Why does PA have such strict inspection regs?

Wednesday, July 23, 2003 10:52 AM
I was just browsing CoasterQuest.com and came across a page about ride inspection regulations in different states. I was very surprised to see that not all states have them! However, I was just as surprised to see that PA requires an inspection by a Certified Inspector every 28 days. This seems very often to me, why is PA so strict and other states so lax? Oh yeah, the site page can be found here. Click me!
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Just because I have a short attention span doesn't mean I
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Wednesday, July 23, 2003 11:29 AM
Penna is generally a hands-on state (well, commonwealth, actually). The auto inspection is a relatively rigorous annual event, and a great boon to local auto repair shops. The state tightly controls the distribution and sale of beer/wine. Penna is not quite New Jersey, but it's close

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http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~bnoble/

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Wednesday, July 23, 2003 12:03 PM
I for one am glad for this regulation. Frequent inspections keeps the ride owners on their toes. The safety record of amusment parks and their rides is no coicidence. Most owners are commited to running their rides as safely as possible. Because as everyone knows, the worst publicity a park could receive is frequent accidents. Regulations such as these make sure that the owners dont forget that the public is entrusting their safety in their.

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I like roller coasters.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2003 12:06 PM
I agree with jdancisin, the more the better.
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Wednesday, July 23, 2003 12:22 PM
It all depends on who's doing the inspections of rides I imangine. Same way with cars. I know of some garages that will give you an inspection as long as the car has no big rust holes, and all the lights work. I alredy got an inspection by just taking my insurance and registration cards and mileage to the garage. The mechanic handed me the sticker and I put it on myself at my house. It's a good thing I did all the work to my vehicle.

Theres a certain park in PA where I somtimes wonder how a cretain wood coaster passes inspection every year. It looks as if it could collapse at any time. I think the 28 day inspection is a good thing but it's only as good as the "Certified Inspector". I know PA also does random suprise inspectons at parks as well.

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Signature will be closed today. Sorry for the inconveinance.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2003 12:33 PM
I disagree that more is better. As has been mentioned time and time again, hurting people with unsafe rides is bad for business, and is therefore in the parks' best interest not to allow that to happen. Sounds like a waste of tax dollars to me.

As for the auto-inspection thing, I find that ridiculous and I'm glad I don't have to deal with it.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Luau II Cam 7/19
DELETED! What time does the water show start?

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Wednesday, July 23, 2003 12:34 PM
I think I know which PA park and coaster you are referring to... and I think the same theory applies here as with that garage you were talking about ("No rust holes = Car passes inspection".... "Coaster Still Standing 28 Days After Last Inspection = Coaster passes inspection")

The PA car inspection thing isn't quite as rediculous as it used to be... it's only once a year where as at one time it was twice a year.

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Half of the people surveyed agree, half disagree and another half are unsure.
*** This post was edited by SLFAKE 7/23/2003 4:38:58 PM ***

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Wednesday, July 23, 2003 12:41 PM
The coaster isn't the only thing that scares me at that park. The maintenance on many of the rides is substandard. The Tilt-A-Whirl doesn't whirl. My bumper car only ran occasionally if I shook it just right, etc. It's the one park that I won't visit because of my concerns.

Rideman can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the inspector can be a park employee in PA. This means that the quality of the inspection is still dependant on the attitude of the park management. PA does do some inspection of it's own, but I don't know much about it. By contrast, here in Maryland you have to be inspected by the state before you can operate the ride.

CPSC regulation of rides would not change the inspection of rides significantly. The CPSC only investigates after serious incidents occur. The CPSC would not provide any inspection directed towards preventing future accidents other than what can be extrapolated from an incident that would apply to similar rides at other parks.


*** This post was edited by Jim Fisher 7/23/2003 4:53:05 PM ***

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Wednesday, July 23, 2003 12:44 PM
Something else to think about with Pennsylvania...

Actually, Pennsylvania requires an inspection by a certified inspector every 28 days or at every set-up. Note that it says "certified inspector." In many (most?) cases, the ride actually gets an inspection by a certified inspector every operating day. This is because the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a program by which inspectors are certified by the state as qualified ride inspectors. Note that the certified inspectors are not necessarily state inspectors!

If you want a really strict state, look at Florida where mobile rides get a *state* inspection on every set-up (although the fixed parks are largely exempt).

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2003 12:57 PM
In Maryland, mobile rides have to be inspected by the state after each set up before operating, new fixed rides must be inspected by the state before operating, and fixed rides must be inspected annually by the state.

I've known new rides at SFA to have to sit unused because they were waiting for the state inspector to come to inspect them.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2003 1:00 PM
You mean, a ride at SF sitting dormant? Never heard of it! ;)

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Just because I have a short attention span doesn't mean I

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Wednesday, July 23, 2003 1:46 PM
Pennsylvania's laws include many little subsections.

The rides are inspected daily. All inspections must conform to both manufacturer's and state's regulations, as well as any other governing laws.

There is a detailed checklist for every single ride in the state, no matter how small. Certain items must be checked daily, certain ones weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly.

Monthly, however, EVERYTHING on the list must be checked, signed off on by a state certified inspector (like, um, I don't know, me for example :) ) and submitted to the state.

Independent state inspectors who work for the state department of agriculture also visit parks unannounced regularly and after any accident or report filed.

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Come on, fhqwgads!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2003 7:28 PM

As has been mentioned time and time again, hurting people with unsafe rides is bad for business, and is therefore in the parks' best interest not to allow that to happen. Sounds like a waste of tax dollars to me.

Unfortunately, you'll find the rare businessman / operator that doesn't understand that. When people do get hurt, they affect more than just that ride... fairs get bad reputations, small parks get lumped together, and the casual public begins to believe Mackey's general claims that coasters and rides are dangerous.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2003 7:37 PM
kpjb
Thanks for your input! As a state certified inspector also, I was getting ready to write pretty much what you did! It's amazing what those who don't know have to say.
The amount of paperwork that is generated and retained is incredible. It also helps when you (as the ride inspector) are called into court when there is a lawsuit filed, many times years after that inspection was performed.
Pennsylvania has always been the leader nationwide in amusement ride safety, even before the State stepped in with the certified inspector program. Many other states have based their inspection programs on PA's. That should tell you something.....
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Wednesday, July 23, 2003 7:48 PM
Less is more, in my opinion. I'm only familiar with Georgia's regulations, which basically amounts to an inspection once a year or after any major incident. It seems to have worked well for us. Smaller government is better government in this situation.

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Is that a Q-bot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

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Thursday, July 24, 2003 5:01 AM
Exactly how has PA been a "leader nationwide" with regards to safety? Based on what data? Explain to me how more paperwork means safer rides, because I'm not seeing it.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Luau II Cam 7/19
DELETED! What time does the water show start?

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Thursday, July 24, 2003 8:38 AM
Regardless of state laws, you haven't inspected it if you haven't documented it. As previously mentioned, this is particularly true for situations where a law suit comes years later. It's important for management to know that the inspections are in fact being performed. (Smart managers also check to make sure that the inspections are being done, not just the forms being filled out.) It's also important for maintenance. While I'm not in the amusement business, I'm always looking at previous inspection reports to see how the condition of a piece of equipment is changing to determine when it will be necessary to repair it.
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Thursday, July 24, 2003 8:41 PM
Jeff
Sorry, what I meant was that Pennsylvania has been the leader in safety programs nationwide. Voluntary inspection programs have been in place in PA for something approaching 40 years. Precious few other states have even considered amusement ride safety for more than the past ten or so.
You may have whatever opinion you wish with regards to paperwork, but with no inspection program in place and no documentation to back it up, people will die. Sorry if that doesn't make sense to you.
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Friday, July 25, 2003 4:14 AM
Comet Rider

Maybe I am just dense, but isn't it obvious that without inspections of a ride they will be less safe (or "people will die")? Sure you need documentation when you do an inspection of any kind, but what I want to know, and I believe Jeff was asking, is how does that documentation (or paperwork) make that ride safer? I think we have seperated into different topics here.
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paul ruben
ran lube up

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Friday, July 25, 2003 5:29 AM
That's exactly what I was getting at. I hate to sound like a Republican, but just because the government initiates these programs doesn't mean the parks weren't doing a good job in the first place. As I said earlier, it's bad business to hurt and kill people, and one would certainly expect that these businesses would do their best to make sure it doesn't happen.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Luau II Cam 7/19
DELETED! What time does the water show start?

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