cny_chris
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Sunday, June 24, 2007 3:31:57 AM
http://www.recordonline.com/app.../20070624/NEWS/706240329 

Making sure fairgoers aren't taken for a ride
By Ramsey Al-Rikabi

Times Herald-Record
June 24, 2007
Town of Wallkill — Before the Orbiter spins your first funnel cake back out of you, there was Kevin Kilrain and Vince Concra.

The two middle-aged men, notebooks in their back pockets, made their way through a carnival here on Route 211 in the Gander Mountain parking lot recently. The carnival, run by Gillette Shows of Pittsfied, Mass., was setting up. Like most traveling carnivals, this one would be there less than a week, then it would move on to another parking lot in another town.

Kilrain and Concra, inspectors for the state's Department of Labor, were looking for violations and unsafe conditions. Each time this or any carnival sets up anywhere in the state, inspectors will be there — a staff of 42 do about 10,000 inspections a year. They are one piece of a state patchwork of tests, permits and regulations that maintains a fairly safe carnival ride industry.

"People have an unjustifiably low opinion of carnival operators," said Kilrain. The carnival ride injuries, inspectors are quick to point out, are caused by riders or operators, not mechanical failure.

Still, the inspectors are here, checking bolts and pins, pulling on seat belts and writing up notices of violations with things like, "Replace numerous screws for the sides of passenger carrier #1" and "Properly cover one unused opening in the control box."

The violations are usually cleared up that day, inspectors said. If not, the ride can be shut down and the permit, which carnival operators must apply for annually, can be pulled on the spot.

Ride standards are set by manufacturers, which occasionally send safety updates to carnival operators. Additionally, each ride must be insured for $1 million per accident and be checked by an independent inspector annually before the state will grant a permit.

A review of violations on file with the Department of Labor for carnivals in Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties show state inspectors issued 219 violations to seven traveling carnival companies in 2005 and 2006.

The violations cover a range of maintenance issues — repairing sharp edges, securing stair railings, repairing seat belts, replacing bolts and clips.

Though one company, Shamrock Shows Inc., of Milton, was cited for 124 of those 219 violations, its impossible to draw any conclusions — the carnival companies travel across the Northeast, in and out of several states each with different inspection procedures.

And the reliability of the state's records is unclear. For instance, state inspectors were sent to the Orange County Fair in July 2005 after a ride called the Ejector Seat malfunctioned and stranded two riders in mid-air. There was nothing regarding that incident in the state's response to a Freedom of Information Law request for all accident and injury records. Later, after being asked specifically about that incident, the records were found in the Division of Safety and Health of the Department of Labor. A spokeswoman could not explain why they could not be located earlier or if other accident reports were withheld.

Yet, "Overall," said the state's head inspector, Joseph Gallagher, "it's a safe industry."

"Human error accounts for probably 90 to 98 percent of the injuries," he said. The chance of "actual mechanical failure," he said, "is pretty low."

Rules of the rides

The state Department of Labor, which inspects and issues permits to carnival rides, offers these safety guidelines:

Listen to the ride operator's instructions.
Read and follow posted warnings and instructions.
Keep hands and feet inside the ride while it is moving.
Don't reach toward fences or barriers.
Secure loose clothing and long hair.
Don't drink and ride. You put yourself and others at risk.
Don't stand or attempt to leave a ride until it comes to a complete stop.
Check restraining devices to make sure they are properly latched.
Avoid horseplay; it's dangerous.
Never attempt to unlock or loosen a restraining device until instructed by the operator.

Safety guidelines for parents with children:

Don't assume a ride is safe for children if you hold on to them. If you hold on to your child, you aren't looking after yourself, and both of you could be at risk. Parents should never ride go-carts or bumper cars with children on their laps. Observe age, height and weight restrictions.
Talk to children so they know what to expect of the ride.
If your child gets scared, ask (if possible) that the ride be stopped.
If your child is afraid of the ride, it's probably best not to put her or him on it. Not all rides are appropriate for all children, even if they do meet the height requirements. Know your child's ability to follow instructions.

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." - Lao-Tsu

"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King Jr.

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy
Trucker090
Sunday, June 24, 2007 4:22:00 AM
Great article. Thanks for posting of it. It shows that most accidents are patron or operator caused. Very positive article. I see one east coast show needs to get with it as it hurts the whole industry. 124 write ups and only 95 total for the rest of the shows in the area.. I bet the inspectors went crazy trying to find something wrong with Gillette shows.
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tara Montebello
Sunday, June 24, 2007 4:38:31 AM
Excellent Article, Chris,, This would have been a great response to what I had posted reguarding ride accidents and the responsibilities of everyone!!! Wish my grammer was a s good sometimes but usually happens when I'm aggitated lol and BTW! I credited you on your pictures again on MySpace hehehe [}:)][:X] lol
"THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS"
http://community.webshot...om/album/239011252ZxPhiV  THANKS FNOSEAN:)
I MISS THEM&lt;:(
Missin it
Sunday, June 24, 2007 5:06:02 AM
Quote:

quote:


Originally posted by Trucker090

Great article. Thanks for posting of it. It shows that most accidents are patron or operator caused. Very positive article. I see one east coast show needs to get with it as it hurts the whole industry. 124 write ups and only 95 total for the rest of the shows in the area.. I bet the inspectors went crazy trying to find something wrong with Gillette shows.




Testicle Ed Strikes again!!!!!
There is a lot more to this story Trucker. Gillette shows only plays in the area for maybe 5 weeks, Shamrock plays there everyweek.
"Everytime you open your mouth you make it harder and harder to take you seriously"
V. Boombotz

If you can't defend your self don't make stupid comments (please)
FrankiesFoods
Sunday, June 24, 2007 6:48:03 AM
219 violations for a 56 week period is only 4 a week I dont think that is to bad with the shows that play the three counties listed and the number of shows that play the valley, just my opinion but I dont really know what im talking about I just make Pizza, have a couple of joints for when the food cant go up.

Edit to insert Quote

"A review of violations on file with the Department of Labor for carnivals in Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties show state inspectors issued 219 violations to seven traveling carnival companies in 2005 and 2006"
Life is like a Merry go round has it's ups and downs but always come back around.
Bowler Roller
Sunday, June 24, 2007 7:51:43 AM
Once again...good job Jerry, in having a pretty positive story come out of your show.
Every crowd has a silver lining - PT Barnum
sausageseller
Sunday, June 24, 2007 7:57:16 AM
Quote:

quote:


They are one piece of a state patchwork of tests, permits and regulations that maintains a fairly safe carnival ride industry.



"patchwork", "fairly safe" ?????
What information does Ramsey Al-Rikabi use come up with that?
The truth is this is another biased article, written by an illinformed writer.
Missin it
Sunday, June 24, 2007 12:24:34 PM
Quote:

quote:


Originally posted by FrankiesFoods

219 violations for a 56 week period is only 4 a week I dont think that is to bad with the shows that play the three counties listed and the number of shows that play the valley, just my opinion but I dont really know what im talking about I just make Pizza, have a couple of joints for when the food cant go up.

Edit to insert Quote

"A review of violations on file with the Department of Labor for carnivals in Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties show state inspectors issued 219 violations to seven traveling carnival companies in 2005 and 2006"



Excellant point Frankie, Shamrock is in those three counties at sometime two spots a week. The numbers are going to be skewed in that manner when you are comparing it to shows that only play those counties a handful of times each season... This takes nothing away from the Gillette operation, they do run a tight ship.


"Everytime you open your mouth you make it harder and harder to take you seriously"
V. Boombotz

If you can't defend your self don't make stupid comments (please)
popcornserver
Sunday, June 24, 2007 2:04:43 PM
The way I do my math is : 124 violations in two years is 62 a year, divide that into the 22 weeks that we are open, and you come up with the grand total of 2.81 violations a week out of approx. 15 to 20 rides a week.

I thought this was a very good article, but we all know, the public will always be the public! And it is our job, as well as the Dept. of Labor to try and keep them safe.
Missin it
Sunday, June 24, 2007 2:51:47 PM
Quote:

quote:


Originally posted by popcornserver

The way I do my math is : 124 violations in two years is 62 a year, divide that into the 22 weeks that we are open, and you come up with the grand total of 2.81 violations a week out of approx. 15 to 20 rides a week.

I thought this was a very good article, but we all know, the public will always be the public! And it is our job, as well as the Dept. of Labor to try and keep them safe.



Well said
"Everytime you open your mouth you make it harder and harder to take you seriously"
V. Boombotz

If you can't defend your self don't make stupid comments (please)
Pinetar
  •  Pinetar
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Sunday, June 24, 2007 3:20:02 PM
Your input was necessary to put all into perspective.

Quote:

quote:


Originally posted by Missin it

Quote:

quote:


Originally posted by FrankiesFoods

219 violations for a 56 week period is only 4 a week I dont think that is to bad with the shows that play the three counties listed and the number of shows that play the valley, just my opinion but I dont really know what im talking about I just make Pizza, have a couple of joints for when the food cant go up.

Edit to insert Quote

"A review of violations on file with the Department of Labor for carnivals in Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties show state inspectors issued 219 violations to seven traveling carnival companies in 2005 and 2006"



Excellant point Frankie, Shamrock is in those three counties at sometime two spots a week. The numbers are going to be skewed in that manner when you are comparing it to shows that only play those counties a handful of times each season... This takes nothing away from the Gillette operation, they do run a tight ship.




UserPostedImage
Missin it
Sunday, June 24, 2007 4:35:06 PM
Glad I could Help,
Colin runs a good show, and I felt the way thae article was worded was a little off in regards to the ratio of violations.
"Everytime you open your mouth you make it harder and harder to take you seriously"
V. Boombotz

If you can't defend your self don't make stupid comments (please)
FrankiesFoods
Sunday, June 24, 2007 5:37:32 PM
I am not defending or accusing anyone just stating facts that are put forth of all of us. If the ride inspectors see that a customer can reach a light bulb on the wheel because the lense cap is missing that is a violation right? The carnival industry as a whole is under more scrutiny than any other business i think, The local food restaurants in the Area only get a health inspection 1 time a year. But yet when i put my joint up I get inspected EVERY week, Even though I hold a State issued Pushcart Permit. Go Figure.
Life is like a Merry go round has it's ups and downs but always come back around.
olfatman
Monday, June 25, 2007 10:27:23 AM
I for one have always said Colin has a nice show and getting nicer every year. Come a long way from a swing and a fun house in 17 years. When dealing with the state you also have to remember there are some governmental things going on. This year is a new governor and new means new rules.I was in the area of Colins Show last week saw at least 3 different shows in the area all inspected by same inspector. I also hope as is the trend that by next month the general public will have forgotten that article.
with-it
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Monday, June 25, 2007 10:49:22 AM
Another thing you got to figure is the Contridiction Factor...What one Inspector says is OK another one will think there is a problem with it...