Safety Tips Every Country Club Manager Should Know
This month I will talking about country club safety. In the country club industry a lot of things can go wrong as far as safety is concerned due to not having the proper training or just plain not knowing. If you take a few minutes to review these tips hopefully together we can minimize typical safety issues and reduce lost time accidents.
Safe Lifting: The club industry has various lifting exposures including picking up bags of fertilizer, installing golf cart batteries, removing tree limbs off the fairway, unloading trucks, and carrying sacks of food and canned goods. All of these can be done safely without hurting yourself or others around you. So let’s get to the safe lifting basics;
- Load at the load and decide if you can handle it alone or need assistance. When in doubt, ask for help.
- Remove any potential obstacles before lifting or moving the object.
- Keep a good grip on the object.
- Foot positioning, your feet should be shoulder width apart with one foot beside and the other foot behind the object, this allows you to have full power of your leg muscles.
- Bend your knees not your back, it puts a strain on your back and neck muscles if you try and use your back to lift.
- Keep your arms as close to your body while lifting.
- Use your feet to change direction instead of twisting your body.
- To lower the object bend your knees as you did to pick it up.
Remember, we can’t use you if you’re laid up flat on your back in traction!
Fire Extinguisher Safety: Fire extinguishers are designed to fight small fires in their early stages when the fire presents a relatively small hazard to the operator. An extinguisher can be used when the fire is small, slow growing, giving off minimal smoke or emitting minimal heat. If a fire is too large, if there is too much smoke or if you are too frightened, evacuate immediately. Also, conduct a monthly inspection of your fire extinguishers, make sure the gauge arrow is in the green and the date as well as your initials are placed on back of the tag document to show that it has been inspected. There are so many times I inspect my Clients extinguishers only to find out they have lost their charge. So I ask them what are they going to do with an extinguisher that’s lost its charge? I tell them to throw it in the trash because that’s all its good for! Yeah it looks all nice and shiny up there on the wall, but isn’t worth one red cent if they should need it. It only takes a few minutes to have it recharged every year by a qualified vender and inspected every month. Here is how to properly use a fire extinguisher, just remember PASS.
PASS: Use the PASS method:
P= Pull. The safety pin is usually held in place by a plastic seal and will pull off. Do not push down on the operating lever while pulling the pin, it won’t come out.
A=Aim. Aim at the base of the fire, the lowest flame closest to you. The base of the fire will recede from you as you use the extinguisher, so you must adjust your aim.
S=Squeeze. The operating lever is above the carrying handle. The operating lever opens the valve when you squeeze it down.
S=Sweep. Sweep the nozzle by moving your arm at the elbow. Direct the discharge to cover the entire width of the base of the fire.
Lawn Equipment Safety: So many times I see Clients take off protective shields on lawn equipment and weed trimmers. I remember asking a Client of mine who has a landscape business why he took off all the factory installed protective shields on his mowers and he told me it was a lot quicker to change the belts when they break, he said time is money. So I told him when one of his employees gets a foot or hand stuck in one of those belts, it’s going to cost him a ton in workers compensation rate hikes, employee down time, and potentially even more in fines if OSHA were to conduct an audit. Keep your equipment serviced and in good condition. Required general maintenance guidelines by the equipment manufacturer in most cases is more than adequate. And please leave the safety shielding in place, it’s there for a reason!
Pesticide Safety: This will be pretty straight forward. If you’re spraying pesticides make sure the person applying the agent is well trained on both where to spray and how to mix it correctly. Wear the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which includes protective clothing, gloves, and respirator. It is also very important to perform proper maintenance on these items. If you are spraying in the club, be careful not to spray on or near any food or surfaces that may be used by staff or Clients, such as dining tables or food preparation surfaces or areas. We don’t need people turning into Zombies by inhaling or ingesting a toxic pesticide!
Sun Safety: Her again this will be straight forward. Everyone knows to apply the proper amount of sunscreen and the correct levels of SPF. You’re not there to worship the sun or get a tan, you’re there to do a job. If you don’t like to wear sunscreen at least wear protective clothing and cover up as much as you can without it being in the way or unsafe. Additionally, if you are out in the sun frequently get regular screenings to prevent skin cancer. People die every year of skin related cancers. I’m also going to put heat related illnesses in here as well. Stay alert for signs of dehydration. If your urine is green you’re dehydrated, it should be pale yellow to clear. Drink plenty of water, even if you’re not thirsty. Other signs or symptoms of heat related illnesses include vomiting, muscle cramps, nausea, and rapid heartbeat. Report these heat-related symptoms early! Get to know the importance of acclimatization. Learn to slowly adapt to a new climate. Also, if you are outside and can hear thunder, get off the course and seek safe shelter.
Lockout/ Tag out Policy: There are some out there that have never heard of Lockout/Tag out. What is Lockout/Tag out? (LOTO) is a way to ensure energy controls are kept in an OFF or SAFE position during maintenance and service work by putting a lock and a tag on defective, broken or needing of service item or equipment. Only authorized employees who are trained in Lockout/Tag out are allowed to perform the work or required maintenance during LOTO. Also, the only person that can remove a lock and tag is the person who installed it after proper maintenance or repair is finished and the item is safe to use again. This policy is for both the golf course workers as well as the club employees. There are many pieces of equipment in the club kitchen that would also require a Lockout/Tag out program.
This is just a sample of the many Country Club Safety Programs and Policies that all clubs should have in place.
Jeff Glodde Loss Control Associate