Fairs Year-round Information                                                                              August 2018  
back  In this issue of fyi:
  • Money Matters:  Please Do Not Send Cash Through the Mail to CFSA
  • Don't Trip Up:  Prevent Trips and Falls by Walking Your Fairgrounds Through Your Patrons' Eyes  
Please Do Not Mail Cash  When Sending Special Events Program Coverage Payments to CFSA

When collecting payments for Special Events Program receipts, it is preferable that you ask the facility user/renter for a Cashier's Check, Money Order or credit card. 

If the patron is only able to pay with cash, please do not send the cash through the mail to CFSA. Instead, please issue CFSA a fair check for the receipt amount. Not only will this help prevent any tampering with the mail while it's en route to CFSA, it will also help avoid putting anyone on the spot should a payment be accidentally short or not received.

To learn more about CFSA's Easy Pay credit card program, please contact Lianne Lewellen at 916/263-6145 or  llewellen@cfsa.org.

Don't Trip Up: Prevent Trips and Falls by Taking a Proactive Approach: Check All Walking Surfaces and Make Repairs! 
One of the many benefits of belonging to CFSA's general liability risk-sharing pool is the ability for every member fair to positively influence its own annual pool fees and, at the same time, the fees of  all other pool member fairs as well. One of the most significant ways of doing this is by proactively identifying and repairing or removing potential hazards before a patron takes a spill.

25% of CFSA's current open general liability claims 
are related to patron trips and falls.  

When asked about the most frequent causes of patron injuries affecting the General Liability pool, Tom Amberson, CFSA's Risk Department manager, responded emphatically: "Trips and falls." And, he added, "Claims stemming from a trip and fall can be very, very costly to settle."  

Walking While Distracted
Fair visitors are often distracted by the sights and sounds that make up the fairtime experience. Add in crowds, vendors, roaming entertainment, food/alcohol consumption, and the excitement of the moment, and paying attention to where they are walking or the terrain they are walking over can be the last thing on a visitor's mind.

Tom noted that fairs are doing a great job of controlling trip hazards such as power cords, trailer tongues and sprinkler heads. As a result, CFSA is seeing few claims involving these types of obstacles. Instead, he continued, it's the walking surfaces themselves that are behind the majority of the injuries fair patrons are reporting. 

Severe hazard created by an asphalt to concrete transition

Transitions with changes in elevation such as when crossing from asphalt to cement, from cement to grass or from cement to dirt, should be looked at, with priority given to areas that see the most foot traffic along with areas where people gather such as in food courts, parking lots, concert venues, entry gates and concourses. In addition, look for ruts or deformations in walking surfaces, along with below-eye-level hazards including cut pipes, fence posts, movable barriers and temporary bollards used to control road traffic.

Be Proactive: Walk Your Fairgrounds Through the Eyes of Your Patrons. 
While asking visitors to pay more attention to where they are walking would prove difficult, asking fair staff to pay more attention to the condition of the walking surfaces they travel on daily is within your control and most importantly, is a part of everyone's responsibility. 

One of the often used materials for fairground walkways, concourses and parking lots is asphalt.  It's affordable, relatively easy to install, suitable for foot traffic and also capable of supporting vehicles and heavy equipment typically used on fairgrounds. Asphalt also has a relatively short lifespan and its deterioration, caused by everything from everyday traffic to sun, rain and oxidation, begins as soon as the asphalt is installed. New asphalt flexes to withstand heavy loads; older asphalt loses that flex and can crack and crumble even under normal loads. And it's the cracks and crumbling that cause the sometimes subtle, sometimes very obvious elevation changes that can result in trips and falls.

Surface cracks can range from single cracks to the more sizable fatigue cracks, also known as alligator cracks as they resemble an alligator's hide. Although both are trip and fall hazards, it's the single cracks that have been a major cause of injuries, both historically and currently. Even a minimal elevation change of a  half  inch or less from one side of the crack to the other is enough to catch the toe of a shoe and cause a fall. To make matters worse, people are less likely to notice a single crack. On the other hand, alligator cracks quickly become more and more hazardous as the asphalt deteriorates - chunks of asphalt can be dislodged, for instance, creating potholes among a sea of irregular cracks and slippery asphalt gravel. 
A single crack caused by tree roots can catch the toe of a shoe even if one side of the crack is raised a half inch or less
Alligator cracks are especially hazardous when large chunks of asphalt are dislodged creating potholes among the cracks
For a detailed explanation of the different types of asphalt deterioration, take a look at this online article in  Asphalt Magazine.

While conducting prefair, fairtime and between event inspections, CFSA's risk control specialists also report that tripping hazards can result from the best of intentions: repaving efforts to repair cracks and potholes, as well as asphalt repairs made after underground utility repairs and improvements. One  such potential hazard often pointed out by the specialists is the unintentional creation of uneven walking surfaces caused by raised asphalt overlays around utility vaults and utility vaults set above grade. In addition, when a utility cut needs to be made into asphalt, proper construction practices such as the use of T-section patches can help ensure a seamless repair. 

For more information about how to make safe, lasting asphalt repairs after underground utility work, please visit  www.pavementinteractive.org.   

An uneven walking surface is the result of this less-than-ideal utility vault repaving   
A great repair. Asphalt is level around the utility vault and from new to older asphalt

Whatever the causes of potential trip and fall hazards on your fairgrounds, there is a solution to help mitigate the hazard before someone stumbles over it. As with any safety endeavor, prevention is the key. And prevention is where CFSA excels! 

CFSA's risk control specialists are available to conduct facility and fairgrounds inspections focusing on all walking areas, including parking lots. They will help you pinpoint potential hazards, suggest economical maintenance and repair solutions, and can even assist you with a priority timeline. Your fair's risk control specialist can also provide a history of any trip and fall incidents on your fairgrounds to help identify potential trouble spots. Make sure, too, to ask about a trip and fall checklist that can help fair staff conduct regular surface inspections on their own.  Contact your risk control specialist directly or contact Tom Amberson at tamberson@cfsa.org ,  916/263-6180, to schedule an inspection and staff training session. 

questionsInquiring Minds Want to Know...
Have a Question You'd Like to Ask  Someone at CFSA but Haven't Had a Chance? Well, Here's Your Chance...

Maybe you'd like to know more about the claims litigation process or more about the benefits of participating in the CFSA risk-sharing pool program. Or, perhaps after reading the article about trips and falls in this issue of  fyi,  you'd like to know the least expensive way to repair a crack in your sidewalk. Whatever your question, please send it to Melissa Thurber, mthurber@cfsa.org, and we'll include your question* and the answer in a future issue of our newsletter. Chances are, if you have a question, someone else has the same question, too.

*We won't identify you or your fair (unless you want to be identified, of course).  

Thank you for reading the  fyi newsletter. If there is something we can do to make  fyi more valuable to you, please  let us know: mthurber@cfsa.org.