Facility Inspections

More than three decades of on-the-job experience have given us a solid understanding of the safety challenges fairs/fairgrounds face every day. CFSA’s Risk Control team uses this knowledge along with relationships built with pool member fairs to help these fairs identify and eliminate potential safety hazards before accidents happen.

A safe working environment not only shows respect for fair employees, it helps ensure your fairground is a sought after destination for community events and the families who attend these events.

The risk control services conducted at no additional charge on your fairground are determined by the pools your fair participates in. For example, if your fair is a member of both the General Liability and the Workers’ Compensation pools, you’ll have access to all of the checkpoints listed on this page. At no charge! Check with your risk control specialist.

In addition, if you don’t see the safety program or training you’d like for your fair, please contact your fair’s safety specialist or Tom Amberson, CFSA Risk Control manager. We can develop a risk control program especially for your needs!

If you don’t belong to either of the two pools, and would like to have a risk control specialist inspect your fair’s facilities, our risk control services are also available on a fee-for-service basis. Please contact Tom Amberson at (916) 263-6180 or tamberson@cfsa.org for information.

CFSA offers:

Facility Inspections
Throughout the year, members of our risk control team spend more than 600 weekday and weekend hours visiting fairs participating in CFSA’s General Liability and Workers’ Compensation pool programs to advise, consult and educate fair staff on how to make their grounds safe for themselves, their colleagues, and for fairground event visitors.

Fair facility inspections typically include the checkpoints listed below, although your fair’s inspections may differ slightly depending on your needs and fairground facilities.

After your risk control specialist has completed his or her inspection, you’ll receive a detailed report of areas for improvement as well as areas where you are doing a good job!

Inspections include Cal/OSHA-required written occupational health and safety programs. Emergency Disaster Evacuation Plan (event patrons).

After a review of the written requirements, a comprehensive inspection of the property is conducted:

Electrical Inspections

Fire Protection

General Work Environment:

Portable Power-operated Hand Tools & Equipment:

Hoisting Equipment

Fueling Equipment and Facilities

Grandstands, Bleachers and Temporary Seating Equipment


Here’s a sampling of some of the checkpoints included:

Emergency Disaster Evacuation Plan (event patron)

  • Review of written plan, including involvement with outside emergency providers, such as local fire, police, and Office of Emergency Services (OES).
  • Review of signed Letters of Understanding, Memorandums of Understanding or other contractual agreements.
  • Verification of periodic exercises or drills.

Fire Plan

  • Review of the written plan.
  • Verification of employee training.
  • Verification of periodic exercises or drills.

Onsite Asbestos (if applicable)

  • Verification if sampling has been done by Office of the State Architect.
  • Verification of recorded sample numbers if applicable.
  • Verification of affected building(s) by name, sample points or other descriptive information.
  • Verification on training of employees (if applicable).
  • Verification of appropriate postings if required.

Electrical Inspections
Much of the infrastructure of California’s fairs, including electrical systems, is operating well beyond its intended design life. This challenge, coupled with the continually rising electrical demands made by modern equipment used by fairs, renters, and concessionaires, makes it imperative that preventative maintenance be an ongoing priority.

CFSA has worked with individual fairs over the years on a variety of preventative maintenance tasks, such as cleaning individual panels and the regular retightening of electrical components such as buss bars, conductors and breakers. Checkpoints include:

  • Inspect for the proper installation and use of electrical systems and components.
  • Inspect for the proper use of GFCI devices (where applicable).
  • Inspect and test all GFCI equipment for the proper operation when in use.

Fire Protection

  • Inspect alarm systems.
  • Inspect sprinkler systems.
  • Inspect standpipe and hose systems.
  • Inspect extinguishers.

General Work Environment

  • Review general housekeeping.
  • Inspect materials storage.
  • Inspect for proper illumination levels in work areas.
  • Conduct sound level surveys (when applicable).
  • Inspect for availability of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Inspect for basic ergonomic considerations (when applicable).


Inspect general condition of aisles and walkways.

Elevated Surfaces (platforms)

  • Inspect for proper guardrails where required.
  • Inspect for proper guarding of elevated work surfaces to protect workers below.
  • Inspect for proper access and egress.
  • Review process for transferring materials to and from surfaces when required.

Stairs and Stairwells

  • Inspect for the proper load design, installation and dimension of handrails where required.
  • Inspect for the proper design and dimensions of stair treads and risers.
  • Inspect for proper identification of elevation changes where required.
  • Inspect for proper coefficients of friction.

Floor and Wall Openings

  • Inspect for proper design and dimensions to eliminate hazards to foot and wheel traffic.
  • Inspect for proper load design where vehicular traffic travel crosses protective covers or grates.

 Safe Exiting (egress)

  • Inspect for proper exit signage.
  • Inspect for proper emergency lighting.
  • Review documentation for regular testing of emergency lighting equipment.

 Exit Doors

  • Review for the proper number of exit doors.
  • Review for the proper location of exit doors.
  • Test panic hardware and/or alarms for proper operation.

Compressed Air Receivers (tanks)

Verify that a current pressure vessel permit has been issued by the California Department of Safety and Health (DOSH).

Compressed Gas Cylinders

  • Inspect for the proper storage of all cylinders.
  • Inspect the general condition of valves and caps.

 Mechanically-Elevated Working Platforms

  • Inspect for proper construction (when applicable).
  • Inspect the general condition of the structural pieces.
  • Inspect for proper guardrails, mid rails and toe boards.

Hoisting Equipment

  • Inspect the general condition.
  • Inspect for proper installation (where applicable).

 Fueling Equipment and Facilities

  • Verification that fueling equipment meets current standards.
  • Verification of proper and sufficient containment of potential fuel spills.
  • Verification of the condition and the proper storage of portable fuel containers (drums and cans).
  • Verification of proper bonding of fuel containers and equipment.
  • Verification that emergency shut off switches are accessible and clearly marked.

 Grandstands, Bleachers and Temporary Seating Equipment

  • Verification of proper construction (temporary installations).
  • Verification that equipment is compliant with all current codes.
  • Verification of proper aisle installation per current codes.
  • Verification on proper dimensions of handrails and guardrails.
  • Inspection of the general condition of stairs, steps and ramps.
  • Verification of emergency lighting availability for these assemblies.

Employee- and workplace-related checkpoints include:

Cal/OSHA-required written occupational health and safety programs:


After a review of the written requirements, a comprehensive inspection of the property begins:

General Work Environment

Portable Power-operated Hand Tools and Equipment

Injury and Illness Prevention Program (SB-198)

  • Identification of the responsible person for the maintenance of the program.
  • Review of periodic and regular self-inspections.
  • Review of Job Safety Analysis (JSA) Forms.
  • Review of documentation for safety meetings and training.
  • Review of employee suggestion forms or other avenues of communication, i.e. safety committee.
  • Review of the written policy statement and safety manual.
  • Review of hazard correction documentation and record keeping.

Required Information Postings

  • OSHA 300 Log (each February for the preceding year).
  • Verification of accident reports.
  • Verification of the 5-year retention of all OSHA 200 and 300 logs.

Hazard Communication Standard

  • Review of the written program.
  • Review of personnel training.
  • Review of materials inventory.
  • Review of the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) maintenance.
  • Review of labeling of both primary and secondary containers (either HMIS, NFPA or approved proprietary systems).
  • Examination of the storage and disposal of hazardous materials.

Lock-Out/Tag-Out (LOTO) Program

  • Review of the written program.
  • Review of the training for all affected personnel.
  • Review of the inventory on equipment (LOTO devices) associated with the Program.
  • Review of fair procedures on identification of energy sources and the equipment used to isolate those sources during routine maintenance and/or major repairs.

Respirator Program (if applicable)

  • Review of the written program.
  • Review of employee fit testing.
  • Review of employee training.
  • Review of equipment maintenance.

Confined Space Entry Program (if applicable)

  • Review of the written program.
  • Review of the procedures for identification of confined spaces, permitting, air sampling, ventilation, emergency evacuation and communication systems.
  • Inspection of equipment condition.

Emergency Planning (employee only)

  • Review of the written emergency plan.
  • Verification of employee training and employee familiarity with the plan.
  • Verification of annual or periodic review/update.

 Safety Meetings

  • Review of safety meeting history.
  • Review of training logs.
  • Review of meeting subject content.

Workers’ Compensation Notifications

  • Verification of proper postings in a conspicuous place (in Spanish when applicable).
  • Verification that all written information on posters is complete.
  • Verification that the current Form 5020 (Employer’s Report of Occupational Injury or Illness) is in use, and that both original and copies are sent to CFSA. (CFSA currently forwards all originals to the California Division of Labor Statistics and Research).
  • Verification that all current employees have been provided with a copy of the Safety Handbook.

Machinery Guarding

Inspect for proper guarding on mechanical equipment and tools.

Portable Ladders

Inspect general condition of ladders.

Hand Tools and Equipment

Upon request: Inspection of the general condition of tools and equipment.

Portable Power-operated Hand Tools and Equipment

  • Inspect the general condition of power tools.
  • Inspect the condition of electrical cords on equipment.
  • Inspect for the proper guarding of moving parts.

 Abrasive Wheel Equipment (grinders)

  • Inspect the general condition of the wheel.
  • Inspect for the proper guarding and safety/PPE signage.

Compressors and Compressed Air

  • Inspect the general condition of lines, regulators, and pressure gauges.
  • Inspect for the proper guarding of belts.
  • Inspect for proper safety signage on automated systems.

Industrial Trucks (forklifts)

Verification that workplace inspections are being conducted per Cal/OSHA regulations, including:

  • Verify that the data plate is in place and legible.
  • Verify that an audible warning device is operational.
  • Inspect the condition of the overhead guard.
  • Inspect the general condition of the hydraulic system.
  • Inspect the general condition of the mast, carriage, forks, and any attachments.

Tire Inflation and Service

  • Verification that all split rim wheels are serviced per code.
  • Verification that all personnel who perform these duties are properly trained.
  • Inspect the general condition of split rim service equipment and cages.