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K-State Research and Extension
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Manhattan, KS 66506-3401
785-532-5820
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May 15, 2018

Tree Trimming - Kenny's Story

By Sandra Hoffman

Photo, by Jeff Cooper/Salina Journal

Kenny was a beloved employee who worked at Kansas State University Salina Polytechnic Campus. He was a member of the Facilities Maintenance team where he performed a variety of landscape and maintenance duties. On September 18, 2011, at age 51, he tragically died. The incident occurred when he was cutting down a tree on his farm in rural Lincoln County. Left behind was his wife, Shirley Jean; sons Christopher and James; and daughters Gloria and Laura. Below are several memories of those who knew and loved Kenny:

Fellow Co-Worker writes:

Darrell Betzner Sr. {9/21/11} -- I keep hoping my phone is going to ring and you will be on the other end... or I'll look up and you will be coming into my office at work... I know we became friends in the most improbable way... but no one can take that away from me ever... miss you big guy, no one will ever know how much you meant to me and my family... Love Ya... enough said..........

Kenny’s Niece writes:

Amy Ferguson {9/22/11} -- Uncle Kenny you will be missed. I remember when I was little and you used to always tickle my feet until I laughed so hard that I could not take it anymore. Will also miss the phone calls from you asking if Randy could help on the house. You were always there when someone needed help. Amy, Randy, Cole and Mary Ferguson will miss you very much. Love you

The College of Agriculture continues to work diligently to implement the EH&S program elements established by the Kansas Department of Labor Safety and Health Award for Public Employees (SHAPE) program. This comprehensive approach focuses on the personal well-being of each worker. The standards addressed are injury prevention methods for work or home.

Do not allow Kenny’s incident to fade as a distant memory. Keep his memory alive, use it as an opportunity to train others on the safe work practices to be employed while tree trimming. Here are two excellent resources that you can use for training:

Solutions for Tree Care Hazards: OSHA Publication 3940, https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3940.pdf.

Tree Trimming Safety: K-State Research and Extension Knowledge for Life, https://www.osha.gov/dte/grant_materials/fy09/sh-19503-09/tree_trimming_manual.pdf.

Remember the Dead-Fight for the Living!