Carnival Ride Safety

All posts tagged Carnival Ride Safety


The amusement ride operator/attendant has full control on most rides and must be proactive and capable of reacting quickly to situations as they arise.

The safety record of the amusement ride industry has greatly improved as a result of inspections, ride maintenance, safe operations and better ride designs, and ride operators/attendants play an important role in maintaining amusement ride safety.

Most countries have occupational health and safety legislation designed to protect the health and safety of workers and the public. Herein is a discussion of the role that amusement ride operators/attendants play in maintaining the highest possible level of safety on the rides on which they work.

Amusement ride operators/attendants should work safely, get as much training as possible in the safe operation of the equipment they are working with and stay alert to prevent safety hazards.
Amusement ride operators/attendants should not engage in any unsafe activities such as horse-play, showing off, or any unseemly behavior while on the job.

Every amusement ride operator/attendant is responsible for on-the-job safety. They are responsible for their own safety as well as the safety of other employees and that of the general public.

Here are some basic rules for a safe workplace that amusement ride operators/attendants should follow:

• Be sure that you know and obey all safety rules and procedures

• Keep your surroundings neat, clean and free of hazards

• Immediately report hazardous situations that might result in an accident

• Complete the inspection checklists prior to operating the ride

• Develop safe work habits and participate in safety training

In addition, there are a number of workplace hazards for which amusement ride operators/attendants should be on the look-out and attend to at once:

• Anything that can cause someone to trip

• Anything that can cause someone to bump their head

• Anything that can cause someone to get a splinter

• Anything that can cause someone to fall

• Anything that can cause someone to get a cut

Amusement ride operators/attendants must work in accordance with the Health and Safety legislation in affect in their area. They must also follow their employer’s policies and safety procedures. They should also be sure not to work when they are tired. Breaks should be taken away from the ride in order to enable the amusement ride operators/attendants to properly relax so that they may return to work refreshed and rested.

It is of the utmost importance that amusement ride operators/attendants be totally familiar with the rides that they are operating. They should observe how the ride operates, and the motions involved in their operation until they understand them completely.

Every ride has a safety zone, which is the area from which the ride is operated. This safety zone is usually designated by the manufacturer or owner of the ride, and should be clearly defined and fenced off, in such a way as to be easily identified by the riders. The safety zone should also be an area that is easily controlled by the amusement ride operators/attendants. The safety zone is for the personal safety of the amusement ride operators/attendants while the ride is in motion, and should never be left while the ride is in motion, or before it has come to a full stop.

The safety of the amusement ride operators/attendants and that of their riders is equally important. Unsafe riding practices are the major cause of incidents on all types of rides.
Rider responsibility should be encouraged, and the amusement ride operators/attendants can play an important role in this. Safety instructions should be clearly posted at the entrance to the ride and the amusement ride operators/attendants should strictly enforce all of them.

It is especially important to reach out to the parents of young children and to enlist their help and support in promoting safe riding practices and in enforcing all safety instructions.

• Be alert to unsafe conditions that could cause trips or falls on the ride platform or steps

• Be alert to unsafe conditions that could cause injury

• Always check that seat belts or safety restraints are fastened and locked in place before the ride starts

• Be careful not to close the door or restraint on any part of the rider’s body while the riders are getting on or off of the ride

• If there is even a suspicion that a rider is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they should not be allowed them

• Remind riders to follow the posted rules for the ride regarding age, height and/or weight restrictions

• Be sure to alert pregnant women and people with heart conditions to possible risks involved in using the ride

• Remind riders to keep hands, arms, legs and feet inside the ride at all times

• Remind riders to remain seated until the ride comes to a complete stop

If there are any problems with a rider or parent because of ride restrictions or behavior, amusement ride operators/attendants should not operate the ride. They should stop the ride if in motion and only resume operation after the problem has been settled.
Amusement ride operators/attendants should always report all safety-related matters to their immediate supervisor, the insurance company and local safety authorities. They should also update the ride manufacturer and consult with them.

Amusement ride operators/attendants should never leave the ride while it is operating.

Amusement ride operators/attendants should watch the ride and riders at all times while it is operating.
Remembering and following these rules while operating amusement rides will significantly increase the chances of a safe and enjoyable time for everyone, riders and operators/attendants alike, while lessening the prospect of stricter insurance terms and licensing requirements for the amusement ride hirers/operators.

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With the arrival of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, amusement parks and traveling shows are tuning up their rides and polishing their cotton candy spinners getting ready for a summer of fun.

Governor Jennifer Granholm issued a proclamation declaring May 24-30, 2009, as Amusement Ride Safety Week to bring awareness to the state’s amusement industry.

“It’s carnival and amusement park season again and we want to ensure that kids of all ages are safe. The majority of accidents are due to rider error so we encourage parents to talk to kids about avoiding horseplay and other dangerous acts while enjoying rides – it’s a dangerous combination,” said Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG) Director Stanley “Skip” Pruss. “The safe enjoyment of amusement rides allows Michigan’s tourism industry to flourish, bringing millions of visitors each year and adding millions of dollars to our economy.”

National data compiled by the Saferparks organization ( indicate that most amusement ride accidents are suffered by children under the age of 13. The five years between ages seven and 12 account for nearly a third of all ride accidents.

There are many reasons for this including inexperience, lack of caution and youthful exuberance which, when coupled with large machines, can lead to tragedy. Thankfully such tragedies are rare, but parents and guardians can do much to ensure they are rare.

To reduce the chance of injury for all ages and still enjoy the ride, the DELEG offers these tips:

? Choose appropriate rides. Consider the nature of the ride and the rider’s abilities, sensitivities and health.

? Follow the rules; riders need to heed the age, height and weight restrictions and riding instructions. These were created by the rides’ designers and manufacturers.

? Secure loose clothing and objects.

? Stay seated with eyes front and hold on until the ride stops.

? Report incidents to the ride operator or contact the Amusement Safety Unit at (517) 241-9273.

Nine hundred amusement rides are licensed in Michigan including water slides and go-karts, carnival rides and roller coasters. The state also licenses 30 carnivals, 30 amusement parks, 60 family fun centers and 60 aquatic centers. New attractions are on their way to Michigan for the 2009 amusement season, including two roller coasters, five waterslides, two go-cart tracks, and nine carnival rides including one that is 100 feet tall and on which riders will travel 60 mph.

DELEG licenses more than 1,600 inspectors statewide and regulates training of the ride operators. Amusement ride riding is among the safest of activities and has long been a part of summer fun, but still injuries and risk of death can occur.

“Despite the best efforts of many people, accidents occur and on average, about 30 injuries are reported to the DELEG annually. This is a small figure considering somewhere between 50 million to 100 million rides are taken in Michigan annually. However, even one injury is too many in our opinion, so we do all we can to ensure the carnival rides are held to the highest safety standards.? We also ask that riders ensure they act appropriately,” Pruss said.

The vast majority of these injuries are caused by the riders themselves and are preventable. A recent study of nearly 500 injuries reported to DELEG over the last 12 years showed that 80 percent were caused by the rider’s own actions. The remaining 20 percent were caused by the ride operators or failures of the equipment or a combination of both.

It is important to note that inflatable “bounce houses,” bungee jumps and climbing walls are not regulated in Michigan. Users of these devices should use the same recommendations and be especially alert to the condition of the device and the attentiveness of the operators.

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