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How Did Two Delta Fair Carnival Ride Workers Sustain Injuries?

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Last week, we wrote about the four carnival ride accidents that have occurred in Tennessee this past summer. Now, we can add another ride accident to the list. Two Delta Fair carnival ride workers were injured last month trying to set up a ride when the equipment came into contact with some power lines overhead and shocked the workers. According to the Delta Fair organizer, one employee needed surgery on his foot after the accident.

While the safety of the passengers on carnival rides has been questioned, little attention has been given to the safety of the workers who assemble and operator the rides.


Most workers at carnivals or amusements parks are outsourced. Most carnival ride workers are in charge of setting up the rides and maintaining the grounds. Other types of carnival jobs include:

  • Ticket sales
  • Concession stand workers
  • Ride operators
  • Costumed characters
  • Game operators
  • Petting zoo or animal park handlers
  • Ride repairmen

In particular, contracted or temporary carnival ride workers are susceptible to injury because many lack experience. Some are even under the age of 18 and seeking a summer gig. These types of employees receive little training and many do not know what the proper procedures are in case of an emergency, as demonstrated when eight Delta Fair ride passengers were injured. Worse, these workers may not receive workers’ compensation for any injuries they sustain while working.

Unfortunately, little is done to regulate carnival ride safety. Many rides are inspected for safety hazards only after they are assembled, which leave the workers who assemble them at risk for accidents.

Stanley A. Davis is a Nashville workers’ compensation attorney who fights for those who have sustained on-the-job injuries.

“LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.” Psalm 30:2


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