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August 2018

Steady As You Go

How to minimize slips and trips

By Barry Eagle

Any golf course, no matter where it’s located, is a big space to monitor and ensure the safety and usability for all members to enjoy. You also protect your reputation and your bottom line by preventing costly lawsuits. 

There are a lot of different factors to consider when reviewing the safety of your grounds, and the surface itself is definitely not one you can afford to ignore. When you take into consideration large factors such as the weather and general wear and tear, it highlights how important it is to take good care of the surfaces of your course.

Often, weather conditions can have a drastic impact on the overall state of the course. Any extremes or fluctuations in temperature take their toll, particularly on areas of decking where the wood constantly expands and contracts. When it’s cold, these surfaces ice over completely and when it’s hot they become brittle. Wood also gradually can become covered in damp moss and algae. This is difficult to keep under control, especially if your course is located in a particularly wet part of the world. All this makes wooden areas hazardous, potentially causing a number of slips and trips for staff and visitors.

On top of this, the general wear and tear of footfall can also develop in a number of places, such as anywhere there are steps built into the course or even coming out of the club house. As more people walk over the steps, the surface becomes worn away and smooth, turning it into a potential slip hazard. 

But there are actions you can take to protect these more vulnerable and exposed areas of the golf course.

For wooden surface areas, there are a number of anti-slip safety treads that can be fitted to any size area. These work by providing an additional textured surface area to create friction and prevent falls. When looking for an anti-slip safety tread, look for qualities including being resistant to weather and spiked shoes.

Make sure steps and bridges are safe by installing handrails. This simple solution helps to prevent falls by offering support, especially in wet or icy weather conditions.

For larger walkways that feature wood, consider investing in anti-slip panels. These are a discreet solution that make pathways and decking areas safe without damaging the overall aesthetic. Another tip is to make sure that these walkways are well-lit, especially if they run along the edge of a tree line or between bushes. On a cloudy day or during the evening time, providing good lighting along these areas will minimise the risk of a slip, trip or fall.

One other really simple way to minimise slips and trips is to carry out regular, established maintenance checks, paying special attention to weathered and exposed surface areas throughout the golf course. This will really help by identifying any potential problems areas that require attention before they actually become a problem.

There are a variety of different solutions to help minimize slips and trips in golf clubs. It’s important to look around and understand what your golf course needs and what will be the right option for you.

Barry Eagle is director of GripClad Ltd, a supplier of anti-slip flooring surfaces for industrial, commercial and public access areas.

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