BOILER INSPECTION AND SAFETY IN KANSAS

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319 East 16th Street, Hutchinson, Kansas 67501

The Kansas State Engine and Threshing Show Associations are affiliating to set up regulations for boiler inspection, engine-operator qualifications and safety.

The antique and old steam traction engines operated at the various Kansas shows have been in strict compliance with the Kansas Boiler Inspection Act KSA 44-901 since 1953. The Boiler Act has been administered by the Kansas Department of Labor under the very able direction of Mr. Bob Green for several years. The official boiler inspector for many years has been Claude Shriver of Lawrence, Kansas. Mr. Shriver's vast knowledge, experience, skill and patience has provided Kansas boiler owners with excellent inspection, service and advice.

Due to the economy moves by Kansas Governor Bennett in 1975, coupled with the retirement of Mr. Shriver and the difficulty of finding an experienced and qualified replacement for him lead to the discontinuance of the Kansas Boiler Act that was set up in 1953 and has so excellently provided for boiler inspection and regulations for over the last 20 years or more for Kansas.

To take the place of KSA 44-901 Boiler Act, the 1975 Senate Bill #531 has brought up for passage in the 1975 Kansas legislative session. This bill required all boilers in the state operating with over 15 pounds per square inch pressure to carry insurance and the Insurance Companies to provide the inspection. Due to the shortage of qualified insurance inspectors coupled with the high cost of year-round coverage, some antique engine boiler owners asked that the bill be amended to exclude such boilers. The original bill was amended and changed to provide for this exception and was then passed and signed into law by the Governor. The owners and advocates of this amendment had antique boiler safety concerns shifted directly to their responsibility.

The first meeting of the various Kansas show associations was in Hutchinson, Kansas. At this meeting the Tri-State Area Antique Engine & Threshers Association, Inc., of Bird City, Kansas was represented by Ernest Bressler and Ed Nelson, Jr. The Pioneer Harvest Fiesta, Inc., of Forst Scott, Kansas was represented by George Jackson and Del Seusser. The Wheat Heritage Engine and Threshing Company, Inc., of Gossell, Kansas by Deemer Unhruh and Bob Unhruh. The Southwest Kansas Antique Engine & Thresher Association, Inc., of Haviland, Kansas by Bill Arnett and V. H. Stroud. The Heart of America Engine and Model Association Inc., of McLouth, Kansas by Ed Hein and Charles Edmonds. Other associations in Kansas indicated interest in this meeting but were not in attendance. At this meeting Ernest Bressler of Bird City, Kansas was elected President, George Jackson of Ft. Scott as Vice-president and Deemer Unhruh of McPherson, Kansas as Secretary-Treasurer. 'Kansas Antique Engine Show-safety Association' was decided upon to be the name. The secretary was instructed to draw up a constitution and by-laws and to apply for incorporation papers from the state.

The Kansas engine and boiler owners did not ask to be excluded from this Act, or any consideration thereof, because of a desire to avoid boiler inspection nor safety of operation. The cost of year-round insurance coverage and the anticipated difficulty of receiving timely and adequate inspection when needed were the concerns of the owners. Antique engines and steam cars are a hobby activity in Kansas and few if any pay their way.

Boiler inspection and safety is a must for show engines-we all know that! Consequently the Show Associations of Kansas have accepted their responsibility to come up with proceedings and regulations to provide safety and to meet the requirements of insurance companies that provide liability coverage for the shows.

Items the new association must give in-depth study concerns boiler conditions, engine registrations, safe pressures, relief valves, gauges,, injectors, fusible plugs, engine operator qualifications, safe operating procedures at the shows etc. Such items must be adequately resolved to receive favorable insurance company approval.

As this Kansas Association cornea out of its study and discussions sessions and begins to function, we feel many other shows and organizations that are subscribers to this publication will be interested in what Kansas has been forced to do. The Association will be glad to share our plans and thinking with anyone interested. We will also be glad for suggestions.

Safety is our NUMBER ONE objective. We feel it can best be implemented by a good organization with good backing and participation of the Associations, boards of directors and officers. Who would know more about it than the people who own and show the equipment?