Safety Corner - May 2022
Safety Corner - May 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.

As the season gets started for shows all over the country, in many cases you will be setting up rides for the first time of the year.  I want to provide a short list of things that you should review on the rides and amusement devices.


The leading insurance claim in our industry is trips and falls, so be sure to highlight all steps and transitions with a fresh coat of contrasting color paint or striping. If you have temporary steps that you use when needed to provide additional steps, be sure those are highlighted as well.


The ride controls should be Clearly marked for function and purpose. We know that green is go and red is stop but you have to also spell it out with a label. All rider positions must be identified for inspection and maintenance purposes. You don't have to use only numbers or letters, you can name your carriers such as Suzie, Nelly, Tom, or whatever names have importance to your operation.


Verify that all seat restraints are in good working condition and have not become deteriorated during the off season. Make sure that you test any restraints that have ride interlocks for proper function.


Check all carriers, tubs, seats, railings, walkways, decks etc. for sharp edges. These surfaces get touched by our guests and if there is anything sharp, they may get scratched or even cut ,depending on the location and size of the sharp surface.


Another area for concern are holes in equipment. If you find a hole in an entrance or exit gate, carrier, seat, or kiddie ride dash it should be filled or covered  to reduce the potential of a Child getting a finger stuck and injured in the hole.


As far as the equipment goes, complete the annual maintenance on your hydraulic oil tanks, changing filters and or oil to extend the life of the components and reduce potential breakdowns on that big Saturday night. All bearings and lubrication points should be greased, and excess grease cleaned away to keep the equipment working properly and easy to inspect because parts are visible. The maintenance should be documented in a log to provide future proof of regular or annual required maintenance has been performed.


Be sure to complete any annual Non-destructive testing that may be required to be performed on your rides. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for testing and frequency of  tests. If you are not sure if a ride you may have recently purchased has met these requirements, contact the manufacturer, your state ride inspector or a third party inspector to make sure you complete everything that is required.


When you start assigning employees to operate the rides and equipment, be sure to complete training for each ride that they will operate. Remember to document the training and who performed the training. The ride operators should be familiar with the ride fact sheet and what to do to evacuate the ride in event of an incident or power failure. Practice this training and document it for future reference.


Even operators that have been with a show or facility for years need to have refresher training documented in the file every year. Be sure to check the paperwork for dates and signatures as well as  printed names. When this paperwork is reviewed, sometimes years later, for a claim or to help defend a case, you may not remember who's signature is present without the printed name.


One more area that should be reviewed before opening for the season is safety signage. Signage at the entrance of the ride, in the carriers, in specific areas of rides, and in some cases, state-required  language specific signage posted at the ticket booths, should all be in good condition and clearly legible.



There are many other things that we all do to get ready for a new season beyond these items listed here. Please use this list as a reminder of areas to focus on when getting ready to bring family entertainment to people across the country.


Additional safety tips will be shared in future editions.  Please send comments and suggestions to 

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