Utility Vehicle Safety

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Safe utility vehicle operation is always a part of the job when it comes to turf management. From lightweight to heavy duty, you will come across a variety of utility vehicles on the clock. Because workers and working materials are transported every day, it’s imperative to know your way around utility vehicles.

Whether you’re operating a dispenser unit or a tow vehicle, you must know the vehicle’s basic safety and operation functions. The only way to prevent accidents from happening is by educating yourself on vehicle inspection, training expectations, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and passenger safety. Only then will you be ready to safely operate a utility vehicle.

Before operation

Proper training is essential before operating a new utility vehicle. Before operating any utility vehicle for the first time, make sure you’ve been trained in on each of the following:

  • How to inspect the vehicle per OSHA safety standards
  • How to charge/refuel the vehicle
  • How to drive the vehicle
  • How to secure and carry cargo using the vehicle
  • And what each of the safety symbols on the dashboard of the vehicle indicate

If you are unsure about any of these items, or if you’re unsure whether you’re using the right utility vehicle for the job, ask your superintendent before operating the vehicle. They will guide you through any holes in your knowledge and assist you in making the safest choices.

As a side note, always confirm that you have every tool you’ll need for the day’s job before you begin. This includes making sure you have all personal protective equipment (PPE) that both the job and the vehicle require. Preparedness is key.

Pre-checking your vehicle

According to OSHA, all vehicles used on the turf must be checked at the beginning of each shift. To comply with OSHA standards, thoroughly check every vehicle to make sure the following parts are free of outward damage and are in safe operating condition:

  • All braking systems, including hand brakes, service brakes and emergency brakes
  • Tires
  • Horn
  • Seat belts
  • Steering mechanism
  • Operating controls
  • Coupling devices
  • And other safety devices

In addition, you’ll also need to check fuel and oil levels, tail and headlight conditions, and check for leaks or visible debris stuck in any part of the vehicle. Safety should always be our utmost priority, and carefully inspecting your vehicle before operation is the best way to keep everyone on the turf safe.

Passengers

Your responsibility doubles anytime you are carrying a passenger. Passenger safety is literally in your hands. Make sure everyone onboard the utility vehicle is abiding by safety standards, too, namely the use of safety belts.

Let’s get into the specifics of safe operation and safety for passengers. All persons in the vehicle should follow these four rules.

  1. First, in order to transport passengers, the vehicle must have seats for everyone onboard. The only place a passenger may ride is in a seat, not in a cargo bed or anywhere else on the vehicle. Furthermore, make sure every seat in the vehicle is firmly secured before use. This should be a part of your pre-operation safety check.
  2. Second of all, every passenger must be buckled up and all cargo secured before driving. Both passengers and the driver must always use their seatbelts. Seatbelts are a part of proper seating allocations—if the vehicle doesn’t have enough seatbelts for everyone onboard, then it is not suitable for transporting passengers.
  3. Third, take extra care when operating a utility vehicle on a slope or hill, especially when carrying the added weight of passengers or cargo. In order to avoid an overturn accident, maintain a soft angle going up and down all inclines. Always err on the side of caution when deciding if a slope is too harsh to drive up or down. Drive smoothly and slowly when making turns on an incline, too.
  4. Finally, all passengers and the driver should use three points of contact when stepping in or out of the vehicle. For example, you should instruct your passengers to use both hands and one foot when exiting the vehicle. Offer extra assistance to anyone who needs it.

Takeaways

Operator responsibility is at the heart of utility vehicle safety. Utility vehicles should be seen as tools and never toys. It only takes one oversight to result in an accident or injury. Therefore, it is up to you to prevent utility vehicle accidents before they happen.

Remember to check your vehicle inside and out before use. And come to work prepared with all the training knowledge and necessary PPE before starting a task.

 

And finally, comply with all OSHA safety standards and take extra care whenever a passenger is onboard a vehicle you’re operating. Utility vehicles can become deadly in an instant if safety standards are ignored or neglected. It’s the choices you make that keep accidents from happening—so buckle up, stay smart and stay safe when operating a utility vehicle this season.

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13 Safety Posters in English and Spanish

Brian Sexton   Lorem Ipsum is simply

Brian has almost 15 years experience of building software platforms and managing development teams . He specialises in the development of data driven technology platforms and machine learning algorithms.

Brian has a degree and a masters in software development and spent many years designing and building real time fraud and AML solutions for financial institutions around the world while working for BAE systems.

Since 2015 Brian has worked with a number of startups helping with development of technical strategy and building and managing software teams. Recently he has been working in sports tech for the golfing industry as VP of Engineering at Game Golf.

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John Clarkin has been working in the golf industry for the last quarter of a century. Following a London City and Guilds Degree in Greenkeeping, John graduated with distinction from Pennsylvania State University, USA, in 1994 where he studied Turfgrass Management.

He returned to Ireland where he assumed the role of Director of Golf Operations at Powerscourt Golf Club, Co. Wicklow, which he constructed, grew in and maintained for three years. In 1997, John established Turfgrass.

Turfgrass employs a team including Agronomists, Project Managers and Course Managers. John has established a reputation as one of Europe’s leading golf course development and management advisors specialising in Agronomy, Project Management, Golf Course Management, Private and Commercial Putting Greens and Recruitment. Current clients include Wentworth, Adare Manor, Gleneagles, The Solheim Cup and Vidauban.

He has spoken at numerous European and International Golf Federation conferences and has developed an extensive network of industry contacts across the world. Turfgrass have also developed Private Golf Academies for Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington.

Marcello Farini  Lorem Ipsum is simply

Marcello Farini Former  member of the British and European institute for golf Course architects 1998-2010 ( took a master degree in golf course architetture  in Merrist Wood College england Uk in 1997/1898. He has a Milan University Law degree and  masters therefore In 2010 found his own legal firm in Bergamo Italy and in London Uk , self-employed advocate member at Middle Temple inn of court in London. Worked as barrister And European lawyer in different countries in Europe in commercial and criminal Law. Italian english and french working languages, good knowledge of spanish.

Agustine Piza   Lorem Ipsum is simply

Agustín Pizá, Architect with a Masters in Golf Course Architecture from Edinburgh University in Scotland. Member of the European Institute and the American Society of Golf Course Architects.

For more than two decades Pizá has collaborated with legends of the game and world class golf developments. His designs are known for delivering quality, aesthetic and strategic golf courses.

Since 2006, Pizá Golf has been recognized with several international accolades and is known for Redefining Golf Facilities with its concepts WellnessGolf and GolfLounge. Involved in more than 60 projects in 3 continents, Agustin is a writer, tv commentator and director of The First Tee program in Mexico. 

At Piza Golf the passion begins when you live the experience.

Josh Williams   VP of Sales / Customer Success

The game of golf has been a passion of Josh’s for his entire life. He attended both Cal Berkeley and UC Davis on golf scholarships. After college he went on to play professionally for over a decade including playing full time on the Nationwide (now KornFerry) tour. Since retiring from professional golf he has worked in Sales and Business Development for a number of companies most of which are in the golf space. Josh has a proven track record of establishing key client relationships and driving new business.

In addition he founded and runs Giving in Motion, a non profit dedicated to providing clean water for children in Ghana. Since it’s inception Giving in Motion has provided 20,000 people clean water for life.

Tripp Cobb   Business Advisor

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Alex Borzo   Customer Support / Project Manager

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James Walsh   Customer Success / Project Manager

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Francois Haughton   International Business Development

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Suman Kumar  Engineering Manager

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Al Wilson   Co-Founder / CEO

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