An accidental electrocution injury in Cherokee SC killed a man on Wednesday April 6, 2016. Media is reporting that a man who owned a tractor was performing work in his filed when a spray boom accidentally contacted a 7200 electrical power line. Upon contact with the power line, the tractor became energized. Media reports state that when the man touched the ground, he was electrocuted and died. This case is a tragedy and sounds like a freak accident that rarely happens.
Media reports indicate that the accidental electrocution injury occurred at 1:45PM on the Cliffside Highway. Apparently, the man was spraying his wheat field when the contact occurred. According to media reports who were quoting an assistant coroner, the man tried to get down from the tractor while holding onto the rails of the tractor and when he made contact with the ground, he was electrocuted. It sounds as if from the media description of the event, that the man became a circuit for the electricity when he stepped on the ground while still holding onto the tractor ladder rails.
Providers of electricity have a legal duty to make sure that the electricity is provided in a safe manner. Electricity is very dangerous to be around. Its also known as “chained lightning”. From a layperson’s view, the propensities of electricity are unknown. So in a perfect world, its best to stay away from electrical lines.
However, people and electrical lines do interact and power companies should take care to foresee situations where humans and power lines interact. There are numerous methods of protection that a power company can take to eliminate human injury and death from inadvertent power line contact. Some of the protective devices include protective fuses that will shut down the line; protective coating on the lines so that the power line is not able to conduct electricity through materials like the wood of trees.
Electricity or “chained lightning” is dangerous to be around; but often times people do not understand the high level of danger that a line presents. Power companies should take steps to insulate their lines and envision scenarios where unknowing people might make contact with a line-and then re-design away the dangerous situation.