Play it safe at outdoor sports facilities
There is much to think about as athletes, coaches, parents and others gear up for a new sports season this spring. Although physical safety is often the first concern associated with playing sports, there are other factors to consider. During game preparation, teardown and field maintenance, Safe Electricity urges everyone to be aware of the power that flows into ball fields or other sporting venues.
Anytime electrical equipment and overhead power lines are present, so is the potential for shock hazards. Just last month, a Florida high school baseball coach and his wife were killed while replacing a scoreboard at a hurricane-damaged field complex.
Corey Crum, 39, head baseball coach at Liberty County High School, was electrocuted when the boom lift he was using made contact with overhead power lines. His wife, Shana, who rushed to help her husband, was also electrocuted. In addition, the couple’s teenage son was shocked as he attempted to help his parents.
“ … Coach Corey Crum, and his wife Shana were tragically taken from us on Sunday, March 10th. Their teenage son, Chase, was injured as well but thankfully is expected to make a full physical recovery,” it stated on a crowdfunding page to benefit the family.
Safe Electricity reminds everyone to keep other outdoor electrical dangers in mind — the potential for lightning strikes as well as hidden electrical dangers in bodies of water for instance.
Any outdoor activity that has a power source or that is near power lines can present a potential hazard. That includes repairing electrical equipment, which should be done by a qualified electrician.
“Be sure to look up and around for power lines before raising a ladder or tall tool or using lift equipment — any task that could take you or an object you are holding within 10 feet of a line,” says Molly Hall, executive director of the Energy Education Council.
Other potential hazards include electrical equipment exposed to weather conditions, such as electric panels, conduit and wiring, and outlets. Report worn or damaged equipment, cracked wire insulation, and outlets that do not have covers or GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) so that repairs can be made.
“Be aware and take precautions any time you are working or playing near power lines or electrical equipment,” Hall added.
Like the Florida scoreboard-related tragedy, accidents involving electricity can happen quickly and without warning. Play it safe at outdoor sports facilities this season.