Post written by Tim Munoz
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that nearly 13,000 people end up in the emergency room each year due to golf cart accidents. Fifty percent of those injuries happen because someone fell out of the cart; another 40% of those injure someone under the age of 16. Don’t let a dream day on the course turn into a nightmare.
There are specific guidelines that should be followed for safe operation of golf carts. Management should have written policies and procedures to oversee and maintain equipment, and to also ensure that patrons understand the rules.
Why should your approach be formalized? Companies that fail to plan end up failing.
The following are a few specific guidelines that should be implemented within all businesses that operate golf carts. These items can also apply if you are using a golf cart off the course, such as a recreational retirement club or gated community.
Management should enforce the following policies:
- Users must have a valid, current driver’s license.
- Driving under the influence is prohibited.
- A formal, hold harmless use agreement should be signed by the user.
- Driving should be restricted to those matching your acceptable use criteria (see above!).
- Ask about familiarity with use – new users should be given a road test and instruction.
- Two People, Two Bags – No exceptions.
- Only authorized employees should be allowed to drive carts.
Place stickers in all golf carts to remind driver of the safe operating rules:
- Hands/Feet in the cart at all times.
- Cart use restricted to designated areas only.
- Set the brake before leaving the cart.
- To avoid tipping, drive carts straight up and straight down slopes.
- Avoid sharp turns and slow down before corners.
- Do not operate cart until all occupants are seated..
- Remain seated while cart is in motion.
- Use caution when course is wet or muddy.
The Grounds Supervisor should perform and maintain the following:
- Barricade or rope off hazardous driving areas–inspect daily.
- Post signs, in visible location with no obstructions, to direct cart traffic.
- Self-inspect and maintain condition of cart paths, document your findings.
- Highlight sharp turns, steep inclines, and drop offs with clear signage or better yet, prohibit use in these areas.
- Follow manufacturer recommended maintenance for all carts and document when and what was serviced in a formal cart log.
- Before all use–check brakes, steering, and tires to ensure safety before giving to a driver.
- If cart paths cross public roads or access drives, install speed bumps and stop signs to warn cart operators.
Do you work on a golf course? Are you an avid golfer? What would you add to the list? Please feel free to share in the comments below.