Big Fresno Fair Ride Operator Fined! Cal/OSHA Says Riders In Danger
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) — Cal/OSHA fined Butler Amusements, Inc. $101,250 following an investigation which found the amusement ride operator knowingly let Big Fresno Fair visitors get on rides after key bolt and cross bracing had been removed. Cal/OSHA investigators say the rides include the Giant Wheel and Flying Bobs rides at the fair last October. Safety inspectors say they found the Giant Wheel had all 12 bolts associated with the support leg flanges and the Flying Bobs was missing all of the lower cross bracing used for structural support. Cal/OSHA spokesperson, Peter Melton says, "Cal/OSHA has a ride unit that found some of the temporary amusement rides at the Big Fresno Fair last October didn't have the necessary people and cross bracing. They had actually been removed, which was a danger to anyone who was on those rides." So what do Big Fresno Fair representatives have to say about the findings? Big Fresno Fair Deputy Manager, Stacy Rianda says, "The health and safety of our Big Fresno Fair is our number one priority." She adds, "This is the first time we have been notified of any investigation or alleged violations. Once the facts behind this announcement have been clarified, we will be able to respond appropriately." So will the fair continue its contract with Butler Amusements? At this time, Big Fresno Fair spokesperson, Aslee Garcia says, "yes!" She says each year, before the fair opens. All rides are inspected by an independent third party inspection team. However that same team cleared all the rides last year. So right now, fair officials are trying to determine who made the mistake. Cal/OSHA investigators say Butler Amusements can appeal the citations and fines. The violations would then be decided by a state appeal board. The fines could be decreased.