Why Your Golf Course or Country Club Needs a Golf Cart Safety Program

As someone who owns a golf course or country club, you know that one poor decision can lead to an injury for your golfers or staff. One thing you may not have considered as a cause to those injuries is golf carts. With their small footprint and dialed back speeds, golf carts may seem like a low safety priority, but at the end of the day it is a piece of equipment that can, if mishandled, lead to injury or even death. Over a 16-year study period, close to 150,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to golf carts, according to a study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. In 2021, OSHA reported six accidents involving golf carts that led to fatalities. As a business owner, the health and safety of your golfers and staff is one of your top priorities. Even if a golf cart accident does not result in fatalities, collisions with obstructions or other vehicles can result in injuries, property damage, and potential lawsuits against your business. With a safety program in place, you can educate golf cart users on how to avoid accidents.


Remove Unsafe Golf Carts from Circulation 

One way to reduce the risk of injuries is to avoid using carts that are in need of maintenance. Create a daily checklist that staff can use to identify any parts on the cart that may need maintenance, and put procedures in place to remove these carts from use if any maintenance issues are found. Some items to check could include (but are not limited to):

    • Brakes operating well
    • Proper tire pressure on all wheels
    • No sign of fluid leaks
    • Horn is working
    • No loose parts

Confirm that if governors are being used to restrict the speed that they align with any specifications outlined by the cart’s manufacturer.  


Educate Golfers on Safe Use Practices  

Be sure that golfers are being provided with instructions on how to properly use the golf carts. One way you could do this is by creating an instruction sheet and placing it in clear view in every cart. Check any materials provided by the manufacturer for instructions on safe use. Some items you could include on a safety handout include, but are not limited to:

  • Keeping legs, feet, and arms inside of the golf cart
  • Locking the break before leaving the golf cart
  • Approaching steep hills vertically, or where possible not driving the cart on steep hills or other dangerous areas, to avoid tipping the cart

Set Qualifications for Cart Drivers  

Your business should research local laws and ordinances on who can legally operate your golf carts. Set guidelines for your business on what qualifications you will have, such as age.

Remove or Block Off Safety Hazards 

Train your grounds crew to quickly identify and remove obstacles where carts are operated. If an obstacle cannot be removed or fixed, train staff to block off the area with clearly visible signs.

Have a Plan in Place

While the goal is to avoid any accidents, having a plan in place for what to do when one occurs is equally important. Train golfers and staff on how to report an accident when one does happen. Have a plan in place for how local emergency services can be contacted.


Insurance for Your Golf Course or Country Club 

Making sure that your golf course or country club has appropriate insurance coverage for your daily operations is a key part to running a business. Whether you need general liability insurance, property insurance, or another insurance solution, our team can work with national and regional carriers to give you options. Reach out to one of our offices in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont or Florida to request a quote today.

 

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This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.

 

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