Carnivals and Fairs
Carnivals and fairs are a lot of fun, but they also present unusual risks that must be effectively managed. To help you ensure a safe time for all, please consider the following recommendations.
Contracts and Insurance
The first item on your “to do” list should be to notify Angelina Cannady at the Diocese of Trenton (609-403-7224) about your event. Please note that some activities and equipment, such as the use of trampolines, are excluded from our insurance coverage. Be sure to speak with the Office of Insurance about the specific activities you will be engaged in and equipment you will be using.
Allow yourself ample time to meet state requirements (please see the website link and phone number for the NJ Department of Community Affairs, Carnival Amusement Ride & Safety Program under the "Amusement Rides" section). You must also meet the Diocesan Child Protection guidelines.
Obtain all the necessary town/city permits, where applicable. When using vendors, always insist on a contract and be sure it includes a Hold Harmless and Indemnification clause, which protects your Pastor, parish/school, ministry, the Diocese of Trenton and Bishop David O’Connell from claims resulting from the contractor’s services.
In its simplest form, the clause states, “[Contractor or Vendor] shall defend, indemnify and hold harmless [your Pastor/parish/ministry], the Diocese of Trenton and Bishop David O’Connell from any and all actual or alleged claims, liability, loss, damage and/or injury arising out of or incident to any acts, omissions, negligence or willful misconduct of [contractor or vendor] and its personnel, employees, or agents.”
Staffing Considerations (Ideas to Consider)
- Assess your staffing needs and resources; make certain you have recruited enough staff and volunteers. Allow sufficient time for training prior to the event, and be sure all volunteers and staff members are familiar with safety rules and guidelines.
- Make sure that during the event at least one staff member or volunteer is trained in CPR and first aid.
- Your volunteers should have fun too! Rotate shifts at regular intervals to make sure all can participate in the festivities.
- Make sure that all licenses are obtained for raffles and 50/50 drawings and funds are properly segregated.
- Make arrangements for site security as needed including police & EMS presence during carnival hours if warranted.
The State of NJ requires an annual inspection of all amusement rides. Each ride should have a certificate of operation posted on the ride. Look for a green sticker and check the year of inspection. This ensures the ride was inspected and passed the stringent safety regulations required by the state.
The operator of the ride must have a permit to operate the ride in New Jersey. Before contracting with a vendor, confirm that the vendor has a permit for the ride by going to the following:
Or call the Department of Community Affairs, Carnival Amusement Ride and Safety Program: 609-292-2097.
ALWAYS request a Certificate of Insurance from the carnival ride vendor. The certificate should evidence general liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 per occurrence, auto liability of $1,000,000 combined single limit and workers’ compensation insurance of $500,000 per occurrence for bodily injury and should name your Pastor/parish/school, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton and Bishop David O’Connell as "additional insureds" for the scheduled event. Discuss the adequacy of the coverage with Sandra Zanardi (Willis): 404-224-5076.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, foodborne illnesses increase during the summer months, mainly because people are cooking and eating outside at places like fairs and festivals. The usual safety controls that a kitchen provides may not be available when cooking and dining at these events. It is important that you educate staff and volunteers to take food safety steps that are necessary to prevent illness.
Try to cook-serve, which means limiting the amount of food preparation performed off-site. The CDC publishes a booklet to help volunteers prepare and serve food safely for large groups, such as church dinners and community gatherings. The booklet is available in English and Spanish. To download the booklet, please go to our website: www.dotinsurance.org and go to the “Loss Prevention Tab” on the top of the page and select “Resources.”
Try to include a person trained in food safety throughout the planning process, as well as have them present at the fair.
If using food vendors, make sure they are properly certified for safe food preparation and handling. Vending carts must comply with safe food storage and handling procedures in accordance with New Jersey Department of Health regulations.
If using a food vendor, you MUST obtain a Certificate of Insurance evidencing general liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 per occurrence, auto liability of $1,000,000 combined single limit and workers’ compensation insurance of $500,000 per occurrence for bodily injury and should name your Pastor/parish/school, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton and Bishop David O’Connell as "additional insureds" for the scheduled event. Discuss the adequacy of the coverage with Sandra Zanardi (Willis): 404-224-5076.
Site Safety (Ideas to Consider)
- Access to the site should be controlled and vehicles should be restricted.
- Proper lighting is essential. Be sure grounds and pathways have adequate lighting at night.
- Look out for things that may obstruct pathways and cause tripping hazards, such as extension cords and stakes that are not placed properly in the ground.
- Make sure all rules, such as minimum age and weight requirements, are clearly posted on each ride.
- Require that emergency plans be posted, along with the phone number and directions to the nearest hospital emergency room.
- To prevent theft of funds, ensure that two or more people remain with the cash box at all times. Follow rules regarding Internal Financial Controls as required by the Diocese of Trenton.
Setting Up/Taking Down (Safety Tips)
- When setting up or dismantling, use appropriate equipment that is in good condition, such as ladders with all the rungs intact.
- Never stand on the top rung of a ladder. If more than half way up a ladder, make sure there is a second person on the ground holding the ladder secure.
- Check and inspect dollies before use.
- Be mindful of proper lifting techniques: keep the load as close to your body as possible. Let your legs do the work. Straighten your back, lifting from your legs, not your back.
Accidents and Injuries
- In advance, designate a staff member or volunteer to document any incidents or accidents that occur during the carnival or fair.
- After the site is set up and before the carnival is open to the public, take photos of the grounds with the rides and vendor stations in tact. Or you can do a rough sketch on paper. In the event of an accident, the map or photos will be helpful in documenting where the accident occurred.
- Immediately report any injury or accident to PMA Management Corporation: 800-482-9826.