When it comes to slips and trips winter can throw up numerous considerations. Golf clubs in the eyes of the law will owe duties of care as both employers and occupiers. Those who fall under the umbrella of being owed a duty of care will include employees, contractors, visitors, invitees and in some cases trespassers.
At Zurich, slip and trip incidents account for 21% of all liability claims they handle. Injuries can result in anything from minor cuts and bruising to sprains, fractures and in some unfortunate cases fatalities.
How do you protect the golf club and what can be done to reduce your liability exposure?
- Reduced daylight hours will mean people could be on your premises during work/opening hours and it is important therefore that designated walkways (including car parks) particularly around your buildings are adequately lit. Also be aware of shadows that arg e cast by lighting and how this could potentially hide a step of raised kerb from view.
- Ensure that car parks, walkways including steps are adequately maintained and free from defects. Regular inspections of these areas will identify defects and provide an opportunity for rectifying these and will also identify items, litter etc that need removing.
- Where handrails have been provided these must be maintained adequately to ensure these are secure and fit for purpose.
In cold icy conditions there are several considerations to take on board. Is the course playable? Your decision to close or open the course for play will impact on what steps you take to ensure the safety of those on your premises.
- If you decide to close the course for play, ensure you communicate this decision as quickly and effectively as possible whether by posting on your website, Facebook page, emailing or texting your members, this will help ensure that member/visitor numbers visiting the course on the day will be reduced. Have a prominently displayed sign indicating the course is closed for play.
- Even when closed for play there will be visitors/staff on site using the clubhouse facilities or driving range etc.. these areas if open must be kept safe. Keep a supply of salt/grit on site and treat areas affected by ice particularly where these areas will be used by visitors and staff.
- Look out for leaking pipes, drains and gutters that are causing water build up or ponding on walkways which could freeze in icy conditions as these will create a slip hazard.
- Regularly monitor conditions through the day and adapt as necessary to issues that may arise.
- In the event of an incident occurring ensure that you have a system of recording and investigating accidents, take photographs, witness details/statements, keep inspection records and CCTV recordings where appropriate.
The above recommendations can be followed to help prevent losses from occurring or help minimise the impact of a loss occurring. These recommendations are not limited, additional considerations may be necessary for your own golf club as each club will have its own unique circumstances.
Should you have further queries leading on from this article please do not hesitate to contact your Regional Account Manager or the Circle Golf office on 0141 242 4861.