Golf carts have become quite a popular commodity these days, and not just for playing golf. In fact, golf carts are used not only in country clubs, but also on automotive dealership lots, large manufacturing facilities, and even between buildings on large properties like schools, hospitals, hotels, and entertainment venues. So yes, golf carts have become a fast, cheap, maintenance free way to get around a large foot-print. However, driving a small, silent vehicle around a bustling facility can also present significant hazards. A quick search of the OSHA website revealed over 120 incidents resulting in citations, injuries, and fatalities related to golf cart use.
Here are a few hints to help reduce this exposure…
- Controlled Access: Allow only specific employees to access or use the vehicle. Controlling access can limit horseplay and unnecessary use.
- Safety Rules: Require users to read and sign a copy of the company’s safety rules for the vehicle.
- Identification: Assign a designated traffic route for use by the golf cart that doesn’t interfere with pedestrian or other vehicular traffic. Consider highlighting the traffic patterns with marking paint to inform others of the traffic routine.
- Enforcement: Administer strict disciplinary action for improper use or behavior by revoking privileges or terminating employment. Safety compliance is critical!
- Battery Charging: Charging should only be done in areas designed for that purpose. The area should be well ventilated and have spill response materials available to clean-up electrolyte spills. Charging devices should be equipped with automatic shut-off devices.
Also consider clearly posting golf cart operating rules on all carts and don’t forget about training. Golf Cart Operating Rules should be reviewed with designated drivers at hire and annual refresher training completed to reinforce the expected behaviors. See sample rules below:
Golf Cart Safety Rules