Gulfshore Insurance > Gulfshore Blog > Golf & Country Clubs

I spent 10 years in the private club industry before pivoting into the insurance world.  As a manager, two of my top concerns internally were wellbeing of my staff and team, and the budget.

Workplace injuries drive up costs in many ways and often most significantly in your insurance premiums.  By investing in a safe workplace for your employees, you can achieve those two objectives.

Here are the Top 5 Workplace Injuries for Golf and Country Clubs

  1. Lifting & Handling: Strains and pulls (musculoskeletal)make up nearly 25% of all workplace injuries. Back pain, neck pain, leg pain can all result from lifting or handling something awkwardly or too heavy.
    Solution: Encourage employees to evaluate then lift. Get help from another co-worker and use mechanical aids if available.
  2. Slips, Trips and Falls: Many of these happen around the kitchen and when entering the building during wet weather.
    Solution: Kitchen staff must wear non-slip footwear at all times. Don’t just put mats and “slippery/wet” signs where your members enter and exit, but also where your employees do as well.
  3. Burns: Again, stemming from the kitchen, burns are common from hot surfaces and liquids.  Often times they are the result of inexperience or haste (hot plate, hot liquid spill).
    Solution: Make your staff aware of hot items or liquids. Train the new employees on potential hazards, especially if they are inexperienced in food service.
  4. Cuts: The Kitchen is a dangerous place. Cuts from knives and automated slicers are far too common.
    Solution: Staff sharp knives must use a cut resistant glove. Train proper cutting techniques.
  5. Golf Cart Injuries: Golf carts can be very dangerous. Most injuries occur when staff is not using caution, have body parts hanging outside of the golf cart, or using the cart improperly (i.e. riding on the back).
    Solution: Strict guidelines need to be in place and reviewed with the golf staff.  Specify the proper uses of golf carts (they are not utility carts) and identify areas of caution around your facility.  Under no circumstances should any person be allowed to ride on the back of a golf cart.

At Gulfshore Insurance, we specialize in insurance and risk management for golf and country clubs. We work with more than 50 clubs throughout Florida and we are happy to assist you with training materials, safety programs, and insurance for your club.

Jeffrey Sanders, TRIP is Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance. Jeff works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis, guidance, and insurance. Comments and questions are welcome at jsanders@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Last June, Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill into law that explains how patients can receive medical marijuana under Florida’s related amendment from 2016. Amendment 2, Florida’s “medical marijuana law” passed with 71% of the vote and took effect January 3, 2017. The amendment required lawmakers to come up with a description of how patients can qualify and receive medical marijuana by July 3, 2017. As an employer or employee in Florida, here’s what the new marijuana laws mean for you.

Employers still have the right to a Drug-Free Workplace

While court challenges may arise, employers are generally safe since the law doesn’t require accommodation for medical marijuana users.The medical marijuana amendment to Florida’s law still preserves employers’ rights to enforce drug-free workplace policies. Despite patients being able to legally qualify and receive medical marijuana, if their employer enforces a drug-free environment, the patient won’t be able to work. The amendment does not limit an employer’s ability to “establish, continue, or enforce a drug-free policy.” It does not make it mandatory for employers to accommodate patients receiving medical marijuana or working under the influence of marijuana. The section also states that it does not “create a cause of action against an employer for discrimination or wrongful discharge.” Since the passing of the amendment in Florida, employers have worried about what it could mean for drug use in the workplace. Until courts rule otherwise, companies must not tolerate testing positive for marijuana under the drug-free workplace.

Medical marijuana and employee drug testing

According to the new medical marijuana law, patients must have a “qualifying condition” to receive medical marijuana. Conditions include cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, seizures, and terminal illness. Since the passing of the new law, employers and employees have wondered what it might mean for drug use in the workplace. The answer? Not much, thanks to the section not granting employees the right to use marijuana at work if an employer has a policy against it. If an employee qualifies for legal marijuana use, he or she must still obey an employer’s rules for using drugs at work or having marijuana in the system. If an employer wishes to maintain or implement drug testing rules prior to hiring an employee, he or she has this right.

Under current statutory and case law, an employee that does not pass the drug test, even if they have a prescription for medical marijuana use, does not have a case for discrimination against the employer because the Statute that governs the Florida Drug Free workplace still prohibits use of any drugs scheduled as Class One by the Federal government.. Of course this will be eventually be played out in courts and the possibility remains that the courts could at some time rule in favor of employees – especially as the opioid epidemic worsens and more and more states are looking to medical marijuana as a better alternative to chronic pain relief. Until that time, the statute is clear that marijuana use, medical or otherwise, is not permitted under the Florida Drug Free Workplace rules.