RIDE SAFETY: Inspectors Scrutinize State Fair

Posted on: 10:19 pm, August 7, 2013, by

Thursday morning, the gates will open and the Iowa State Fairgrounds will be flooded with people. More than a million to be exact.

And over the course of 11 days keeping that many people safe is the fair’s number one priority.

But before kids and even adults can have a go on a ride, everything has to be in working order.

“We started inspecting rides last week when the first rides came in,” says Jim Borway. He inspects more than 1,700 fair rides a year looking for anything that could potentially harm a rider.

“As an inspector a number of thing we look at include all points where there might be ware, we look at lap bars to make sure they fully engage properly,” Borway says.

With a venue as large as the state fair, with almost 40 rides, inspection takes a long time.

“A kiddie ride may take just an hour to two and some of the major rides we`ll spend many hours looking at.”

But it’s worth it, to make sure there are no sharp edges, everything is in its proper place, and running smoothly/

The last time the fair saw accident involving a ride was two years ago when the Ejection Seat stopped at the top.

Other than that, State Fair manager, Gary Slater says the fair is safe.

“We`ve had a great track record here in terms of rides safety over the years,” Slater says.

Slater says the fatal malfunction of an amusement park ride in Texas last month, put this year’s inspection on high alert, “You do look at those things and you think, are we prepared are we doing everything we can to keep our public safe?”

But inspectors assure that rides here are safe.