Safety at the golf course is often overlooked until accidents or problems arise. From keeping your course clean to making sure your employees are well cared for, you can create a safe and successful business with some common sense tips.
- Make sure walkways are correctly marked
- Make sure staff are trained to look for potential problems on the course that could result in accidents, such as low-hanging tree limbs, uneven steps, and areas that could cause a trip or fall.
- Staff should be trained to report to their supervisor any dangerous conditions immediately.
Ensure Worker Safety
Supervisors of golf courses should make sure to:
- Maintain an on-going training program for staff in the use of all equipment, with sign-offs and documented training methods
- 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
Heat Illness Prevention
Golf course workers often spend a lot of time in the heat and direct sun, so make sure you keep them safe and protected.
- Stay alert to the weather: During a heat wave, people are at greater risk of getting sick. Workers may need to drink more water and take more breaks.
- Early symptoms of heat illness include fatigue; heavy sweating; headache; cramps; dizziness; high pulse rate; and nausea or vomiting
- Life-threatening heat illness symptoms include high body temperature; red, hot, dry skin; confusion; convulsions; and fainting
- Shaded areas should be provided for rest breaks.
- Proper clothing for the heat includes loose fitting, light-weight and light-colored cotton clothes, a wide-brimmed hat or cap, and a bandana.
- Workers should drink water instead of coffee, alcohol or soft drinks. They should be encouraged to drink frequently and should not wait until they are thirsty to drink.
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.
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.
With attention to detail and some careful planning, you can help to ensure a safe and pleasant experience for guests and employees.