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State Labor Department announces amusement park ride safety inspections completed

by jmaloni

Press release

Sat, May 25th 2013 02:00 pm

Encourages families to have fun this holiday weekend

Department inspects all seasonal amusement parks, encourages parents and youth to follow ride safety guidelines and visit website www.RideSafeNY.com

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera is urging all parents and children to follow safety guidelines at the state's 12 amusement parks over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The department inspects rides at every amusement park and traveling show located outside of New York City before they open for the summer season, as well as one or more times during operation.

"As we mark the unofficial beginning of the summer this weekend with the Memorial Day holiday, I urge all parents and children to follow safety guidelines so that we can have a safe and fun summer at our state's great amusement parks," Rivera said.

The Department of Labor is tracking 49 individual carnivals and separate events that will have amusement rides as part of their Memorial Day activities. These locations, which will host 59 different amusement ride companies, were to be inspected prior to opening this weekend.

"When you head to the park or to the fair this weekend for fun, food and amusement, please make sure that you are doing your part as parents to ensure everyone follows the guidelines of the rides," Rivera said. "But know that you can rest assured that our inspectors have made certain that everything is functioning up to standard."

All New Yorkers can visit the Department of Labor's park safety website at www.RideSafeNY.com. The website offers parents and children helpful tips on ride safety, along with a directory of amusement parks in New York. The site also makes it simple to email the Department of Labor to report unsafe conditions.

Department of Labor staff inspect all rides at stationary parks at least once a year and inspect rides at traveling carnivals or fairs every time the ride is set up in a new location. A ride cannot legally operate without a permit from the Department of Labor.

Last year, the Department of Labor inspected more than 1,500 venues and more than 9,700 amusement devices.

The Department of Labor offers consumers the following 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.

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. As a parent, you know your child's ability to follow instructions.

  • Water rides require additional attention.

  • Walk - don't run - on pool decks and surroundings.

  • On water slides, follow instructions and leave the pool area at the bottom quickly. Always slide feet first; sliding head first is a major cause of head and neck injuries.

  • Use flotation devices when needed.

For more information about the Department of Labor's Park Safety inspections, visit www.RideSafeNY.com.

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