Carnival Catastrophe

Carnival Catastrophe: Is there a Real Reason to be Afraid? Counties and Cities with Carnivals or Fairs There are over 3,000 counties in our country.  There are almost 20,000 cities and towns.  Just about every one of them has at least one carnival or fair, and in the case of the bigger cities, perhaps dozens every year. According to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) it comes in at about 4,400 injuries annually but only about 1.5% of that number (66) require hospitalization each year.  Complied statistics for (non-Amusement Park) carnival and fair injuries or deaths are calculated to be 6 per 100,000 visitors, or 0.006%. Not only is the number quite small, but the classification of injuries is quite broad, including anything requiring treatment or hospitalization.  Everything from twisted ankles or sprains, bumped heads, chest pains, numbness, neck strains, back pain, dizziness, and vomiting all count. If you were to pick a large amusement park, such as Disney World with its 19.33 million visitors each year, and apply those statistics, you might expect 1,160 injuries per year.  Big parks are actually much better than that because they have permanent equipment that stays in one place, and experienced maintenance crews with multiple inspections per day. An actual Carnival incident In July (2017), when one of the rides at the Ohio State Fair experienced a severe failure, an 18-year-old man was killed.  A further six were injured.  Despite undergoing three separate inspections, by the operator, the city officials, and an independent third party, they all missed some significant corrosion for one of the seating areas.  The metal was thin enough to shear when the ride was under strain with a full load of passengers. Who is to blame? In this particular case, the manufacturer had issued a notice about the fault in the ride considerably earlier.  They had notified, or attempted to notify, all purchasers, of the potential danger of failure and recommended not using the ride until repairs could be effected. These carnivals and fairs do a lot of traveling, meaning that equipment is assembled and disassembled daily or weekly, moving from one location to the next.  It might be hard to keep up with notices, warnings, alerts, or changing maintenance requirements when you’re constantly on the go.  But perhaps, you would think, workers familiar with the equipment might notice changes and deterioration. Except that they might not…  It might be invisible because it is encased in fiberglass, or in other ways hidden from view.  [...]