Millions of Tennesseans and visitors to Tennessee each year make their way to amusement parks, county fairs, and carnivals. The Tennessee Department of Labor conducts inspections so riders will be safe, equipment owners will have a thorough evaluation of their equipment, and the state of Tennessee will have fewer accidents.
Amusement rides or attractions must be inspected prior to operating in Tennessee. The Department of Labor performs inspections for all rides at stationary parks twice a year and randomly at traveling carnivals or fairs.
Before submitting inspection reports on amusement rides or attractions, each inspector must register with the Tennessee Department of Labor and be commissioned by the department. In addition to the Department of Labor, two national organizations certify amusement ride inspectors: NAARSO (National Association of Amusement Rides Safety Officials) and AIMS (Amusement Industry Manufacturers and Suppliers) International Trade Association.
State law (Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-121-101) requires amusement ride operators to provide a certificate of insurance, annual permit, inspection history, and proof that operators are adequately trained. In addition to allowing inspections, the law establishes the Elevator and Amusement Device Safety Board.
ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), which develops standards to enhance amusement industry safety, calls for records of inspections be maintained for at least the previous 24 months. Inspections by the ride manufacturer and other pertinent information required by the amusement device inspector must also be kept for 24 months.