While they may seem small and harmless, the portable tools used in golf maintenance pose a myriad of hazards. Thus, it’s important that you and your crew are aware of the hazards and precautions needed to use gas and power tools such as string trimmers, hedge trimmers, and leaf blowers.

When using these tools, your crew is exposed to hazards such as falling, flying or splashing objects. Just imagine what can happen when a string trimmer throws a stone… did you know that a trimmer could eject objects at a speed of over 200 miles per hour?

Objects suspended or thrown by these tools can also compromise your crew’s safety. Thus, it’s imperative that your crew is aware of these hazards, and that they take the necessary safety precautions to protect themselves from these hazards.

Employer Responsibilities

As an employer, your main responsibilities include ensuring that your crew is trained, providing personal protective equipment, and maintaining all tools in safe and usable conditions. Personal protective equipment may include safety goggles and gloves, long pants, as well as any other equipment outlined in the operator’s manual.

The following are a few general safety guidelines your crew should keep in mind:

  • Always prioritize safety
  • Don’t use a tool unless you are trained and authorized to do so
  • Use the right tool for the job
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Wear any PPE required
  • Examine the tool for damage before use
  • Never use a damaged tool
  • Never use a tool while under the influence of mind-altering substances

It’s important that you stress the importance of focusing on working safely when using these tools. Safety should always be a top priority, and everyone should understand that no deadline is more pressing than their safety. In fact, rushing through the job could put them at greater risk.

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment and clothing worn on the job can also go a long way in protecting your crew. Consider developing a PPE guideline that includes the following:

  • Wear all PPE required by the instructor’s manual
  • Wear close-fitting clothes
  • Do not wear jewelry
  • Wear long pants
  • Wear sturdy boots
  • Keep long hair pulled back

The PPE required for these tools may include safety glasses, face shields, hearing protection, long pants, and leather gloves.

Depending on the equipment used and the noise levels your crew is exposed to, they may need to use hearing protection such as ear muffs or ear plugs. We recommend using a dosimeter to measure noise levels at each worksite, and then developing your policy on hearing protection.

As a rule of thumb, your crew should use hearing protection anytime they need to raise their voice to communicate with someone who is three feet away.

Personal protective equipment, safety training, and periodic maintenance of equipment are the most important factors both to ensure safety and to ensure compliance with OSHA.

Looking for more safety advice? Schedule a demo call with us below: 

RECEIVE FREE POSTERS & SAFETY TIPS

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

MORE SAFETY ARTICLES

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 »