3OYS: Inspectors check rides at Arizona State Fair

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX-- We hear about amusement park accidents on a regular basis. Just last month, 13 people were injured on a ride in Connecticut. But the key to cutting down on problems may be inspections.

Those rides at the Arizona State Fair sure are fun but they also have to be safe. So every day, each and every ride is inspected by Barry Schaible and his team of experts. "We look for bolts, make sure they have the proper bolts in them," he says.

Schaible works for a company that specializes in ride safety. And he was hired by the Fair to ensure there are no unforeseen problems. "We'll actually take pins, say no good, throw them away, get a new one, have the factory send you another pin," Schaible says. "We've done that. It's just normal wear and tear, like on your car."

Schaible and his crew inspect and replace anything they find not up to par, which is important since all of the rides are dismantled and reassembled several different times around the country, which could lead to wear and tear. "Every one of these rides is a portable ride," he says. "It comes across the road to get here, so we check them as they pull them in on the trailer, which is unique because theme parks and whatnot, they are set up permanent. You don't get to see the rides like we do."

Luckily, Schaible says his inspections have paid off because he hasn't had any major incidents. "Generally, if anything happens to a patron on a ride it usually turns out to be their error. The patron did something goofy they shouldn't have done," he says.