NewsCovering Colorado


Colorado State Fair hires independent group of inspectors to screen rides

Posted at 7:36 PM, Aug 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 09:55:33-04

PUEBLO – Last minute preparations are well underway for this Friday’s opening of the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.

Inspectors have also been evaluating the rides’ safety requirements.

“Final touches are being put on a lot of the rides and it’s really starting to shape up and it’s starting to look like a fair,” said Scott Stoller, general manager at the Colorado State Fair.

Fair organizers are expecting more than 100,000 visitors a day.
With that many people getting on rides, the state fair hired their own set of independent inspectors.

That’s a third layer of security in addition to the annual state inspection and those inspectors hired by ride operators to run daily checks.

“A team of ride inspectors out here is such a great thing to have at a fair. we want to ensure that everything is running as safe as possible here” added Stoller.

The team of three inspectors, although not required, serve as a critical set of extra eyes while rides are being built and to check them daily once they’re open to the public.

“We could see things structurally that you can’t see when the ride is put together,” added Joseph Ewald, owner of High Country Amusement Rides Inspections, the company hired by the Colorado State Fair.

“We’re just there to be able to do that inspection over and over and more frequently.”

The inspectors check rides three to four times before they are operational and once the rides are running, they spread out to check about a quarter to a third of the rides every day.

They check for missing or loose hardware and making sure controls and restraints work properly.

But while inspections are important, the agency says people should also use common sense.
Most accidents, they say, can be avoided if people follow ride rules.

“People looking down at their phones and tripping over their own feet – ‘flip, trip or fall,’ we call it – is the majority of the injuries and then the second one is people try to take their phone out,” said Ewald.

“And that loose article can be shot across the midway and can hurt somebody else.”