A WorkSafeBC plan to revise regulations around mobile equipment, including requiring seat belts in some golf carts, is receiving push back from Island golfers.
“I mean you have so many serious issues to worry about, seat belts in golf carts shouldn’t be in the top 100,” said one golfer prior to teeing off at Olympic View Thursday.
“What a pain,” said another. Both golders remained anonymous.
The reaction is to a WorkSafeBC proposal that initially called for mandatory seat belts and roll bars for all golf carts.
WorkSafeBC says the safety measure was largely in response to ATV accidents in the province. As a safety measure, it was looking to revise the rules applying to “mobile equipment”, a category that includes ATV’s and golf carts.
After reviewing the feedback, WorkSafeBC tweaked the plan proposing the seatbelt requirement only apply to golf course workers.
If approved golf courses would be required to retrofit any vehicle used by an employee including maintenance vehicles, beer carts, and golf carts.
Local golf professionals say the rule is unnecessary since golf carts are rarely involved in safety issues.
“We have a tough time putting that kind of investment into something that’s really not going to move the needle as far as work safety is concerned,” said Kevin Maxwell the Golf Professional at Olympic View Golf Course.
Maxwell says employees at Olympic View often drive all the golf carts so the course would be forced to retrofit every vehicle at a cost of $2,000 each. The course has 76 golf carts.
“You know all of the operators I’ve talked to, we’re all kind of scratching our heads as to why this was proposed,” said Jeff Palmer at Highland Pacific Golf Course.
Both Palmer and Maxwell say the requirement could lead to higher green fees since courses would be looking to finance the upgrades.
WorkSafeBC says it conducted public consultations in 2018 and public hearings in the spring of 2019 and says the proposal came after speaking with stakeholders from various sectors including the golf industry.
It says the plan is still being revised and consultation is ongoing.
There is no timeline on when a decision will be made.