California Division of Occupational Safety and Health

Division of Occupational Safety and Health
Overview of Amusement Ride Regulation
Regulation Type: 
Government officials inspect rides and investigate accidents
Inspection Program: 

For permanent park rides, state inspectors perform an annual records audit, unannounced operational inspection, and physical inspection of the ride each year. In addition, ride owners are required to have a Qualified Safety Inspector certify annually that each ride meets industry standards and state regulations.

All portable amusement rides are inspected before they are originally put into operation for the public's use and thereafter at least once every year. Portable rides may also be inspected each time they are disassembled and reassembled.

Investigative Authority: 

State inspectors have authority to investigate reportable accidents.

Reporting Criteria: 

All ride owners must report accidents resulting in death or injury requiring medical service other than ordinary first aid. As of 2008, portable ride owners must also report major mechanical failures and any accident in which a patron falls or is ejected from the ride mid-cycle, regardless of injury.

Patron Responsibility Law: 


Special Conditions: 

Dry slides are explicitly exempt from regulation. Inflatables and go-karts do not meet the definition of amusement ride in state law and are, therefore, not regulated.

Date of last update: 
September 16, 2008