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Case 37 - Golfers told buggies were not allowed on course because they were not 'health and safety authorised'

Issue

A group had booked a golfing holiday in Scotland. Having researched the course before they travelled they noted that they did not allow riding on buggies on the course. Upon querying this with the club the group was informed that buggies were not allowed because they were not 'health and safety authorised'. The group found this very odd as the club would probably have to use some sort of buggy vehicle to carry out maintenance of the course, Strangely after playing the course all of the golfing group agreed that it was the most buggy friendly course they had played in the UK with numerous tarmac/astro turf walkways posing even less risk than usual.

Panel decision

This seems to be a clear case where health and safety has been used incorrectly to avoid giving the real explanation for what is actually a policy decision by the club. HSE has no role in "authorising" of golf clubs or the use of buggies. Golf clubs are entitled to make their own rules and many do ban the use of buggies, but none of them should hide behind health and safety as the reason for it.

2012-06-22