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Top 5 OSHA Citations for Golf & Country ClubsHistorically, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has not payed a great deal of attention to the Golf and Country Club industry in comparison to other “high-hazard” industries. OSHA officials admit that in the past, reasons for most of their inspections at clubs was due to either employee complaints or employee injury/fatalities.

More recently, OSHA has been focusing on the club industry and hitting clubs with more and more citations for violating OSHA standards. Not only are these citations frustrating, but they are financially costly to the club as well.

Here are the Top 5 Most Common Golf and Country Club OSHA Citations from 2019:

  1. Hazard Communication
  2. Maintenance, Safeguards, and Operational Feature for Exit Routes
  3. General Requirements: Personal Protective Equipment
  4. Respiratory Requirements
  5. Portable Fire Extinguishers

For additional OSHA compliance resources visit www.osha.gov  or contact the local OSHA office.

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

Have a Plan for Medical Emergencies at Your FacilityAfter spending 10 years as a PGA Professional at some of America’s most prestigious clubs, I saw my fair share of medical emergencies. I once had a member faint of heat stroke just steps away from me. Another time, I had a guest go into cardiac arrest on the 18th fairway. Emergencies are going to happen. The only way to handle them properly and potentially save a life is to have a plan in place.

  1. Create Your Plan
    Who is doing what in case of emergency?  Don’t ever assume that even your most seasoned employee will handle themselves correctly during an emergency.  Think of how an emergency may play out (i.e. a member has a heart attack on the golf course).  Iron out the details of what will be required of each staff member. Who is calling 911?  Who is going to meet and escort the ambulance from the entrance of your property?  Who has been trained with the defibrillator? Who is CPR certified?
  2. Practice Makes Perfect
    This is no secret. The only way you can trust your staff to react accordingly is to practice.  Create a mock scenario and run through it as if it is the real thing.  Run through a scenario on the golf course, then a scenario in the dining room, sports complex, etc.  Practice the scenario in each area of your facility.
  3. Communication is the Key
    The entire staff should have radios for effective communication.  The nearest staff member may use their cell phone to call 911, but they still need to alert the rest of the staff of the medical emergency so everyone can pitch in. The emergency alert call should go to one main location that can alert the rest of the staff (i.e. golf shop). Don’t forget to communicate with other departments (i.e. the guard gate)!
  4. Assess How Your Staff Responded
    The assessment post emergency or practice scenario is essential. If there were any imperfections, discuss how they can be improved. Get feedback from your staff and if they recommend any changes, consider the changes. Don’t assume you know better than your troops on the ground.

I can tell you from experience, having a plan in place that has been practiced can save a life. Be sure your staff and team are ready for that emergency.

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

Caution Slip V2

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

What Does Florida's New Medical Marijuana Law Mean for Your Drug-Free Workplace?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.