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Amusement Ride Safety

Scrambler Ride

The Ohio Division of Amusement Ride Safety and fairs works to license and inspect all amusement rides before they operate to verify that rides are assembled, maintained and operated to manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations. In addition to amusement ride inspections, inspectors ensure that midway games of skill and side shows operating at all 94 county and independent agricultural fairs and the Ohio State Fair are skillful and properly operated. Annually, more than 7,000 concession inspections are conducted during these fairs.

Amusement Ride Safety Fact Sheet

  • The Division of Amusement Ride Safety has employees who regularly inspect more than 4,000 rides across the state, including theme parks, portable rides, aquatic amusement rides and inflatable rides.
  • Rides require an annual permit and initial inspection before operation. Re-inspections and/or supplemental inspections are performed at various times and locations across the state.
  • A ride inspection ensures the ride is assembled, maintained and operated according to manufacturer's specifications. The Department's procedure includes:
    • An observation as the ride is being assembled.
    • A static inspection, which is performed on the equipment when it is not running to assure the piece has been assembled correctly and that safety restraints are in good condition.
    • An operational inspection, which is performed while the rides are running to ensure the mechanical components were working in accordance with manufacturer's specifications
  • The training of our inspectors is a critical strength of our program. The Department's inspectors:
    • Undergo continuous training on all aspects of the program.
    • New inspectors must undergo a minimum of one year training before going out on their own.
    • Inspectors annually attend safety seminars sponsored by Amusement Industries Manufacturers and Suppliers and the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials.
      • Training includes structural integrity, non-destructive testing, electrical safety, hydraulic systems, braking systems, vehicle harnesses and lap restraints, general signage and ride operations.
      • Several inspectors are also certified instructors for these organizations.
  • Certain parts of rides require proof of an annual non-destructive test performed by a third-party firm with experts who meet certain national standards. Non-destructive testing consists of analytical equipment and techniques that evaluate the materials, components and systems without causing damage.
  • ODA personnel are actively engaged with national organizations in a continuous effort to refine and strengthen amusement ride safety design, manufacture and inspections standards and procedures.

Ride Owner Resources

The Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Amusement Ride Safety has an online business portal where you will request inspections, update insurance, and keep company information updated. You must create this account in order to be permitted and inspected. When you’re ready to register for portal access, please call the office at 614.728.6280. We will collect your business name, mailing/physical address, and business phone number, then we will provide you with a unique Organization Key which you’ll need in order to register.

Click Here to Register for ODA-ARS Web Portal Access
 

AMUSEMENT RIDE SAFETY WEB PORTAL FOR RIDE OWNERS: 

https://www.apps.agri.ohio.gov/amusementrides

AMUSEMENT RIDE SAFETY WEB PORTAL TRAINING VIDEO FOR RIDE OWNERS: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukDpM_HKRAE&feature=youtu.be

Ohio Laws and Rules

The laws and rules which regulate these attractions in the State of Ohio can be found here: Ohio Revised Code 993 and Ohio Administrative Code 901:9-1

Insurance

Per Ohio Revised Code section 993.06, each owner is required to have insurance coverage and provide proof of such coverage to the department. The insurance policy must have at least one million dollars of coverage of bodily injury or death of two or more persons in each occurrence. Once this insurance is secured you will upload the Certificate of Liability Insurance in your portal. ODA is not able to recommend an insurance provider however, the Ohio Insurance Institute is a good place to begin. 

Submitting Insurance: A how-to guide from the Division of Amusement Ride Safety.

ASTM Verification

All rides that operate in the state of Ohio must be able to provide documentation that they meet chapters of ASTM regarding amusement ride safety standards. Inflatables specifically must meet ASTM-2374 guidelines. This document serves as a guide to give ride owners, manufacturers, and professional engineers (PE) specific guidance on acceptable documentation proving safe operation, design, and manufacturing/building of amusement rides. If your ride cannot demonstrate this compliance, then it will not be able to be permitted. 

Scheduling Inspections

In the Portal, you’ll be able to request your preferred inspection date. Our inspectors work Monday-Friday. If we cannot accommodate the requested inspection date, someone from our office will reach out by phone to schedule your inspection. Any request for an inspection to occur within a 10-day timeframe will be subject to expedited fees equaling $100.00 per attraction. Prior to the scheduled inspection, your inspector will call to confirm their approximate arrival time. 

Inspections & Permitting Costs

The cost to permit any attraction is $225.00 per year. For annual inspection and reinspection costs per ride, please see the table below.

Inflatables $104.00
Kiddie rides $100.00
Roller coaster $1,200.00
Aerial lifts or bungee jumping facilities $450.00
Go karts, per kart $5.00
Other rides $160.00
Midseason operational inspection, per ride $25.00
Expedited inspection, per ride $100.00
Failure to cancel scheduled inspection, per ride $100.00
Failure to have ride ready for inspection, per ride $100.00

Itineraries

Per Ohio Revised Code section 993.07 (C)(1)(b), owners of temporary rides or inflatables must submit operating locations to the Department. You can do this in the portal by selecting “Itinerary” on the dashboard and following the prompts.

Submitting Itineraries: A how-to guide from the Division of Amusement Ride Safety.

Safety Compliance Orders

Inspectors can issue safety compliance orders during your inspection that outline corrective actions that must be taken and assign a date by which those issues must be resolved. Per Ohio Administrative Code 901:9-1-03(B)(8), “No person shall operate or contract to operate, or offer to operate by means of renting or leasing, an amusement ride or device […] following the expiration date of any safety order when the required corrective action has not been accomplished.” Further, the rule goes on to require that the owner of an amusement shall document with the department no later than twenty-four hours after the date specified in the safety order for compliance with the order that the safety compliance order has been completed. If you are unable to complete your Safety Compliance Orders within the time indicated, please email our office. In the email, please indicate the anticipated amount of time it will take to complete the required work.

Safety Compliance: A how-to guide from the Division of Amusement Ride Safety.

Amusement Ride Company List

Click here to access a searchable database of Amusement Ride Companies.

Ohio Advisory Council

Ohio Advisory Council on Amusement Ride Safety Members

Board Member

Term Ends

Position

Director Dorothy Pelanda or designee

N/A

Director, Department of Agriculture

Mr. Virgil Strickler (Mike Vartorella designee)

N/A

General Manager of Ohio State Fair

Mr. Douglas C. Guinsler

1/1/2026

Fair Managers

Mr. Tim Bowers

3/4/2027

Insurance

Vacant

 

Inflatables

Mr. Frank W. Welsh

1/1/2023

Fest. & Events Association

Mr. Anthony Sabo

1/1/2023

Owner/Amusement Park

Mr. Nicholas D. Blois

1/1/2023

Temporary Amusement Ride Owners

Vacant

1/1/2023

Ohio Showmen's Association

Ms. Tammy Kay Chapman

9/29/2023

Inflatables

Mr. Donald P. Woodward

1/1/2025

Owner Amusement Park

Mr. Jamie Gaffney

1/1/2025

Owner Representative - Amusement Park

Ms. Cynthia L. Emerick-Whitson

1/1/2025

Engineer

Mr. Frank Newlon

3/20/2025

House Appointment

Mr. Kevin Wieging

6/16/2027

Senate Appointment

Mr. Michael Seal

12/6/2025

Professional Engineer - Nonvoting Dir. of Agriculture

 

Board Contact: David Miran, ODA Division of Amusement Ride Safety, (614) 728-6390, David.Miran@agri.ohio.gov

 

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