A spike in amusement ride accidents across Ontario is being called a "concerning trend," by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority.
But World's Finest Shows, the ride company thrilling patrons in Windsor with loops and turns at Summer Fest, said many of those incidents are out of their hands.
"The only thing we can do -- there's a sign posted [in front of each ride]," said safety coordinator Fred Burgess. "Plus, when they operate a ride, if they start screwing around, we'll tell them. Unfortunately, people don't want to listen."
The TSSA is reporting a significant increase in the number of accidents on rides -- it climbed to 902 last year, up from 89 incidents in 2008. Most of the the accidents caused minor injuries but there were 41 serious injuries and no fatalities.
Riders leading cause of accidents
Almost all of those accidents were due to rider behaviour or weather issues. Only four per cent of the incidents are linked to operators not following the legislative standards. Overall, the TSSA still considers safety at midways to be "very high."
"Out of all the time I've been here, I can't think of any major accidents that we've had. And I've been with this show for 32 years," said Burgess.
There's good reason for that, he said, because each ride has a set of strict rules. Parents sometimes argue after finding out their child is mere inches from being allowed on the 'Alien Abduction' or the 'Scrambler.'
"If you're too small for that lap bar to hold you, what's going to happen when that ride starts spinning? You're gonna fly out of there," Burgess said, underscoring the importance of height restrictions.
The province's safety authority is responsible for inspecting all rides once, before the season starts. For World's Finest Shows, that was back on June 1 in Keswick, Ont.
For the rest of the season, each ride operator is responsible for inspections, although the TSSA can conduct random inspections during any festival.
Ride safety checked daily
In Windsor, the operators tell CBC News each ride is checked daily and tested. Every repair is logged and many of the workers are certified by the TSSA.
Other carnival employees don't have to worry too much about safety rules, specifically for what's known as the 'Tower of Power.'
Michael Degrace has been running the attraction for nearly 13 years. Spending eight to 12 hours a day using a microphone, he's also known as "the voice of the midway."
"I basically went down like a bag of potatoes." - Michael Degrace, carnival employee
Although his job isn't as frightening as running the 'Fireball' ride, which warns users the loop may cause vomiting, people still have to be careful.
"One time a gentleman actually swung the hammer, a big gentleman. He just missed it and it actually ricocheted and got me right in the crotch," Degrace said. "I basically went down like a bag of potatoes."
Summer Fest Windsor started Friday and runs until July 2.