More ride owners share concerns over Ohio inspection program

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — More Ohio ride owners are coming forward with concerns about the state’s ride inspection program.

An Ohio amusement company owner said when it comes to inspections in Ohio, you don’t get much for what it costs.

Kevin Wieging has owned UltraSound Special Events based outside of Toledo for 27 years, renting out inflatables and carnival games for events.

He said Ohio’s ride inspection program is revenue based, while states like Pennsylvania regulate to educate.

Wieging said after an inspection in Ohio, you get a really expensive sticker proving your ride has been inspected—and not much else.

“Our cost of compliance in Ohio is over $15,000 annually,” said Wieging.

He said to get inspected in neighboring Pennsylvania he never pays more than $450 dollars and they require continuing education. That’s where he sends his employees and operators to get training.

“The savings I could realize in Ohio if I didn’t spend that $15,000, could I repurpose that money for education to train our people better? Could I repurpose that money for matting that’s going to make the operation of our rides safer?”

In Ohio, operators are required to sign off on a form that they’ve successfully completed training as required for compliance with ASTM, the industry standards-setting group.

But, in the 61 page final Ohio State Highway Patrol report, an operator of the fireball ride said he hadn’t, “received any formal training on how to assemble and/or disassemble the amusement ride.”

Another operator of the Fireball said, “there is no specific course or training” and, “his training was on the job training and hands on.”

“I think they could be doing more with education,” said Wieging.

Wieging said Ohio should be less worried about money and more concerned with making sure rides are safe… and that the people who operate and inspect them know how to keep them that way.

The amusement ride rules and regulations in Ohio say ride owners are responsible for providing training and written proof of training for ride operators.

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