Did you know the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 expects golf clubs – just like other entities – to implement a safety culture? In the eyes of the law, there will be someone in your club deemed to be the person responsible for creating such a culture, be that a chairman, captain, officer of the club/policymaker, or the owner of a proprietary golf club. Could that be you?

  1. If you are creating temporary greens, to allow for maintenance repair on your usual greens, make sure all members are aware of this, before they go out to play.
  2. If new pathways are being laid, make sure the greenkeepers have had the right training, in areas such as lifting and manual handling, as strains, hand and foot injuries and back pain could easily occur.
  3. If giving the course a feed through nutrient distribution, or using pesticides in certain areas, make sure greenkeepers know how to handle and store the various substances safely, keeping some stored apart, if necessary, ensuring the contents cannot spill or be ignited by a heat source and making sure that all are labelled correctly.
  4. If you move from a triplex mower to a pedestrian mower, ensure staff have been trained in its correct use and are aware what footwear to wear and how to avoid injury to feet, fingers and hands.
  5. If carrying out bunker repairs, make sure workers do not put themselves in a position where they could fall backwards into the bunker.
  6. Warn greenkeepers about the dangers of working at height on slippery or wet surfaces or ground and in fading light. Make sure they know how to operate equipment correctly and apply guards to it when not in use.
  7. If you have lone workers out on the course, make sure they are provided with a walkie talkie, so they can raise help if necessary.
  8. Keep players off the course if it is flooded in places, or icy and slippery.  Make sure you check that features such as barriers around water hazards and warning signs are still in place, if heavy rain or winds have swept across the course.
  9. If you are using traps or poisons to deal with pests, make sure members cannot come into contact with these, if they lose a ball in the trees or rough. Put up warning signs, if necessary.
  10. Take good care to keep everyone safe in those areas of the course that are a danger even in good light and when the weather is kind. Dog-leg bends, blind tees and areas where maintenance staff could come into contact with buggies or wayward shots, are all things to look out for.
  11. Make sure any pathways or car parks are gritted, if icy and slippery.
  12. Check that all members are back in the clubhouse before darkness falls.

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