Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jola Szubielski 518-457-0752
Dave Bullard 315-487-7711 x 1377

August 22, 2016

NYS Departments of Labor and Agriculture and Markets Announce That Ride Inspections Are Underway at the Great New York State Fair

State Labor Department and Independent Inspectors Verify Ride Has Passed Safety Inspection

The New York State Departments of Labor and Agriculture and Markets today announced that inspections of all rides at the Great New York State Fair are underway in advance of the Fair’s opening later this week. The agencies also reminded fairgoers to follow all safety guidelines to enjoy the Fair’s more than six dozen rides.

“The Department of Labor is responsible for the safety of each and every ride, and we take that responsibility very seriously,” said Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “I thank the hardworking inspectors who do all they can to protect fairgoers each and every year.”

Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “With a new and larger midway and even more rides, the Department of Labor and our independent inspectors will be ramping up their inspections this week. We have a rigorous inspection process in place to protect fairgoers and we remind riders to also follow safety precautions.”

Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “Safety is priority number one for the Fair, and we have a tremendous team working to ensure our rides—from the roller coasters to the kiddie rides—are inspected and operating safely.”

The New York State Department of Labor inspects all rides at stationary parks outside of New York City at least once a year and inspects rides at traveling carnivals or fairs every time the rides are set up in a new location. A ride cannot legally operate without a permit from the Department of Labor. Last year, the Department of Labor performed nearly 1,600 inspections on more than 9,000 amusement devices and issued more than 2,900 orders to correct violations.

The Department of Labor inspections are a three-step process:

  1. As rides are brought into a fair or festival location, each individual part and component of each individual ride is inspected for defects.
  2. The ride is assembled and inspected again to ensure that all components have been assembled and secured properly.
  3. The operator of the ride is required to run the ride, and it is inspected once more while operating. The person operating the ride is also observed to ensure that he or she is operating the ride correctly.

This year, the Department of Labor will, for the first time, be placing inspection tags on each ride after it has passed inspection. No ride that fails an inspection is permitted to operate, but these new tags will allow families to see plainly that the ride has been inspected and deemed safe. Information on the tag includes the name of the ride and the name of the inspector, the date it was inspected, and whether it passed or failed. For video demonstrating a ride inspection at the Great New York State Fair, including the new inspection tags, please click the link below.

In addition to the inspections performed by the State, the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Great New York State Fair also annually use the services of an independent inspector from Comspeq. Also, the Fair’s Midway operator, Wade Shows, will once again employ Wagner Consulting to perform additional independent inspections of the Midway rides throughout the 12-day Fair.

Ride safety experts also issued a number of recommendations to make a day at the Midway as fun and safe as possible at the Great New York State Fair:

  • Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
  • Keep hands and feet inside the ride while it is moving.
  • Don't reach toward fences or barriers.
  • Secure loose clothing and long hair.
  • Don't drink and ride; you put yourself and others at risk.
  • Don't stand or attempt to leave a ride until it comes to a complete stop.
  • Check restraining devices to make sure they are properly latched. If the equipment does not work, exit the ride and immediately report the issue at
  • Avoid horseplay; it's dangerous.
  • Never attempt to unlock or loosen a restraining device until instructed by the operator.

A list of the events that have been inspected and the businesses that own them, broken down by region, is available online at Rides are inspected in the days leading up to each event, and the database is updated within two weeks of every event. If a ride is operating, it has passed inspection.

Anyone who wishes to report an unsafe ride is encouraged to contact the New York State Department of Labor at 1-888-4-NYSDOL.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 25 to September 5, 2016. The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "Find Your GREAT!," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The 375-acre New York State Fairgrounds is undergoing the most significant transformation since it first opened its gates in 1890. The $50 million plan, announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, revitalizes the grounds in many ways, improving the quality of the fairgoer’s experience and providing greater economic benefits for the region. Improvements include: the dramatic new Main Gate—the arches of which recall the carriage gate that greeted fairgoers in 1900; a larger, 15-acre Wade Shows Midway that will hold more rides than ever; and the brand-new 315-site Empire RV Park with underground water, sewer and electrical service. The plan will better position the New York State Fairgrounds as a premier year-round, multi-use facility that can attract more events and visitors from across the nation. More information on the revitalization is available here and renderings can be viewed here.

In addition to the annual New York State Fair, the Fairgrounds hosts dozens of agricultural events throughout the year, including some of the Northeast’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website. Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, and enjoy photos from the Fair at Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair to

Inspection video is available at the following link:
00:00-00:28 - Inspection of ride parts and components on trailer.
00:28-01:27 - Inspection of ride that is partially assembled.
01:27-01:58 - Inspection of ride that is fully assembled.
01:58-02:21 - Required safety signage and posting of inspection tag.

2016 Press Releases