www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Bias prevents civil discussion of education issues -9/18/2014, 9:35 AM

Immigration is American -9/18/2014, 9:35 AM

Costs to states not expanding Medicaid -9/17/2014, 10:14 AM

Medicare threats -9/17/2014, 10:12 AM

Green fields in northwest Kansas -9/17/2014, 10:12 AM

Consolidation by starvation -9/16/2014, 9:54 AM

School mergers tricky -9/16/2014, 9:54 AM

Hotel tipping -9/16/2014, 9:54 AM

Abuse video revealed nothing we didn't know -9/15/2014, 9:20 AM

Lessons from 13 years ago -9/15/2014, 9:20 AM

The zero option -9/14/2014, 1:31 PM

Why branding ISIS matters -9/14/2014, 1:31 PM

School efficiency -9/14/2014, 1:31 PM

Favors and loot for sale -9/12/2014, 10:10 AM

The 'college experience' -9/12/2014, 10:10 AM

Ellis schools -9/11/2014, 10:10 AM

Hold on, Mr. President -9/11/2014, 9:26 AM

The best bathroom -9/11/2014, 9:26 AM

The day the world stood still -9/11/2014, 9:26 AM

No one can play your part -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

Playing candidate dress-up -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

Congress at work -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

Schmidt is the answer -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

The liabilities of cannabis use -9/8/2014, 9:21 AM

Downtown decision -9/8/2014, 9:21 AM

Why are red states so far behind? -9/8/2014, 9:20 AM

Taylor's next move -9/5/2014, 10:16 AM

Consider trees to spruce up yard -9/5/2014, 10:15 AM

Washington takes action to reform VA -9/5/2014, 10:15 AM

Umbehr stands out -9/4/2014, 12:25 PM

Leadership education -- it's not a scam -9/4/2014, 12:24 PM

Not supporting Brownback's re-election -9/4/2014, 12:23 PM

A fair fair debate -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Suicide in today's age -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Regulation overreach -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Sharpton, Kobach's common ground -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

In charge of all -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Pocket-book debate? -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Educating voters on education -9/2/2014, 9:33 AM

Crazy election season in Kansas -9/2/2014, 9:33 AM

An erosion of authenticity -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Blasphemy, free speech and the 'black mass' -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Labor Day -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Flexing muscles -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

Blacks must confront reality -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

The leadership scam -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

Green monster -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

The resurrection of Rick Perry -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

Senate campaign -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

Right to be heard? -8/26/2014, 10:08 AM

Over-covering Ferguson -8/26/2014, 10:07 AM

Figuring out the tax debate -8/26/2014, 10:07 AM

An obvious ploy -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Not-so-beautiful sunset -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Cannabis therapy -- Why bother? -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Business climate of Kansas -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

James Foley: Courage in the face of danger -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

Festering wound -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

Big banks settling -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

Tuition pays for this -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

College textbook scam -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

Policing a riot -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Evil strikes back -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Art appreciation -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Abuse of power -8/20/2014, 8:22 AM

Ferguson police arrest reporters for reporting -8/20/2014, 8:21 AM

Don't 'got milk' -8/20/2014, 8:21 AM

Another road map to success? -8/19/2014, 10:05 AM

It's the abuse of power, stupid -8/19/2014, 10:04 AM

Riots in Ferguson, and what they mean -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

One of billions -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

The GOP presents: Barack-nado -8/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Media and Missouri: What's going on? -8/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Answer the bell -8/15/2014, 8:58 AM

Get ready for denials -8/15/2014, 8:49 AM

Mental illness -8/15/2014, 8:49 AM

Mindless drones -8/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Can-do attitude -8/14/2014, 9:27 AM

'Poor door' -- a symbol of a truth we all know -8/13/2014, 9:19 AM

Eyeing the Ogallala Aquifer -8/13/2014, 9:19 AM

The slacker congress -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

CIA vs. Senate -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

The cannabis conundrum -- we against us -8/11/2014, 8:55 AM

The debate is over -8/11/2014, 8:54 AM

The 'Almost' Revolution -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

Is cross a history lesson or state religion? -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

Another downgrade -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

State economy plays critical role in the future of FHSU -8/10/2014, 2:09 PM

Building on past successes for a stronger future -8/10/2014, 2:09 PM

Will Palin's channel rival Comedy Central? -8/8/2014, 9:25 AM

Western anti-Semitism -8/8/2014, 9:25 AM

Patrolmen without borders -8/7/2014, 10:13 AM

Not a choice -8/7/2014, 10:12 AM

Ebola politics -8/7/2014, 10:12 AM

Too few voters -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

A special breed -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

A license to vote -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

Selfies in Auschwitz -- and why it's wrong -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

Election turnout -8/5/2014, 9:19 AM

Dairy's closing -8/5/2014, 9:19 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Farm safety around electrical power lines

Published on -7/30/2013, 9:47 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

In June, a 37-year-old Stanton County farmer died inside a grain cart while preparing for wheat harvest. A tarp (containing a metal rod) in the grain cart blew up and touched an over-head power line electrocuting him.

Without a doubt this falls in the category of a freak accident. There's probably no way this young farmer would have thought a strong gust of wind would whip the tarp up into an overhead power line and kill him. Still, friends and neighbors in his community say they were extremely aware of where they parked trucks, tractors and other farm machinery after this tragedy.

Since 1980, 26 Kansas farmers and stockmen have died by electrocution. Most of these deaths resulted in contact with overhead power lines on the farm.

No one likes to think or talk about the dangers of electricity and the consequences. Still, it's important to be aware of potential hazards -- especially in agriculture.

"Many farms in Kansas have power lines strung on poles crossing farm land and in some cases buried under ground; it's important to be aware of electrical facts and principles and observe safety precautions," says Holly Higgins, Kansas Farm Bureau safety director.

Higgins suggests farmers, ranchers and anyone who works around electric power lines consider and always keep the following facts in the back of their mind.

Most overhead power lines have no protective insulation. Any physical or equipment contact with them could be dangerous or lethal.

Non-metallic materials such as lumber, tree limbs, tires, ropes, straw and hay can conduct electricity depending on moisture content and surface contamination.

Electricity always seeks the easiest and shortest path to the ground.

People can be electrocuted by simply coming too close to a power line. Electricity can arc or jump between a wire and a conducting object such as a ladder or truck.

Always stay a safe distance away from power lines -- 10 feet or more, especially for high-voltage lines.

When people or objects touch or come to close to a power line, there is an instant flow of electricity through them to the ground.

The flow of electricity through the human body can burn, severely injure or cause death. It takes less than one ampere of electricity to kill a person.

When electricity flows into the ground, it can electrocute anyone who comes close. Stay at least 30 feet or more away from fallen wires. Also, if you see equipment or a person in contact with a power line, be aware that the ground may be electrified and be dangerous to bystanders.

"It's important we learn from others' mistakes," Higgins says. "Always think before you act and remain vigilant about your surroundings and possible safety hazards."

Think before you move farm machinery, hoppers, bins, sprayer booms, cultivator wings, grain augers, bale elevators, scaffolds and portable buildings around or under power lines.

Look before you raise or carry ladders, poles, rods, irrigation pipes or eaves troughs near power lines.

Check clearance before you raise dump truck boxes or front-end loaders.

Never touch power lines with tools or lift power lines by hand or with lumber.

Never clear storm-damaged trees, limbs or other debris that are touching or are close to fallen power lines.

Avoid cutting trees or pruning limbs that may fall on power lines. Hire a specialist to take care of such hazardous projects.

Never try to move fallen electrical wires. Never leave a vehicle when you are within 30 feet of fallen wires.

Educate children, young and seasonal workers about power line hazards, Higgins advises. Point out where they're located and remind workers about the importance of keeping a safe distance especially if they will be operating equipment or handling long objects.

Hoxie native John Schlageck is a leading commentator on agriculture and rural Kansas who writes for the Kansas Farm Bureau.

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos