OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – We’re less than 24 hours away from opening day at the great state fair of Oklahoma. Of course, safety is paramount as workers continued ride inspections Wednesday to ensure everything is in ship shape.
“We have three sets of eyes on every ride because we want people to feel secure,” said State Labor Commissioner Leslie Osborn.
The state fair has 66 total rides and Oklahoma is one of 30 states that has a state agency come check all of them. That’s where Chief Ride Inspector for the state Alan Mcelyea and his crew come in.
“We’re looking for cracks, we’re looking for missing hardware, we’re checking your proximity switches, safety switches. Just overall top to bottom,” Mcelyea said.
Mcelyea and his team have been inspecting since Sunday. However, owner of the company that puts on the fair, Wade Shows, Frank Zaitshick says they start their inspections the week before.
“We’ve already been through two sets of inspections before Alan’s team actually starts,” Zaitshick said.
They plan to be done with inspections just before the fair opens on Thursday. But that doesn’t mean their work is done.
“We have at least one person sometimes two out here during the whole fair, open to close doing spot checks,” Mcelyea said.
Ride operators are also trained up to the American Society of Testing Materials Standards, according to Zaitshick.
“The more challenging the job, the more training they get,” he said.
“The main thing is making sure that you don’t try to push your kids into a ride that’s too tall for them for the rides, don’t tell them to stand on their tippy toes,” Osborn added. “The ride operators know what the best way is.”
As officials with both the state and the fair hope for a successful and safe year on the fairgrounds.
“I think there’s 7 or 8 brand new rides that have either never been here before or haven’t been here for at least 3 or 4 years,” Zaitshick said. “I’m happy about that. I’m sure the fair and the public is too.”