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Arizona State Fair inspects equipment even though no law requires it

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PHOENIX — The Ohio State Fair ride that broke apart Wednesday flinging people through the air and leaving one person dead and several injured raises safety questions.

Many of the same rides are featured at the Arizona State Fair too. Does the equipment get properly check for safety?

“We’re not required to do an inspection by the state, but we do,” said Jen Yee, assistant Executive Director of the Arizona State Fair. “Because safety is critical.”

Arizona is one of four states that has no state government safety oversight on any amusement park rides according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

After more than 15 years in the business, Yee said she’s shocked there are not national regulations or standard inspections.

For the most part, the state fair industry and fair associations take proper precautions.

“State fairs are a representative of the best of the state, they care about the community,” she said. “So they take the time, they hire the right people who know what they’re doing to do the inspections.”

The worry is for the smaller fairs and carnivals, which may not have the funding or the where-with-all to go to the extent that the state fairs do.

All amusement park rides should be inspected when they’re on the road, she said.

“That everyone is required to do a standardized inspection when the rides are set up,” she said.

At the Arizona State Fair they have two inspectors.

“RCS, Ray Cammack Shows our midway partner, when their rides are set up before anyone sets foot on them, their safety inspector does check,” she said. “And then our independent ride inspector goes and inspects each and every ride before we open.”

This happens as the rides are being assembled, and again once they’re set up, the week the doors open.

To be fair, according to records obtained by Dayton Daily News, the Ohio ride that broke apart was inspected that morning.

The Arizona State Fair kicks off in early October.

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