Following injuries, Darlington Canoe Fest continues

2 workers hurt setting up carnival ride
Following injuries, Darlington Canoe Fest continues
Worker Josh Paynter demonstrates where the two men were standing Thursday when they were injured setting up a carnival ride.

Darlington’s Canoe Festival will operate as planned after two workers were injured setting up a ride Thursday.

People involved with the incident said it was a minor set-up accident and did not involve a ride that was fully functional or had customers on it.

Joshua Paynter operates the ride where the accident took place.

“It kicked out as usual a little fast, and they just didn’t step back,” Paynter said, describing how one co-worker got a fractured leg and the other a few scrapes.

Inspectors from Wisconsin’s Department of Safety and Professional Services said a bolt that secures the hydraulic lift to the platform sheared. It was fixed before the inspectors cleared the ride as safe to operate.

Darlington Police Chief Jason King said there is no reason anyone should fear the ride, but if parents have any concerns they have a right to ask the company about its safety record.

Recently, the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found 20 children a day during the summer are treated in emergency departments for amusement-ride-related injuries across the country.

Darlington Canoe Fest continues after injuries

The top injury spots included the head and neck, followed by the arms, face and legs.

State safety officials say all rides must be registered on a yearly basis and they are subject to regular tests.

Carnival workers said they expect 1-2 visits a year from inspectors, and the checks could take days. However, state safety officials did not say how often the rides are checked.

Tips to keep safe on amusement rides include:

Always follow all posted height, age, weight and health restrictions.
Follow any special seating order and/or loading instructions.
Always use safety equipment such as seat belts and safety bars.
Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.
Trust your instincts. If you are worried about the safety of a ride, choose a different activity.