Indiana has improvements to make to State Fair

Sep 6, 2012

Investigators examining last year’s State Fair stage collapse said Indiana has made significant progress in preventing future accidents. They also said the state still has work to do.

Representatives from Thornton Tomasetti and Witt and Associates, the two independent firms that conducted stage collapse investigations, reviewed their findings Wednesday before a legislative study committee.  They also gave brief evaluations of the temporary regulations the state has adopted since the stage collapse. 

Witt and Associates building code expert Anne VonWaller said the state’s safety measures are much better than they were a year ago.

"It is requiring engineered plans," VonWaller said. "It’s identifying the owner to have a lot of responsibility for what’s going on here.”

VonWeller said she’d like to see safety regulations with fewer exemptions and exceptions. 

State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson, who helped develop the state’s temporary regulations,  said VonWeller’s recommendations are reasonable and that the state doesn’t have far to go to comply.

“The rule itself has done a great deal to cover, the vast majority of what was intended by the legislature and the commission when the rule, the emergency rule was written,” Greeson said.

Witt and Associates also recommended the state ensure enforcement of its regulation is supported with adequate financial resources.