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Labor department urges amusement ride operators, passengers follow safety guidelines

Staff Reports • Aug 13, 2016 at 8:15 PM

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development enforces the amusement device law and wants to inform the public of the hazards associated with the inherent operation of the devices.

Due to fact that there were four reported amusement device accidents in Tennessee since July 1, the department provided amusement device owners and operators additional information and accident reporting guidelines in order to prevent future accidents.

“The goal of the department is to verify amusement devices are safe and operable,” said Commissioner Burns Phillips. “We want to protect both Tennesseans and visitors from any type of potential harm.”

It is imperative for passengers to ensure the company has a valid operating permit, make themselves familiar with the posted safety procedures, checklists, photos and signs. Passengers must keep their arms and legs inside the car while in motion. They should also properly restrain themselves before the car leaves the station and when the car stops. Owners/operators should inform passengers when and how to properly slow down and when and how to properly brake. 

Companies can assist the department by immediately updating company forms to reflect changes in the law, ensuring proper signage and the annual amusement device permit is properly posted on the premises, explaining riders/guest responsibility, properly training employees/staff, and following the accident reporting requirements.

Owners and operators are also reminded to immediately report serious physical injuries, serious incidents and fatalities to the Amusement Device Unit and to follow the state’s accident reporting requirements. 

When there is a serious physical injury, serious incident or fatality, owners and operators are reminded to obtain a qualified inspector within 24 hours of the accident and to submit a post-accident report to the department as soon as reasonably possible. 

Tennessee requires companies to hire qualified third-party inspectors to perform inspections as Tennessee does not have state amusement device inspectors.  Inspection reports from qualified third-party inspectors are required and inspectors must be certified by one of three approved certifying agencies.  

Refer to Public Chapter 815 or the amusement devices page for the new Amusement Device Law that went into effect July 1.

The Wilson County Fair will be Aug. 19-27 at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon.

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