GALLIPOLIS — Safety at the fair is always a priority.
Tim Massie, Gallia County Junior Fair Board Secretary, wants to reassure all fair goers that safety is still a primary concern. In light of recent events at the Ohio State Fair, rides are being inspected with a close eye this year by the ride company and the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which is the government agency charged with inspecting rides at the fair.
“This company (that operates the rides) does five counties in Ohio and West Virginia, and they will be inspected five times this summer,” said Massie.
He explained that at the beginning of each fair week, independent inspectors go to the local fair and inspect each ride after it has been assembled in its new location.
Inspectors look for weak points in the structure of the ride, examine welds, hinges, moving parts, and any wiring. According to Massie, if any issues are found, any affected rides are shut down until the issue is resolved and inspected.
“These companies have inspections of their own, it does no one any good for a tragedy to happen, so these rides are inspected twice a week,” stated Massie.
Inspectors from the Ohio Department of Agriculture not only inspect the rides, they also inspect the games and other attractions for added thoroughness.
The fair board also has an electrician to oversee the fair’s power system. Nearly all of the food trucks, vendors, and barns have electricity running to them, requiring a professional to establish and maintain the network.
“We have a certified electrician that handles all of the electrical connections that rides or concessions that hook into our power on the fairgrounds are managed by our electrician,” said Massie.
Massie also encourages fair goers to pay attention to what is going on around them.
“The fair is much like a farm, there are just inherent dangers that you have to be careful around,” he said.
With all of the rides and concessions comes many wires and cables across the ground. While they are covered, they can still present a tripping hazard, which can be easily managed by paying attention.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at firstname.lastname@example.org.