Owners of Faulty NC State Fair Ride Could Owe More Than $100,000 In Fines
More than six months after a ride malfunctioned at the North Carolina State Fair last October, injuring five people, the owners of the ride are facing more than $100,000 in fines.
The company that runs the ride, Family Attractions Amusement Co., as well as the individual owner of the ride and son of Family Attractions’ Founder, Joshua Gene Macaroni, both face fines from two government agencies. The parties face fines for unsafe operation of the ride and failure to protect an employee from harm from two government agencies, the North Carolina Elevator & Amusement Device Bureau and the North Carolina Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
The incident, which occurred on October 24 following a small malfunction on October 21, injured four riders and a ride operator. According to investigations surrounding the incident, both Macaroni and the ride’s operator, Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow, added electrical bypasses to the ride, which allowed the ride to override safety precautions. The investigation also found that another operator of the ride, Omar Toranzo, also ran the ride while bypassing the safety systems. Macaroni was allegedly aware of all bypasses and modifications — reports say he even worked on the electrical control cabinet and tightened parts of the ride himself just days before the October 24 incident.
According to WRAL.com, “The Division of Occupational Safety and Health cited both Macaroni and Family Attractions for two willful, serious violations: exposing employees to ‘the hazard of being struck by moving parts of an amusement device’ both after the ride was not maintained properly and after safety systems were bypassed. Each violation comes with a $28,000 fine, for a total OSHA fine of $56,000 each.” The fines from The Elevator & Amusement Device Bureau were less harsh, totaling a possible $3,000 to each for operating a device without a certificate and for operating an unsafe device. However, the fines may be adjusted based upon cooperation.
Macaroni and Tutterrow also both face criminal charges of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury.
What are OSHA’s Regulations?
This incident may leave some wondering what kind of regulations the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) sets forth, and what the agency covers. See below for some of the basics:
Five Main Bureaus of the OSH Division
- Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau
- Compliance Bureau
- Consultative Services Bureau
- Education, Training and Technical Assistance
- Planning, Statistics and Information Management
Roles of the North Carolina OSH Division
- Serves the needs of the workplace through a variety of programs aimed at making the employees of NC safe
- Administers the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973
- The Elevator and Amusement Device of the OSH Division oversees the safe installation and operation of all elevators, escalators, workman’s hoists, dumbwaiters, moving walks, aerial passenger tramways, amusement rides, inclined railways and lifting devices for people with disabilities that operate in public establishments (except federal buildings) and private places of employment
How Can You Protect Yourself From Incidents Like This?
Though there are agencies in place committed to making N.C. a safer place, unfortunately, sometimes accidents like these are out of the hands of the victims. At the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood, it is our priority to help those who have suffered from personal injury understand their rights and receive the compensation they deserve. We also help many victims suffering from injuries sustained on the job seek worker’s compensation claims. Should you find yourself victim of personal injury sustained as a bystander or as an employee on the job, do not hesitate to call on the experts at D. Hardison Wood to pursue the justice you deserve.
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