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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Department of Labor
Amusement Park and Fair Ride Safety


Issued: October 06, 2014
Link to full audit report 2014-S-47

Purpose
To determine if the Department of Labor (Department) is adequately monitoring and enforcing safety conditions of amusement park and fair rides. In conjunction with audit 2013-S-73, the audit covers the period January 1, 2011 through July 31, 2014.

Background
The Division’s Industry Inspection Unit (Unit) is responsible for inspecting rides at amusement parks, fairs, and other venues operating outside New York City. Structures subject to Unit inspection include any permanent (i.e., those at large amusement parks) or temporary (i.e., those set up at transient fairs) ride that is power-operated and for which an admission fee is charged, as well as any building used as an entertainment play area at a carnival, amusement park or fair which is intended to amuse or startle its participants (e.g., funhouses, laser tag venues). Each ride must be inspected, at a minimum, once a year and may be inspected multiple times each year (i.e., each time a ride is erected).

During our previous review of the Program (audit report 2013-S-73) we found reasonable assurance that the Department’s procedures were adequate to assure that the rides offered at fixed-based amusement parks, the New York State Fair, and many county fairs are properly inspected and authorized before being placed into service. However, the lack of information on the scheduling of smaller events such as carnivals and festivals, combined with the timing of our testing which inhibited us from conducting site visits during most of the operating season, precluded us from having adequate assurance that all rides were inspected. Therefore, we continued our review to determine whether both permanent and temporary rides had current inspections during the 2014 operating season.

Key Findings

  • We conducted site visits at 53 locations across the State covering almost 1,000 rides and found each of the rides being operated at all of the 53 locations had been inspected and permitted as required. 

Key Recommendations

None

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

Department of Labor: Amusement Park and Fair Ride Safety (2013-S-73)
Department of Agriculture and Markets:  Electronic Ticket Sales at the 2011 New York State Fair (2011-S-37)


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: John Buyce
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236