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.

1. STORAGE

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.

2. ORGANIZATION 

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.”

4. EDUCATION 

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.

5. CAUTION 

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.

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