Golf course facilities store several potentially hazardous chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and fungicides. That means when it comes to chemical safety in the workplace, there’s no such thing as an OVERreaction. Every one of your crew members, whether they work directly or indirectly, with chemicals, should be aware of the risks involved and be educated on the appropriate safety measures they need to take to protect themselves.

We spoke to Jim Osborne, Golf Course Superintendent at TPC Craig Ranch, who shared his top chemical safety tips with us and gave us more insight into the chemical safety procedures at his facility.


Safe storage is an essential part of chemical safety. “Leave that to the guys that know what’s going on,” Osborne says, “keep it in a separate area.” Chemicals should be stored in a different building and should be organized and labeled correctly.

Jim Osborne, Golf Course Superintendent at TPC Craig Ranch and Golf Safety Member.


To Osborne, organization is extremely important as well. “We have a system for everything… we try to keep things stored, categorized, and clean.” Make sure your crew are responsibly organizing and storing their chemicals, from the minute they are delivered, to when they place them back on the shelf after a job.

Spray Room at the TPC Craig Ranch.

3. PPE 

Ensuring that your crew has access to the correct PPE is paramount when handling hazardous chemicals. At Osborne’s facility, they make sure to keep their cabinets stocked with the necessary protective equipment so that crew members have access to what they need at all times. “The other piece of it is making sure that they’re using it,” adds Osborne, playfully. “Fortunately, our applicators are very conscientious of that.”


When it comes to safety, what Osborne is most passionate about is education. “The good thing about your safety video is that it applies to everyone,” Osborne tells us. “Even though they might not have a pesticide license or be doing that type of thing all the time, it brings awareness to the whole group.” As far as Osborne is concerned, an educated crew is a safe crew.


Though the chemicals we use today are safer to handle than they used to be, your crew should always be cognizant of their health and safety. Osborne leaves us with a pertinent warning to be careful no matter how safe we may think they are today. “I always ask people this question: when you were using chemicals thirty years ago you probably thought it was completely fine too, right?”

It’s important to always keep your crew educated and their safety front of mind, especially when they are handling potentially hazardous chemicals at work. To read Osborne’s full insights and learn more about chemical safety on the golf course, take a look at our in-depth article on the GCSAA site about Chemical Safety.


to subscribe to our newsletter, get free safety posters and more safety resources! 


The Superintendent’s Guide to Hazardous Spill Safety

Accidents on golf courses are inevitable, but it’s how we respond that truly matters. We recently spoke to Renee Geyer, Golf Course Superintendent at Canterwood Golf & Country Club, about Hazardous Spill Cleanup, and shared her valuable insights with us. As Geyer emphasized to us, when it comes to chemicals on the golf course, preventing

Read More »

Navigating the Terrain: Utility Vehicle Safety on the Golf Course

Let’s face it – life on the golf course can be a whirlwind of activity, with utility vehicles and golf carts zooming back and forth throughout the day as your crew tackles their tasks. Amid this everyday commotion, it’s easy to forget that these seemingly simple vehicles come with their own set of risks and

Read More »

Colds, Flu, and Pandemics in Golf Course Maintenance

As winter’s grip tightens, so does the looming threat of cold and flu season among your golf crew. Contagious illness can have noticeable and sometimes severe effects on your facility, which is why it’s vital to put preventative measures in place. We’re sharing insights from Mike Gracie, the superintendent of the Redlands Country Club in

Read More »

The Essential Lockout Tagout Playbook for your Course

As a superintendent, you juggle many responsibilities, and the safety of your crew is right at the top of the list. Your team works around sources of hazardous energy daily, posing risks of electric shocks, entanglement, and faulty combustion engines. In fact, nearly 10% of serious accidents in the workplace are a result of the

Read More »

Tree Trimming & Gas Powered Tools: Prepare your Crew for Fall

Fall is upon us, which means the leaves are starting to change color, there’s a fresh chill in the air, and your crew is getting ready for the tree-trimming season! When the gas-powered tools come out, that’s your cue to make sure everyone is reminded of the necessary safety precautions. While they may be fun

Read More »

Battling the Blaze: Heat Illness Safety Tips

Summer heat records are being broken across the country this year, which means it’s more important than ever to take steps to prevent heat illness in your crew. Make sure you read these essential heat safety tips from Paul Watkins, a Texan Golf Course Superintendent who’s well-versed in battling sweltering humidity and 100°+ conditions at

Read More »