While you want to keep your grounds and clubhouse looking attractive and being fit for the best golfer, safety can’t be forgotten. The employees of golf courses must pay particular attention to the many “hazards” that can injure a golfer or employee, or risk opening up the facilities to legal and financial problems.
Every golf course needs written safety procedures that guide its operation, including standard operating procedures, long-range planning, and an orientation and training manual for employees.
Take time to educate your staff on equipment
Educate your staff on the proper operation of all equipment they will be using. Training should include reading and understanding the operator manual for any piece of equipment that an individual will operate. Have your staff review these materials and sign off on their training to protect the business from liability in the future.
It is the responsibility of the staff to ensure safe conditions on the golf course. All employees should have training to look for unsafe conditions including uneven steps, sink holes, low-hanging limbs, or areas that may present a slip/fall accident. Train your employees to report unsafe conditions immediately to their supervisors.
Additionally, do you have a course ranger to help monitor player safety? Do you have a procedure to “sweep” the course of players in case of dangerous conditions or inclement weather?
Make sure that all cart drivers possess a valid driver’s license, that paths are free of debris, and that you have a formal maintenance plan in place for carts.
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. When using chemical treatments:
- 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.
- Always use required proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Provide PPE to employees and inspect it carefully before each use to make sure it is in good condition.
- Notify employees, golfers and others where pesticides have been applied if a potential hazard exists. Post signs as appropriate.
Do your kitchen and food service areas follow basic restaurant guidelines for cleanliness, food storage and ventilation? When in doubt, contact your Merchants’ agent or restaurant safety professional to ensure you meet food service standards.
The pro shop area should be clear of hazards, clean and displays should be organized.
In the event of an accident
When an accident happens, employees should follow the procedures outlined in the written documents. First responders and others on the scene will need to fill out a written accident report. Such a report will indicate what happened and what the area looked like at the point of their arrival and dealing with the accident. Items in the accident report can and will be used later by either the insurance companies or legal counsel. It is important that forms be filled out accurately, this includes: accurate dates/times, any corrective actions to prevent future occurrences, and photos or video, if possible.
Being proactive with safety leads to an enjoyable experience for visitors and a safe environment for workers