On Wednesday, November 6, 2019, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law House Bill 189, revising the laws governing amusement ride operations in the state, sponsored by Representative John Patterson (D-99). Because of the emergency clause in the bill, the law went into effect immediately upon the governor’s signature.

Highlights from the bill are:

  • A registered professional engineer, appointed by the director of agriculture, shall serve as a non-voting member of advisory council on amusement ride safety for an initial term of six years.
  • New regulations will establish a minimum number of inspections that must be conducted on each ride depending on the size, complexity, nature of the ride and the number of days the ride is in operation during the year for which the applicable permit is valid. The regulations will also require a minimum number of inspectors to be assigned to inspect a ride or rides given the number, size, complexity and nature of the ride or rides.
  • New regulations will adopt, by reference: ASTM International: ASTM F1193-18, ASTM F770-18, and ASTM F2291-18, or any other equivalent national standards.
  • When hiring state ride inspectors, preference will be given to those individuals who hold a level one or higher certification from either NAARSO or AIMS or another substantially equivalent organization as determined by the director of agriculture.
  • If an owner of an amusement ride receives, from an amusement ride manufacturer or other entity responsible for parts or service regarding the safety of the ride, any communication addressing safety issues, the ride owner shall forward the communication to the director of agriculture.
  • If a ride has any “major repairs” completed, the ride owner must take photographs of the portion of the ride subject to any major repairs prior to and after the major repair and also prepare a detailed written description of each such major repair. The owner shall include both the photographs and such descriptions in their records. Ride owners must make all maintenance, repair and inspection records available to the department or any inspector employed by the department upon request.  
  • The owner of an amusement ride must keep a manual for each of the owner’s amusement rides that are subject to inspection in the state, if such a manual exists. These manuals shall be made available to state inspectors upon request.
  • The owner of a temporary amusement ride shall submit a list of locations and dates where the ride was either stored for a period longer than thirty days or operated outside of Ohio. Upon review of the list, the department of agriculture may require additional testing, inspections and documentation to be completed prior to issuing a permit.