Playing it safe when heading to the carnival

Posted at 7:33 AM, May 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-16 07:33:24-04

Each year in Michigan, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs conducts a safety inspection on every ride in the state.

Morgan Rose says she feels safe every time she's at Laingsburg Springtime Festival but she says the thought is always in the back of her mind.

"I mean I like always pull on my straps to make sure that I'm actually secured in because if not then you go up in the air, you don't know," Morgan said.

In 2015, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs says there were 12 injuries at carnivals or festivals due to machines but that number is much lower than most states.

"Michigan does a really great job in keeping the injuries down and 12 injuries out of what we estimate as probably 60 million rides is really not a bad statistic," said director Mike Beamish.

As director for licensing, Beamish oversees inspectors who travel across the state examining over 900 rides.

"Our guys are climbing underneath stuff, they're looking under motors, they're climbing up the top of different pieces of the equipment and making sure they're bolted together," Beamish said.

He says it's his job to worry about the machines and visitors are there to enjoy themselves, "when someone is at a carnival, a festival, or a fair that's the last thing anybody wants to have happen."

Even with just 15 rides to check at Laingsburg's Springtime Festival, Joseph Even, the office manager for the rides, says his inspectors can only do so much.

"The patrons they may not even realize it but something they do as simple as have loose clothing or or long hair or even objects in their pockets really cause something to be not so pretty," Even said.

He says visitors can help protect themselves by staying aware of their surroundings.

"There's a lot of signs but they're there for a reason," Even said. "You go down the road you read a speed limit sign, you need to read all of the signs. If it says secure loose garments loose articles, do that."