When a Carnival Worker Gets Hurt on the Job

Carnival workers are often at risk of sustaining injuries on the job. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), any type of amusement park or arcade occupation ranks 12th among the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. Over the years, many injuries have taken place resulting in serious injuries or even death.

Accidents Taking Place at Carnivals

Carnival worker accidents have occurred in locations across the midwest. Data from OSHA reveals several amusement park employee deaths in Wisconsin alone within the last decade.

In 1999, one carnival worker working on a ride at the Langlade County Fair was fatally electrocuted. Two years later in 2001, another young carnival worker suffered fatal spinal and head injuries in Dane while taking down a Chair Plane ride. Another accident in 2005 involved a 54-year-old worker who suffered a fatal fall while working on bumper cars at the Wisconsin State Fair. 

In addition to deaths, there have been injuries resulting in permanent damage. One 22-year-old carnival worker in Michigan suffered critical injuries in 2019 at the Curwood Festival in Owosso, which is a small town northwest of Detroit. He was reportedly performing routine maintenance on a ride known as the Fire Ball, which is a 59-foot loop ride that rotates riders. While the ride, like many others, has built-in safety features for passengers, it doesn’t feature such protections for workers.

How Carnival Worker Injuries Take Place

In many cases, carnival worker deaths and work-related injuries occur because of employee negligence. Workers may momentarily fail to pay attention to the task at hand, although some poorly maintained equipment may fall under the responsibility of the park owners, as it’s important for management to determine when a ride is too unsafe to either ride or operate.

Generally, carnival workers are more likely to avoid injury if they are properly trained and remain attentive. This is why it’s important for workers to undergo proper training for each ride and maintain attentiveness while performing routine maintenance or other tasks. By taking the right steps to keep themselves and others safe from potential injuries, workers can remain consistently safer on the job. However, it’s also important for employers to ensure that proper protocols are in place and to provide proper training to carnival employees.