Central Illinois GCSA and OSHA enter into an
On Sept. 1, 2006, the Central Illinois GCSA (CIGCSA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Peoria Area Office, formed an alliance to provide superintendents and others within the industry information to promote workplace safety and health. OSHA will provide education and training to the members of CIGCSA on issues that will help the golf course superintendents keep their facilities in compliance with federal and state workplace regulations.
Win-win for all involved
“When Brian Bothast from OSHA approached us to form an alliance, I knew that it’s always best to be proactive rather than reactive,” Geoffrey Kemp, CGCS, CIGCSA president, said. “We view this alliance as a real opportunity to help our members and their facilities.”
OSHA has emphasis programs related to landscaping hazards, youth workers and immigrant workplace safety. “We expect that forming an alliance with CIGCSA will help OSHA in all three of these emphasis areas,” Bothast said. “I view it as a very effective relationship. Anytime I have the chance to speak with a large group of employers at one time, it’s something I definitely want to do!”
How it will work
With input from a committee of CIGCSA members, the two organizations have created eight areas where OSHA will focus its education and outreach. They are:
- Safety and health program development – including facility safety
- Accident investigation and OSHA recordkeeping requirements
- Respiratory protection and personal protective equipment
- Hazard communication
- Excavation hazards and competent person training
- Electrical safety and lockout/tagout requirements
- Tree trimming safety
- Machine guarding and equipment safety
The committee hopes to be able to produce easy-to-use templates for hazard communication, respiratory protection, and other safety and health topics. "These models will assist courses in the development and implementation of better safety and health programs and we want to be able to share this information with golf courses throughout the area,” Bothast said.
How can my chapter participate?
Bothast recommends the following steps. First come up with a list of items that your chapter’s members might need to improve. Some common items that Bothast sees are:
- Respiratory protection
- Hazard communication program
- Worksite analysis
- Management/employee training
Once the list of items has been developed, call the local OSHA office and let them know that your chapter is interested in creating an alliance. The local representative should be able to work with you from there.
“In the end, what we hope to see is a greater sense of trust and communication between employers and OSHA. OSHA isn’t just an agency represented in a newspaper article. We’re in your local community and we are here to educate, train and help you,” Bothast said.