WEST ALLIS, Wis. — This year there are more than 40 different rides at the Wisconsin State Fair, but before and throughout the event there are multiple inspections to make sure the rides remain fun and safe.
"I bring my kids every year to (the) state fair. They're seven and nine. If these rides weren't safe, I wouldn't want my kids riding. I mean, that's how our team treats these inspections is to make sure that they would want their families and friends riding these rides," said Dan Hereth, assistant deputy secretary at Wisconsin's Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS).
Inspectors with DSPS have been doing critical work and checking the attractions from top to bottom. Hereth is the soon-to-be secretary of that department.
"The key to safety on these rides is making sure they're well maintained. Are things appropriately lubricated? Are cotter pins in the right place? The next big thing, of course, is safety equipment. Are seat belts and lap restraints operational?" Hereth explained.
"These rides are inspected daily. They do a self-inspection, as well as, our third-party inspector goes around and inspects throughout the day and into the evening," said Shari Black, executive director at the Wisconsin State Fair Park.
Black said ride inspections started on Saturday.
TMJ4 News asked why people should feel safe getting on a ride at the Wisconsin State Fair considering riders in other states have been hurt due to malfunctions or accidents.
"We actually are the managers of our midway. So that allows us to pick all of our rides ourselves. So we always pick the most sought-after best operators," Black responded.
The executive director added later that they will not tolerate anything that shows too much wear.
"We actually have had some rides in the past that we did not allow to operate during our fair after they came through that first initial inspection. They didn't pass so they weren't allowed to operate and we don't work with those companies anymore," Black said.
If you or the kids plan on enjoying the rides Black encouraged wearing good safe footwear and avoiding flip-flops.