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Golf Club Health and Safety 

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Sentient are in a unique position to provide golf clubs with a complete HR solution that covers 

Golf Club Health and Safety 

Sentient offer bespoke Golf Club Health and Safety risk assessments that look at all aspects of Health and Safety with regard to the running of the Golf Club. This generally covers the following main areas. 

Employers’ obligations. This covers the health and safety culture as a whole, that health and safety responsibilities are adequately assigned to a designated person(s) and discussed at Committee and Board Level as appropriate. It would provide a documented Health and Safety policy and risk assessment associated with greens activity, buildings and work equipment. It would also include assessments for control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH), manual handling operations, working at height and risks associated with noise and vibration. In addition it would address the hazards and control measures of those employed in the club house and associated activities.

The Course. We look at hazards and risks associated with the course itself, such as access, signage and guidance for players and members of the public, topography, and potential issues for adjacent properties. Our Golf Club Health and Safety Inspection would consider aspects such as 

Pedestrian access – is the course crossed by footpaths, if so, is there adequate signage in place warning pedestrians? 

Blind shots – are there areas of the course where players cannot see people in front, if so is there a mechanism in place to notify players it is safe to play? 

Water Hazards – what safety measures are in place for any water features? 

Bottlenecks – are there any holes close together and if so, is there appropriate signage and/or procedures in place advising which group of players have priority to play?

Ladder and step safety – are ladders/steps safe for players to use and also what hazard they may cause from ricocheted shots? 

Tree hazards – what should be considered when looking at diseased trees or those in danger of toppling? 

Green Keeper safety – what are the procedures for ensuring greens staff are safe from players playing the hole they are working on? 

Adverse weather conditions – what is in place to ensure safety during fog, high winds, thundery showers, or icy weather and are there are evacuation plans in the case of lightening?

Toxic substances – what guidance is given to staff/and players who may come into contact with fertilisers, weed killers, pesticides  or other toxic substances used on the course. 

First aid facilities – advice regarding accidents on the course or what should be provided in case of players/staff being stung or bitten by insect or animal.

Why Golf Club Health and Safety inspections are important

Golf Clubs have always had a general duty of care to members, visitors and employees. However the result of court cases in the last few years now places a more onerous responsibility on clubs. They mean that Golf Clubs should ensure that appropriate health and safety risk assessments are completed and that members and visitors are aware of the rules of golf and course etiquette, especially in relation to how it may affect safety.  

In 2007, a visiting player at Niddry Castle Golf Club in Scotland lost an eye when a ball from a wayward tee shot on an adjoining hole hit him. The claimant began a lawsuit against the player that struck the shot for dangerous play and also against Niddry Castle for poor risk management. The case was not settled until 2013, when after appeal, the court awarded the claimant just under £400,000. Of this, the golf club (or their insurers) were forced to pay almost £320,000, due to lack of warning signs and poor risk management with regard to the course’s layout.


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