Players head out for weekly seniors day tournament at Omineca Golf and Country Club, Vanderhoof. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Golf carts exempted from new B.C. seat belt regulation

WorkSafeBC review looks at mowers, braking standards

B.C. golf course operators won’t have to install seat belts and roll bars on their golf carts, WorkSafeBC says.

A review of mobile equipment safety had the industry concerned about millions in extra costs to retrofit power carts, not only for employee use but also players in company and charity tournaments where they are technically on the job. WorkSafeBC clarified this week that is not the case.

“Golf carts used by the public would not require seat belts,” WorksafeBC representative Ralph Eastman said in a statement provided to Black Press Media on Friday. “Nor would other carts used by employees if the golf course does a risk assessment and finds that seat belts and other safety measures, such as rollover protection, are not necessary.

“For example, the beverage cart or a cart used by a course marshal wouldn’t need to be retrofitted if it’s not necessary. It’s up to the golf course to decide this based on their assessment. They have a responsibility to ensure a safe workplace for their employees, just like any other employer.”

RELATED: Seat belt requirement a double bogey, industry says

RELATED: Retired B.C. golf courses ‘should return to farming’

Golf industry representatives protested last week that revised regulations appeared to be too broad, forcing them to add safety equipment to carts not designed for them. B.C. Liberal tourism critics Michelle Stilwell and Doug Clovechok appealed to Tourism Minister Lisa Beare to consider the impact of regulations on B.C.’s golf courses, which compete for business with Alberta and U.S. golf destinations.

WorkSafeBC is required by provincial law to regularly review its occupational health and safety regulations, including mobile equipment standards.

“The Part 16 review of mobile equipment originated with a number of separate issues ranging from mobile equipment guarding, rollover protection for turf care equipment and utility terrain vehicles, mobile crane standards and outdated braking standards for mobile equipment,” WorkSafeBC said.

Brian Schaal, B.C. representative on the board of the National Golf Course Owners Association, said last week he was seeking to clarify the situation. Modern golf courses use paths with curbs, GPS locators and speed governors to keep players and staff safe while driving power carts.


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