MEMPHIS, Tenn (localmemphis.com) - UPDATE 8/30/2017: Days before the Delta Fair is set to start the Tennessee Department of Labor granted the company, running the rides, all required permits.
New this year, Delta Fair hired its own independent inspector with the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety.
That inspector will be in charge of random ride inspections which are crucial when attractions are being used for hours at a time.
The Fair opens Friday and will run through September 10th.
(Original Story - 8/29/2017)
The Delta Fair opens in three days at the Agricenter, and the Local I-Team has learned the company providing the carnival rides still does not have a permit to operate in Tennessee.
According to the Tennessee Labor Department, Reed Exposition Midway has no record of ever operating in the state.
Drive around the Delta Fair and you will see crews setting up concessions and rides, but before those rides can be operated, Reed Exposition needs a permit to operate and that permitting process is not complete.
"They are currently going through the permitting process and going through listing their devices and paying their fees. They are getting those inspection reports to the state's Amusement Device Unit and once they do that the state will be able to issue a permit," said Chris Cannon, TN Department of Labor Spokesperson.
In addition, a state safety compliance officer will be watching the inspections. "Our West Tennessee safety compliance officer is on the ground this week overseeing the inspection process of all the devices Reed Exposition is bringing rides to Memphis this week and we will be there watching over the 3rd party inspectors going over them to make sure they are safe as possible."
Last year, an employee received an electrical shock while setting up a carnival ride at the Delta Fair. In a separate incident, people were injured when the safety bars on the Moonraker ride opened prematurely.
This year, the Delta Fair decided to switch companies and hired Reed to operate the midway. We're told there's an advantage to the inspections being done right before the fair opens.
"The fact they are getting their permit right now and getting the inspections done at the Delta Fair means they are the very latest inspections that will be used to get a permit," said Cannon.
The owner of Reed Exposition Midway doesn't want to be interviewed on camera.
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