As the investigation into the tragic ride accident at the Ohio State Fair continues, Illinois and Iowa State Fair organizers are taking additional safety precautions to make sure their events go off without a hitch.
This year, the Iowa State Fair is using several different companies to provide the rides, instead of just one as in years past. Organizers say there will be increased safety precautions because of it. The fair has hired an independent contractor for safety inspections, as well as the state inspectors. They say having two different sets of eyes on the rides will make them even safer than in years past.
The independent inspector will get all the ride companies up to the same safety standards, and then the state inspector will go over them again. Iowa State Fair CEO Gary Slater says inspection of the rides starts as soon as the companies begin unloading them.
Slater explains, "Those pressure points and those bolts and connections that hold things together and have wear points on them. Those are the really important parts, and you have to look at those as the ride's going up- not after it's already been erected."
Slater says the company that provided the ride which malfunctioned in Ohio has had no dealings with the Iowa State Fair, but he says it is a well-respected company in the ride entertainment business.
Organizers from the Illinois State Fair are also concerned about safety.
A spokesperson for the fair says they are meeting with their carnival vendor to discuss safety and review procedures ahead of the fair opening. They say the Department of Labor handles all ride inspections and conducts routine and surprise inspections of all rides.
Both the Illinois and Iowa State Fairs run August 10th-20th, 2017.