Working on the golf course can be incredibly rewarding for both the superintendent and the crew, but this job doesn’t come without safety risks! To maintain a safe, healthy workplace with consistently high morale, you must properly inform your crew
on how to avoid safety hazards. Part of that process is helping your crew understand their responsibility to recognize and utilize safety signs. Everyone in your facility should know that “ignoring signs and safety items means that you are ignoring
your own safety.” Here’s a list of 10 of the most critical safety signs and items your crew should recognize around the shop.
1. Clock-in stations and job boards
Clocking in will likely be a priority for your crew members as they enter the shop because they want to get paid. However, this system is crucial to facility safety as well, as a supervisor will always have an idea of who is on the job at any time, which
can prevent injuries or accidents.
We recommend that you encourage your crew to read their tasks as well as the tasks of their crewmates so that they’re always informed of what’s going on and can make necessary accommodations. Though state-of-the-art digital job boards are
nice to have, but simple whiteboards can be just as effective at keeping your crew safe! Ensure you’re giving your crew all the information they need by updating your job board daily with mowing patterns and directions, golf tournaments and
start times, weather information, safety gear requirements and managers’ phone numbers.
2. Hydration Points
Golf courses contain a lot of potentially contaminated water sources that could cause serious harm to uninformed crew members. Before your crew knows where to find drinking water, you must also inform them where they can’t drink. Your crew should
be under strict instructions NOT to drink from:
- Hose bibs
- Wash pads
- Pest Storage/Mix Load Areas
- Irrigation systems
Once that’s clear, ensure your crew knows where to find potable water sources. Working in the sun makes the risk of dehydration high, so crew members should be actively encouraged to drink water from safe sources. Show them your designated ice and
water dispensers and drinking fountains or provide bottled water if these are not present.
3. Electrical Panels
Coursing with powerful electricity, everyone in your facility should treat these maintenance areas with caution, especially around irrigation systems. Your crew should know who is authorized to enter these areas, and those who are not properly trained
should know to stay away. You can reinforce this by putting up visible signage that indicates “danger” or “unauthorized entry prohibited.”
Your crew must also know to keep the areas around electrical panels free from obstruction. Obstructed access could mean difficulty reaching these panels in an emergency or even becoming a fire hazard.
4. Fire Extinguishers
We advise taking your crew on a tour of your facility to show them where to locate your fire extinguishers and emergency exits. The path to these exits and extinguishers should be clear at all times. Ensure your crew knows to report to their supervisor
if this isn’t the case. In an emergency, it’s always better to know where to look versus having to search for the first time! If you haven’t trained your staff on how to use a fire extinguisher this tour would be a great time to
5. Safety Data Sheets
With all the information regarding hazards, potential dangers, handling and spill control measures for the hazardous chemicals on your golf course, SDSs are an essential resource that your crew should understand how to read and interpret. According to
OSHA, every chemical in your facility that your crew comes into contact with must have an accompanying SDS. Your crew also needs to know where to locate the SDS for each chemical they might work with, interpret what it says, and be able to take adequate
safety measures to protect themselves.
6. First Aid Supplies
We all do our best to prevent injury wherever possible. However, accidents happen, so it’s essential your facility has one or more well-stocked first aid kits, and that your crew knows how to find and use them. The more prepared you are to handle
an injury at your facility, the less severe the outcome of that injury is likely to be.
Ensure your crew knows to notify a supervisor if any items in your first aid kit are running low. Remember that crew members can treat minor injuries like scrapes and cuts with first aid, but it’s never a substitute for medical attention from trained
professionals. Your crew should never be afraid to call 911 if an injury is severe.
7. Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)
An AED is used to help those in sudden cardiac arrest or heart attacks. It’s sophisticated yet easy to use. AEDs are medical devices that can analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock to help the heart re-establish
an effective rhythm. This may sound daunting, and we hope you never need to use one, but it could be a matter of life or death for a crew member.
You should have an up-to-date record of which of your crew members is trained to use AEDs and perform CPR. If those crew members are not present at the scene of an accident, uncertified crew members can perform CPR and use AEDs in a pinch. This means
that if your crew has even a basic knowledge of what to do in a cardiac emergency, you have a much higher chance of keeping them safe.
8. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The first barrier against injury on the golf course is the proper use of PPE. Every job has its own PPE requirements, and you should train your crew on what they are for each specific hazard. You should also ensure that your crew knows how to correctly
put on and wear PPE in addition to how to analyze PPE for defects prior to use. Lastly, you must ensure that your crew knows where to find the PPE in your shop and that there is always an adequate supply for them to use.
9. Flammable Material Storage
The first step in flammable material storage is ensuring your crew knows what flame-safe cabinets look like and where they are in your facility. A collection of fuel cans stored out in the open is a disaster waiting to happen! Fuel cans should always
be returned to their cabinets after use, with their caps tightly closed. OSHA indicates that type I and type II safety cans are the most suitable for carrying and storing fuel, so stocking up your shop with an adequate amount of these will reduce
the risk of fires.
10. Fuel Pumps and Tanks
When your crew uses power tools, vehicles, and equipment, they need to be aware that there will always be fire hazards. It is imperative that they know how to safely handle this equipment and reduce fire hazards. No smoking should be permitted when fuelling
equipment. Vehicles may also cause fires and explosions when they’re started next to flammable materials or in unventilated areas. You must instruct your crew to always allow hot motors to cool before refueling. They should also make sure a
fire extinguisher is nearby when refueling equipment.
Though this top ten represents a few of the most crucial safety signs and items your crew should recognize, there are bound to be plenty more on a facility as large as a golf course. To find out what those are and unlock a streaming service full of video
safety training for your crew, sign up to Golf Safety’s Video Streaming Service today! You’ll receive videos in English and Spanish that are easy for your crew to follow along with, as well as attendance registers, quizzes, and answer
sheets for when the inspectors come knocking. We know that, as a superintendent, you’re incredibly busy. Let Golf Safety take care of your monthly safety