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      Fair officials say safety is first

      Workers set up a ride at the state fair Monday. / Adam Pinsker

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - The countdown to the South Carolina State Fair nears its final hours as workers spend Monday putting the finishing touches on rides and exhibits.

      A carnival worker from Florida was electrocuted while setting up a ride last year. He was a 20 year veteran of North American Midway Entertainment, the company responsible for setting up the rides.

      State fair General Manager Gary Goodman says they are doing what ever it takes to make sure there are no accidents in this and future fairs.

      "Safety is our biggest concern, and we have shifted our dates back, a few years back so we would give our carnival a little bit more time to set up."

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      Ride inspectors are currently on site and will be checking rides before and during the state fair.

      "All the way from trip hazards to fasteners, aesthetics, lighting, make sure everything is still strapped on properly," said General Manager of North American Midway Tony Diaz.

      All ride operators are certified and overseen by the company's safety department.

      Fair officials also taking precautions outside of the rides Goodman says 24-hour surveillance cameras are now running on the fair grounds and in the parking lots:

      "We're really already seeing how much we can improve our service to our customers by utilizing these things and putting out fires before they come," said Goodman.

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