Spring is the time when greenkeepers and golf club management really need to be on their toes when it comes to health and safety (http://www.golfclubhealthandsafety.com/news/24/32/Golf-Clubs-Too-Green-About-Health-and-Safety-In-Spring.html) To help point you in the direction of just some of the risks you need to be considering, Gauntlet Golf Risk Management's health and safety team have put together these 10 tips.


 1.     Fertiliser handling      


Golf clubs should ensure greenkeepers are trained in the handling of fertilisers and pesticides and know how to use these substances, according to their instructions and the spreading/application equipment used.


 2.     Fertiliser/Pesticide storage


Fertilisers and pesticides must be stored according to their instructions, in suitable packaging/canisters and not in contact with any sources of ignition or other chemicals that could trigger a chemical reaction.


3.     Mowers and Ride-on Equipment


Ground conditions in early spring can be slippy or even icy and may not offer stability to a piece of mechanical equipment, particularly on slopes or near watercourses.  Greenkeepers should take extreme care, to avoid the mower/equipment sliding or toppling.    


4.     Water storage/Legionella


If any water has been stored in any sort of system or pipework that has not been used over winter, there is a danger that it may have become a breeding ground for Legionella.  Call experts in if you feel this may be the case or, if emptying a hose, gently squeeze water out, without fitting any spray-head, preferably wearing a face-mask whilst doing so.


5.     Chain-saws and hand-tools


Greenkeepers must operate hand-tools in a safe manner and know how to use equipment.  Working at height should not be undertaken by one greenkeeper alone.  Tools must be checked for electrical as well as operational safety and have guards applied when not in use. Greenkeepers should be provided with a means of summoning help, should some sort of accident occur whilst they are on the course.


6.     New employees


New staff have to be given a full health and safety induction and be trained in the proper use of any equipment they are asked to operate.  Such training needs to be fully documented.  Refresher training for existing staff is also a good idea, particularly when this can be affordably provided by using online training options like Gauntlet Golf’s e-learning modules.


7.     Course changes


If the course layout has been altered over winter, a new health and safety audit will be required, as new hazards may have been created both for the golfer themselves and other course users, such as members of the public, walkers with rights of way and greenkeepers


8.      New members


New members need to be brought up-to-speed with course etiquette and the hazards that exist on the course.  Just like new employees, they need an induction.


9.      New menu


New menus must be analysed for allergen control reasons and both kitchen and front-of-house catering staff must ensure they are aware of any allergens within certain dishes.  Cross-contamination controls must be put in place if any new allergens have been introduced.


10.    New facilities


Any new facilities that have been created over the winter period should be thoroughly audited to identify the new health and safety risks that they present and whether or not they impact on the existing health and safety risk assessment and procedures.


If you need further help with changes that may alter your health and safety compliance, please call Gauntlet Golf on 0113 244 8686 or read more by downloading the team’s white paper, ‘The Changing Face of Golf’, at the home page of www.golfclubhealthandsafety.com