Northstate carnival ride provider cited for safety violations


REDDING, Calif. - A carnival ride provider has been cited for more than $100,000 after an employee failed to notice problems with carnival rides.

A California Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation into Butler Amusements began with a confidential tip.

Butler Amusements provides rides to the Shasta District Fair in Anderson, the Silver Dollar Fair in Chico and the Glenn County Fair in Orland.

According to their website Butler Amusements has been bringing smiles to carnival riders in the western United States for 43 years.

However CAL/OSHA said an employee of the company made a mistake at the Big Fresno Fair last October.

An investigation showed a ride operator knowingly conducted rides after key bolts and cross bracing had been removed, compromising rides like the Giant Wheel and Flying Bobs.

No one was hurt but the mistake cost the company $101,250.

The Shasta District Fair has been working with Butler Amusements since 1998.

"Wow, I'm totally shocked at that," the Shasta District Fair's CEO Chris Workman said Tuesday.

Tori and Frank Chavez, have a two-year-old daughter and have attended the fair in the past.

They said the news makes them worried.

"Makes me concerned for her safety," said Tori Chavez.

Workman believes Butler is a safe company and wants the public to know extra precautions are taken to protect riders.

Insurance and safety instructors visit the week before the fair.

"And they will inspect and make sure all of the permits are pulled and properly in place for the rides as well as that the rides are put together safely for the public," Workman explained.

CEO's at the Glenn County and Silver Dollar fairs said they have the same policy.

Mother, Heather Sneed, said the news is reassuring.

"I feel safe and secure going on rides."

But the Chavez' have their doubts.

"It gives me a little bit of reassurance but still there's that thought in the back of your head like 'what if they didn't check it?'" questioned Tori Chavez.

"Insurance can't replace your family," added husband Frank Chavez.

Our phone call to Butler Amusements was never returned.

However, after hearing the news the Silver Dollar Fair's CEO reached out to the company.

Butler Amusements told him they could not comment on the issue and that they are responding to the investigation.

They believe it was a problem with a rogue employee.

They also said they have not been fined by OSHA yet.