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New guidance

Management of health and safety at golf courses (and similar workplaces)

The Agriculture & Food Sector have recently issued a Sector Information Minute (SIM 01/2008/3) alerting HSE and LA staff to the publication of new guidance "Health and Safety in Golf Course Management and Maintenance".  This has been produced by the Greenkeepers' Training Committee (GTC) and is now available on-line and in hard copy from the GTC

This industry guidance supersedes HSE’s original HSG 79 which was first published in 1994 but has been out of print for some years.  In response to demand from the industry the guidance has been updated by the GTC, with input from HSE via the Agriculture & Food Sector. 

The guidance underpins the GTC’s extensive training programme and apprenticeship scheme for greenkeepers'.  In recognition of this, the new Guide is endorsed by Peter Dawson, the Chief Executive of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (which is responsible for the Rules of Golf).  HSE has also endorsed the guide, Jane Willis (Strategic Programme Director, Public Services Agreement Delivery) stating in a foreword:

“Increasingly HSE is working in partnership with others to produce guidance that outlines sensible health and safety precautions.  I congratulate the Greenkeepers' Training Committee for taking the initiative to update the original guidance on behalf of the golf industry and to tailor it to their particular needs. 

It includes relevant legislation and guidance introduced since HSE first published HSG79 in 1994 and this updated guidance will help those involved in managing and maintaining golf courses to protect their employees, club members, visitors and others from risks to their health and safety. It is also relevant to others involved in the amenity, sports turf and groundcare sector. Following this practical guidance will help to reduce injuries and ill health caused by work activities.”

This publication also provides useful guidance for employers, managers, clients, and anyone using specialist turf care and agricultural-type equipment, as well as pesticides and other chemicals, in a wide range of work environments.  For example, it is relevant to contractors working in the ever-expanding amenity, leisure and sports ground sector, as well as landscapers, highways maintenance, construction, etc. It is particularly useful for local authorities, in their roles as duty holders and as regulators.

Colleagues (particularly in LAs) may also be interested in a recent article “When an Inspector calls“, published in the GTC’s quarterly newsletter “On Course”, in March 2008.  Written by Alan Plom, Head of Safety in HSE’s Agriculture and Food Sector, the article suggests an approach an inspector/LA officer might take these days on a ‘health and safety’ inspection.  It was intended to remind golf course managers (and their employers/committee members) that they now have ready access to various "tools" - through the GTC - to help ensure they have in place what is likely to be deemed “reasonable” precautions and provide a safe working and playing environment for their staff and golfers.

The GTC’s “On Course” newsletter is a very effective route to convey information to a wider audience too, as not only is it posted on their website ( ), but it is sent out to all British golf clubs, the GTC’s Approved Training Provider Centres (colleges providing training for greenkeepers') and 1000 approved assessors of training and competence.   

Current concerns and issues arising from the amenity and related sectors include a rise in reports of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), increased awareness of the need to control exposure to whole body vibration (WBV) and noise, the risks of mowers and other machines overturning on slopes, and use of pesticides. 

Sound advice - control of noise at work in music and entertainment

The Sound advice website and Sound advice HSG260 publication, were launched on 11 July 2008. They provide practical guidance on the control of noise at work in music and entertainment, including concert halls and theatres, amplified live music venues, pubs/clubs and studios. The guidance sets out a range of simple and cost-effective actions that can reduce workers' average daily or weekly exposure to noise and identifies good practice to help avoid the harmful effects of prolonged exposure to noise. There is general information telling people what they need to know about the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, which came into force for the music and entertainment industries in April 2008, and advice for specific sections of the industry. The guidance has been put together by representatives from a wide range of music and entertainment sectors in Britain, including Environmental Health Officers and HSE.

A complimentary copy of the publication has been sent to all Chief Environmental Health Officers in local authorities.

Catering and hospitality microsite

The catering and hospitality microsite is now revised with substantial new content including an A-Z of guidance topics.

What’s new – items of interest

The following is a selection of recent ‘What’s New’ items on the HSE/LAU websites which you may find interesting.

Updated 2017-10-18