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New York State Department of Labor

NYS Departments of Labor and Agriculture and Markets Announce that Ride Inspections are Underway at the Great New York State Fair

State Labor Department and Independent Investigators Verify Rides Have Passed Safety Inspections

Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Employed to Ensure Rides are Structurally Sound

No Ride That Has Failed an Inspection is Permitted to Operate

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Albany, NY (August 18, 2017) -

The New York State Departments of Labor and Agriculture and Markets today announced that inspections of all rides at the Great New York State Fair are underway in advance of the Fair’s opening next week.  The agencies also reminded fairgoers to follow all safety guidelines to enjoy the Fair’s more than 80 rides.

“The New York State Department of Labor is committed to comprehensively and completely inspecting every single ride at the Fair,” said State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “At every event across the State - the Great New York State Fair included - the agency takes every precaution to ensure that fairgoers can confidently enjoy the wonderful attractions available.”

Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “We have great partners and a rigorous inspection process that’s been activated to ensure all rides are carefully reviewed prior to opening.  With a larger midway and more rides than ever before, we’re also asking fairgoers to adhere to all of the safety measures put in place.”

Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “The State Fair is excited to introduce several new spectacular rides this year.  From the Broadway Skyliner to the White Water flume ride, we have something for fairgoers of all ages.  Safety is our priority and, along with the NYS Department of Labor, we have a great team working to ensure the rides are inspected and operating safely.  We also remind visitors to follow all safety guidelines to have a great, memorable time at the 2017 State Fair.”

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. The Department partners with independent inspectors hired by the Fair to inspect rides at the State Fair. A ride cannot legally operate without a permit from the Department of Labor. Last year, the Department of Labor performed nearly 1,600 inspections on more than 9,000 amusement devices and issued more than 2,900 orders to correct violations.

The Department of Labor 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 that 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 that he or she is operating the ride correctly.

Unlike at other state fairs around the country, at the Great New York State Fair, rides are set up far in advance of the event opening, giving inspectors significantly more time to fully examine each ride.

In addition to standard testing, rides at the Great New York State Fair undergo non-destructive testing (NDT) by certified experts to verify the structural integrity of each ride.  No ride that fails an inspection or that has not been fully and completely inspected is permitted to operate. 

Once a ride has been inspected, a tag is placed on the ride so that the public can plainly see that the ride has been cleared to run.  The tag includes the name of the ride, the name of the owner of the ride, the name of the inspector and the date the inspection was completed.

In addition to the inspections performed by the State, the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Great New York State Fair use the services of an independent inspector.  Also, the Fair’s Midway operator, Wade Shows, will once again employ independent inspections of the midway rides throughout the 13-day Fair.

Ride safety experts also issued a few recommendations to make a day at the Midway as fun and safe as possible at the Great New York State Fair:

  • 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.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 23 to September 4, 2017. The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "FIND YOUR GREAT," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair's website.

Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, on Snapchat at nysfair and enjoy photos from the Fair at Flickr.com/photos/nysfair. Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at statefairideas@agriculture.ny.gov.

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