It is with great pleasure that we announce that Massachusetts was named number one in the nation in terms of Amusement Device Safety inspections for calendar year 2006 by SAFEPARKS, a group of amusement industry professionals whose goal is to provide the safest and most enjoyable experience possible when visiting the nations numerous stationary and mobile amusement parks. Public safety, whether in respect to buildings, engineering equipment or devices, elevators, or amusements is something that all Department of Public Safety (DPS) staff take seriously. To be named first in amusement ride safety is truly an honor, but is not something that happened by chance. Rather, it is the result of concerted and enhanced efforts by DPS staff and industry professionals to achieve such a goal.

A key to success in any initiative usually begins with training. The Department employs 14 full time building and 9 full time engineering inspectors who, among other things, are tasked with amusement device safety inspections. All inspection staff has been educated in amusement safety inspection procedures via programs offered though National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials (NAARSO). Since 2005, Massachusetts has hosted a week long NAARSO training that is made available to all state and municipal building inspectors, municipal electrical inspectors, amusement company personnel and other interested parties. To date, the Department has trained over 200 people through this process.

In preparation for the coming year, (and for the second consecutive year) the Department will be send 3 building and 3 engineering inspectors to the enhanced NAARSO Training in Orlando, Florida and will again host a week-long training here in Massachusetts during the week of March 12 th for all other state and municipal inspectors. The goal is for all Department inspectors to achieve a NAARSO Level I certification, and to offer eligible inspectors to achieve the NAARSO Level II certification. With these certifications, inspectors are better equipped to ensure the safety of all those who enjoy visiting both stationary and mobile parks.

Among other things, training includes classes in magnetic braking systems, emergency ride evacuation, safety restraints, and pneumatics. Courses also extend to the legal aspects of safety inspections. Although municipal inspectors are not required or expected to achieve a comparable level of training or certification, many have determined it to be a professional priority. As a result, the DPS staff is afforded additional support during the course of regular amusement inspections.

520 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) establishes procedures for the safe operation and inspections of amusement devices. To ensure accurate inspections, the regulation requires the DPS inspector and the amusement company certified maintenance mechanic to review each device according to a comprehensive safety inspection checklist. The checklist must be completed prior to operation each time the device is intended to be used. Inspection records of all devices are maintained by the DPS.

Following the initial safety inspection, mechanical devices are fitted with US Identification Plates (US ID Plates) similar identification tags

Amusement identification number
are affixed to inflatable amusement devices. Amusement park patrons should look for these identifications on all devices. Additional information about amusement device safety, including parental guidelines for ensuring safety, may be viewed by accessing the AMUSEMENT portion of the DPS website.

Amusement safety is a responsibility that we take seriously and is something that we will continue as a main priority, offering the best training possible to prepare inspection staff for each season.