' concerns
YAKIMA, Wash. – The rides at the Central Washington State Fair are inspected daily, and sometimes multiple times a day.
Ride inspector Jim Hall said the rides are checked by a supervisor and the ride operators because they work with the ride the most, and would notice something unusual.
"The people that are running the rides from last night, the day before, they are familiar with it," he said. "If they hear a different sound or a different noise or something, that makes them want to stop and check."
Hall said there is a safety checklist for each ride, but those lists can differ depending on the ride. Some rides may call for seat belt inspection, some may call for wheel inspection or even stability inspection if the ride is mounted on blocks.
This past summer at the Ohio State Fair, a ride malfunctioned causing many passengers to be thrown from the ride and an 18-year-old man died.
The investigation concluded the ride was eroded causing parts of it to break off.
However, that accident hasn't stopped people from coming out to enjoy the Central Washington State Fair.
Daniel Long said he brings his family to the fair every year and his kids enjoy the rides and he believes they are safe.
"They did a good job when I was a kid and they've only gotten better since," he said.
But Hall said ride safety isn't just about the rides, it's about how people act on the rides.
He encourages riders to secure their belongings so they don't fall out on the ride. He also doesn't want anyone messing around.
"Be safe for yourself and we want everybody safe,” Hall said. "A day with no incidents is a good day and we like it that way."