Tips to Keep Workers and Guests Safe On Your Golf Course
In 2021, one in three Americans over the age of six either “played golf (on-course or off-course), followed golf on television or online, read about the game, or listened to a golf-related podcast,” according to the National Golf Foundation. Many Americans consider golf a favorite activity, and in recent years, the sport has even increased in popularity!
If you own a golf course, it’s incredibly important to be aware of the potential dangers of the sport, however. With the right attention to detail, awareness, and preparedness, you can help to ensure your golfers and workers have a safe and pleasant experience on your golf course, and your business will thrive!
Here are some basic safety tips for all golf course owners and managers to consider:
Golf Course Safety:
Emergency Preparedness for Workers
Workers on a golf course keep things operating smoothly and safely for all guests. Supervisors of golf courses should make sure to:
- Maintain ongoing training program for staff to ensure the proper use of all equipment
- Have a written emergency-response plan
- Properly store and apply pesticides and other chemicals to meet state/federal guidelines
- Have a well-written safety plan, following OSHA guidelines
- Have fully supplied first-aid kits
- Have a method to properly store fuel, motor oil and lubricants
- Supply personal protective equipment and know the regulations surrounding its use
For more on employee safety training and planning, read Golf Course Management magazine’s blog post, Ten safety mistakes you didn’t know you were making on your golf course.
While golfing is a great way to spend time outdoors, it’s important to remember the dangers of excessive heat and sun exposure. Workers at a golf course in particular are at a higher risk of prolonged exposure to heat and sunlight, so it is vital that they know the importance of protecting themselves from the sun and heat — and the signs of illness from either.
Anyone on a golf course for an extended period of time — workers and players alike — should make sure they:
- Monitor the weather.
- Take breaks from the sun and heat.
- Drink water.
- Wear a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing — loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored.
- Reapply sunscreen often.
Too much heat and too much sun can have dangerous consequences. Everyone should know the early symptoms of heat illness: dizziness, headache, heavy sweating, fatigue, faster pulse, nausea or vomiting, and cramps.
View our Stay Safe and Healthy in the Summer Heat blog to learn more about the signs and dangers of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Safety When Using Pesticides
The use of pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals are a necessary part of golf course maintenance, but it is management’s responsibility to ensure the safety of workers and guests on the course. OSHA requires that personal protective equipment designed for chemical application must be used anytime a worker is exposed to a chemical. This means that all crew mixing or applying chemicals must wear some level of protective clothing, such as:
- Body covering such as coveralls, pants, and jacket, or a Tyvek suit
- Safety glasses and/or face shield
- Chemical resistant gloves
- Chemical resistant shoes
In addition, when using pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals on the grounds:
- Comply with all local, state, and federal pesticide laws and regulations.
- Make sure staff is properly trained (and licensed, if required) in the manufacturers’ instructions for proper application, storage and disposal.
- Notify employees, golfers and others where pesticides have been applied, and post signs as appropriate.
For more information, read Chemical Safety on the Golf Course.
Golf Cart Safety
Golf carts are a part of every golf course operation, and employees and visitors alike must take care when operating them. Make sure your employees and guests follow these guidelines:
- Inspect each cart daily for problems including but not limited to tires, steering, and breaking.
- Never exceed the number of available seats for the number of passengers
- While the vehicle is moving, drivers and passengers must remain seated.
- Reduce speed to compensate for inclines, other carts and weather conditions.
Protecting Your Golf Course With Proper Coverage
Golf course insurance protects your business, and having the right coverage keeps operations running smoothly.