Safety Corner - August 2022
Safety Corner - August 2022
Amusement Warehouse Magazine

Safety Corner is a monthly column published in's Amusement Warehouse Magazine written by Worldwide Safety Group's president, Avery Wheelock. Please consider a subscription to Amusement Warehouse Magazine to read this and more about the Carnival, Fair, and Amusement Park Industry.

This Month's topic is Inspections, whether it be Pre-opening, Jurisdictional, Insurance Underwriting Surveys, Internal audits, or any other inspection. When we go out as a private third-party inspector for various clients in all types of settings whether it be a carnival, an amusement park, or a family fun center all types of issues are noticed. A lot of items that are detected on our inspections are things that should have been detected on the daily, weekly, or monthly inspections.


Many things that are found are the simple missing “R” keys or an improperly sized pin in a connection and sometimes we find things that are broken and appear to have been that way for a while, due to the condition of a particular area or part. The point is that the inspectors should not be the ones finding the simple things l just mentioned. When this happens, then the inspector must wonder, if they missed the simple things what about the major things? Then, the inspections can take a lot longer and be much more involved than a normal inspection.


The employees that are setting up and tearing down the rides on a traveling show should be taught to properly assemble a ride or device and to complete each step as they go. For example, if you put a pin in a part, put a retainer in it: “R” key, snap ring, diaper pin, etc. When they leave out the retainers and say they will come back to it somewhere they forget to install one or two.


We encounter employees that have not reviewed the manual and they were taught by someone how to do the job and may not have been taught the proper way. Please make all ride manuals and set up manuals available to the employees. Some companies provide documentation that the employee has read the manual and has had all their questions answered by a supervisor.


On the park side of things, when fasteners break or are being replaced, the mechanic may forget to complete the installation. Therefore, it is so important to do a complete thorough job the first time. This information is only meant to be a reminder of the importance of training employees how to perform the duties that they are tasked to do.


Some state requirements include the signing off by either a third-party inspector or a supervisor from the company that the ride has been inspected and ready for a jurisdictional inspection. This, in some states, has reduced the number of findings by the state inspectors and sped up the inspection process. If your company operates in one of these states you already understand the importance of assembling things properly the first time, instead of being told all the little things that were not completed prior to the inspection.


If your company does not operate in one of these areas, you should implement a process to perform internal inspections prior to the actual inspection. This will reduce the number of orders or recommendations you receive from the actual inspector during the final inspection.


Some areas of the country do not have inspections required every set up by an outside party. This is why it is so important that the employees are trained to be able to perform their own inspections or have an internal inspection process. Some companies have cross inspections, meaning one crew checks the other crews' rides and vise versa. This is common in amusement parks also to have different sets of eyes looking at equipment.


In the Amusement Industry, having extra time and manpower seems to be harder and harder to accomplish many jobs, but we all must make time for safety to protect our company and our industry.


These inspections are not just checking for pins and keepers it's for verifying they performed the weekly or monthly maintenance. Verify that if the ride has fasteners that require a specific torque be applied that it is being done. Verify that the torque wrench being used is in good working order and is calibrated. Did you know that all torque wrenches must be calibrated annually or anytime that they are dropped or damaged? 


Some carnivals use set up paperwork to have check marks after every step of the setup procedure. Does your show have these documents? Do the employees fill them out as they are doing the work or are they filled out outside the office before opening? We all need to make sure we are doing our best to keep our companies compliant with regulations and keep our employees educated to the proper procedures for everything we ask them to do.



If you are a traveling show you should have a liaison to accompany the inspector(s) around and expedite some of the recommendations by contacting the proper personnel to address any issues that may arise. This person should be a good communicator to be able to answer questions or comments by the inspector.


One of the things I came across when I owned a carnival before becoming a private inspector, is that some inspectors suffer from “Badge Syndrome”; they make you do something because they can. To get a sticker or a permit to operate you must jump through their hoops. Thankfully through training schools like NAARSO and AIMS, there are less and less of those type of inspectors out there, but they still exist.


At the end of the day, we must all be aware of what we are doing and try to do a good job and project the culture of doing the right thing to the employees that are doing the work, day in and day out. Safety doesn't just happen, and thankfully, amusement rides are inherently safe  due to over engineering and industry standards, but there is always room for improvement.


I hope that you gained one piece of information from this short piece on safety and can help make our industry safer and better every day. I can be reached via email or at 813-505-3938 for any questions or comments, please feel free to provide feed back to help me better communicate these safety related messages. Remember “Our World Revolves Around Safety!”

Worldwide Safety Group Inc.



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