Electric carts are used by golf course operators for rent to customers as well as course marshals and other staff. (Paul Brennan/Pixabay)

Seat belt requirement a double bogey, B.C. golf industry says

WorkSafeBC calling for roll cages, restraints for golf carts

WorkSafeBC is rethinking its plan to require golf courses across the province to outfit all of their motorized equipment with seat belts and rollover protection bars, after an industry outcry about cost and impracticality of the move.

Golf course managers have been hearing about the new rule set to take effect in September. It’s not just for employees mowing fairways and driving refreshment carts, but for all their customer-rented power carts too. That’s because employees in company golf tournaments, or corporate teams in charity tournaments would potentially have access to workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured while playing, B.C. Liberal tourism critics Doug Clovechok and Michelle Stilwell say.

In a letter to Tourism Minister Lisa Beare, the MLAs for Revelstoke and Parksville said the requirement would cost the B.C. golf industry as much as $20 million to upgrade its equipment. The extra costs would be disastrous for B.C. tourism as prices rise and golfers can easily shift vacations to Alberta, Montana, Idaho or Washington.

Golf course operators say the idea is not only costly for the B.C. industry, it won’t work.

“It’s ridiculous to think that you’re going to hit a shot and then get in the cart and put a seat belt on, and then drive maybe 100 yards, take the seat belt off and keep doing that,” said Brian Schaal, B.C. representative on the board of the National Golf Course Owners Association.

Schaal is general manager of Copper Point Golf Club in Invermere. His facility has 138 power carts, plus beverage, marshall and other carts, and he estimates a retrofit would cost about $1,600 per cart, if it can be done at all. Conventional carts have loose seat cushions and are not designed for seat belts.

RELATED: B.C. community approves golf carts on streets

RELATED: B.C. golf course showcases play for all abilities

Stilwell and Clovechok said WorkSafeBC has refused to consider an exemption for corporate tournaments. They questioned if this is justified by actual injuries, since golf courses use curbs, fences, GPS controls and automatic speed limiters to keep golf carts safe.

After inquiries by Black Press, WorkSafeBC appears to be taking a mulligan on the plan.

WorkSafeBC is working on revisions to section 16 of its Occupational Health and Safety regulation, the part dealing with mobile equipment such as foklifts, all-terrain vehicles and golf carts, spokesman Ralph Eastman said in an email Friday. Consultation was conducted over the past year and more will be done.

“Based on stakeholder input, WorkSafeBC is reviewing the proposed revisions to the regulation, including how they will be applied to various vehicles and users,” Eastman said. “Additional consultation and public hearings will be conducted this fall. There is no specific date yet for when the new revisions will be completed.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sewer project kiboshed by Vernon residents

Majority rules: Okanagan Landing residents say ‘no’ to Claremont Sewer hookup

Vernon ski racer chosen for grant in end game

Makena Kersey, 18, has called it a career following a gruesome leg injury, but story inspires grant

Vernon’s own CSI digging into crime mysteries

Forensic Identification Section a specialized support unit used in various cases

Sagmoen’s in-custody statements under judge’s scrutiny

Sagmoen’s lawyer said statements made by him while in police custody were not provided voluntarily

‘It’s almost surreal’: South Okanagan fire chief, sidekick Sammy recap rescue mission in Bahamas

Chief Larry Watkinson and Sam the disaster dog spent 8 days assisting a search and rescue team

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Vancouver police could be using drones to fight crime by end of year

The police department has already purchased three drones, as well as three others for training

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

About cyclists and bike paths

LETTER: Kalamalka Road bike path bad design

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Most Read