Identifying The Employer
Achieving a healthy and safe workplace at a golf club is the responsibility of all from directors through a management team down to all the employees including part-time and volunteers. In a golf club there can be differences in ownership and the management structure; it is important that legal duties and responsibilities are clearly identified.
A proprietary golf club should have a clearly identifiable owner/director who is responsible for health and safety; or if it is part of a leisure group there should be a clear structure that shows the ‘chain of command’ where individuals’ roles and responsibilities are defined.
The situation can be less clear in a member's golf club where the employer role may be shared between a group of committees, each with its own separate members and chairman. The traditional structure of a member's golf club could have a general committee where the chairman of each committee sit and act as the ‘Board of Directors’ typically. According to the constitution of a golf club the officers would be elected for a specific term of office at a club annual general meeting. Some member's golf clubs have now modernised their structure reducing the number of committees with a Board of Directors elected for a term of office. This modern structure can improve decision making and communication with employees.
Any officer of a golf club who is involved in the preparation of policies and has a role for controlling the direction of the club can be deemed to be an employer/director, and a responsible person, for his or her period of office. Members of a golf club who are considering putting themselves forward for election as officers should receive guidance e.g. based on HSE Free Guide INDG343 ‘Directors Responsibilities for Health and Safety’. Where this guide uses the term Director, this includes the owner of a proprietary golf club, a committee member, chairman, captain or other officer of the club who has sole or joint responsibility for policies and procedures.