The State Legislature in Ohio is considering changes to protocols regarding the inspection of rides and other attractions at fairs. The proposed changes are in response to an incident on July 27th, 2017, when one person was killed and others suffered significant injuries after the arm of a ride called the Fire Ball detached due to rust and deterioration.
In the wake of the accident, many changes were proposed to the inspection process, but so far few if any changes have been enacted. This is despite the fact that Ohio does not currently require its ride inspectors to be trained or licensed by any national body, and does not even require an engineering background for those trusted with determining whether or not a ride can safely function.
The only changes from the state monitoring body have been to issue bulletins directing inspectors to pay more attention to rust or other signs of mechanical degradation. Rust does not accrue overnight, particularly a level of rust necessary to result in the metal of a carnival ride breaking down entirely. If significant rust is observed, clearly maintenance was deferred and the ride was not properly cleaned to ensure that rust and other debris did not build up.
National training does exist for ride inspectors, but many states do not require this level of tutelage for their employees. That a bipartisan group of congressman in Ohio which to address this deficiency is good, but dealing with this issue on a state-by-state level is likely to result in many more accidents and injuries. The lack of Federal oversight of these dangerous machines is surprising.
If you have been injured, or know of someone who has been injured at an amusement park or fair, you might be surprised to find how slowly states and businesses enact changes necessary to make these types of places safer. Please, reach out to an experienced attorney regarding your case.