Nys Labor Dept. Announces Efforts To Ensure Amusement Park Safety

James S. Alesi

May 22, 2008

“New York businesses play an important role not only in our economy, but in the enjoyment of those goods and services that everyday consumers are entitled to,” said Senator Jim Alesi. “As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, I will continue to balance my efforts on behalf of those businesses that provide recreation and those people who are entitled to safe and healthy recreation, in hope that we can grow tourism and other businesses in an environment that best serves the public. As a member of the Senate Committee on Labor, I applaud the efforts of the Department of Labor in pursuing these goals.”

“With the summer season upon us, we have increased our efforts to ensure amusement park safety. We have convened a Carnival, Fair and Amusement Park Safety Board to make recommendations on regulations, and increased the number of operational inspections we conduct statewide,” said Commissioner Smith.

“Consumers play an important role in safety, too,” the Commissioner added. “To help increase public awareness, we have established a park safety web site – www.RideSafeNY.com. By following rules and regulations, and exercising common sense, we all help to make New York’s warm-weather attractions a fun, safe experience for everyone.”

The new web site – www.RideSafeNY.com – offers parents and children helpful tips on ride safety, along with a directory of amusement parks in New York State. The site also makes it simple to e-mail the Department of Labor to report unsafe conditions.

The State Department of Labor enforces amusement ride safety throughout the state, except in New York City. Labor Department staff inspect all rides at stationary parks at least once a year, and they 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 Labor Department.

Last year, the department inspected 1,634 venues and a total of 10,164 devices. It conducted operational inspections at 181 locations, inspecting 2,215 devices.

“For the safety of our children and peace of mind for their parents, I am pleased to join with Commissioner Smith to announce these important steps that will protect New York families,” said Assemblymember Susan John. “Children’s safety is a priority for me, and when they go to an amusement park, a fair or a carnival, they should be safe. As a state, we must ensure that there are uniform regulations regarding the maintenance and safety of the amusement rides so we can prevent a tragic death or injury. These guidelines, put forth by the Department of Labor, will let families feel safe and secure in the knowledge that expectation and reality of amusement park safety are one and the same.”