Ohio officials do unannounced ride inspections

Posted Thursday, June 28, 2007 9:59 AM | Contributed by MidwavePC

The Ohio Department of Agriculture levied upward of $40,000 in fines last year, including $22,000-plus against the owner of six inflatable amusements (big, air-filled contraptions that kids bounce around in) for operating without a license, without proper anchoring and with generators that weren't grounded. The department's Enforcement Division also investigated nine reported accidents at various parks and events around the state that resulted in civil penalties or were blamed on patron behavior.

Read more from The Vindicator.

Thursday, June 28, 2007 11:39 AM
I never wuld have guessed there were that many parks in Ohio.
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Thursday, June 28, 2007 12:11 PM
We were just discussing this in a chat room the other night...whether inspectors randomly show up to parks like health inspectors do to restaurants. I wonder if this is required in all states.
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Thursday, June 28, 2007 1:33 PM
I wouldn't doubt it. Especially with the SFKK incident, inspections are going about all over. Ohio is just one of the states with the most, and willing to put its findings online. But I'm sure the other states inspect as well, but prefer not to release information.
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Thursday, June 28, 2007 6:29 PM
Pertaining to the SFKK incident, what could an incognito inspector possibly have seen to warrant a shut down of the ride before the accident?
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Friday, June 29, 2007 2:58 AM
im not surprised, after Amish county, Cedar Point and Kings Island are the next two most popular tourist attractions for the state, Ohio has always been at the top of ride safety while not pushing it to an extreme
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Friday, June 29, 2007 8:46 AM
I'm mostly concerned with the summer festival season, with small traveling companies operating rides. I've seen my share of questionable operations, including the stopping of rides by the hand of the operator.

Bates Brothers, who has the largest portable operation in the state, is at 2 major events in Ohio during the year (IX Indoor Amusement Park & The Canfield Fair), had their record marked last year with the shock of the young girl leaving a ride. Minus the mishap from last season, they normally seem to run a good operation, minus the fact that they implore too many $1.00 extra admission fun houses and simulators, both with aging equipment & technology, of which their 'space' simulator program runs of a videotape that looks to be from the late 1970s!

A bit off topic, but another issue that is making our local news is the safety of patrons at local festivals, after the fact that a large teenage-group fight occured at a church festival last week.
I posted that festivals should start using metal detectors and pat-down & bag searches, like most amusement parks have implimented. Some of the festivals have started charging a fee of $3.00 for adults, and children without an accompanied parent/adult, which would offset the cost of the extra security.

*** This post was edited by MidwavePC 6/29/2007 8:48:06 AM ***

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Friday, June 29, 2007 10:59 AM
Actually, in most markets, charging an admission fee is the only step needed to keep the riff-raff...the real troublemakers...off the midway. No need to do an invasive security screening, particularly when most of your customers are little old ladies on their way to the casino tent. Add in a couple of bouncers (if it's at the St. * Festival, call them "ushers" or "deacons" if you prefer) to watch the midway, and a special duty police officer or sherriff's deputy, and you've got all the security you need.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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