RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's crunch time at the NC State Fair right now as inspectors are making sure every ride gets the safety stamp of approval.
There are 96 rides at this year's fair and state inspectors are working their way through each ride ahead of opening day on Thursday. Before any ride gets the green light to operate, inspectors with the Department of Labor give it a thorough check, starting when it arrives at the fairgrounds.
An inspector with the state, Dennis Brown says, "We inspect the ride as it sits on the truck. We look for any kind of broken welds, any damage incurred while the ride was in transit." Then each ride goes through another inspection once set up. "We have guys climb up the ride with their harnesses and inspect the top once it's set up. We investigate the footings and all the grounding, make sure it's level," Brown adds.
Inspectors only certify rides that meet the manufacturer's specifications 100%. Inspections last anywhere from an hour up to seven hours depending on the ride as we are told coasters take the longest to inspect since there are so many parts and pieces. When it comes to injuries and the rides, Brown says it's often due to human error.
"Long fake fingernails get torn off, you know, riding and long hair gets caught, always tie your hair up. Pay attention to the operators when they tell you don't go somewhere, don't go there, and watch your children. Make sure your children aren't running between rides."
Inspectors will be here throughout the state fair keeping a close eye on the rides and will respond if something happens.
Brown also says if fairgoers notice something with a ride that does not seem right, report it right away either to the ride operators, security at the fair, or one of their inspectors.