Tulsa State Fair Rides Get Inspected

Wednesday, September 30th 2009, 12:59 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The Tulsa State Fair begins its eleven-day run on Thursday.

There is something for everyone with exhibits, livestock, entertainment and rides.

There are about 60 rides on the midway. On Wednesday, the Oklahoma Department of Labor inspected all of the rides to make sure a trip to the fair is fun and safe.

David Falwell and coworker Jeff Duke are among the inspectors going over just about every inch of every ride.

"Of course we check all the seats, doors on the seats; to make sure all the latches work," said David Falwell, Department of Labor inspector.

"Looking at the structure, making sure there are no cracks," said Jeff Duke, Department of Labor inspector.

"All the outriggers that support this ride, we look at those and make sure they're secure," said David Falwell, Department of Labor inspector.

"We want to make sure these rides are set up properly and according to the manufacturers specifications," said Jeff Duke, Department of Labor inspector.

Armed with a pen, paper and a keen eye, they'll look for anything that could pose a hazard. If they find something wrong, they'll flag it, alert the ride operators, and then make sure it's taken care of before the ride will be considered safe to operate.

Not only will inspectors take a close look at every ride before the Tulsa State Fair begins, the Department of Labor will also have inspectors on the midway throughout the entire run of the fair.

"If there was an incident that happened, we want to be able to be there and respond and find out what went wrong," said Lloyd Fields, Oklahoma Labor Commissioner.

Department of Labor inspectors say it's all in an effort to make sure the thousands of fair goers have a fun, memorable and safe time.

"There's a lot of people who ride these rides and safety is our number one priority," said Jeff Duke, Department of Labor inspector.

A few years ago, the legislature passed a measure that enables the Department of Labor to certify ride operators. They have to get certification for every ride they operate.

The Oklahoma Labor Commissioner says since that was passed, they haven't had any mishaps at the Tulsa State Fair or the state fair in Oklahoma City that were operator error.