Discarded Needles and Broken Glass
However uncommon within golf club activities, there is still a possibility of staff coming into contact with sharp items such as discarded needles, broken glass, razor blades, etc.
Injuries from sharps are caused when there is penetration of the skin. Sharps may be contaminated by chemicals, micro-organisms or viruses which may lead to infection and illness from diseases such as Hepatitis, HIV or Tetanus. It is important that the club and its staff carefully deal with any sharps which they may come into contact with during their working activities.
It is essential that sharps, when found on the course, are handled with care and disposed of in a safe manner. Every club should have a procedure on what to do in the event of a sharp being found on the course. The procedure should typically include the identification process, safe handling, disposal methods, clean-up process, sharps injuries and reporting procedures.
The main requirements for managing sharps are:
- Completion of a relevant sharps handling risk assessment.
- Providing information, instruction and training to all staff in relation to not only the procedure to handle and dispose of sharps correctly but also the risks of handling sharps that may be contaminated.
- A written sharps handling procedure.
- Provision of a suitable labelled sharps container or box to store sharps securely prior to waste disposal.
- Appropriate first aid procedures and equipment to deal with sharps injuries.
- Reporting procedures following an incident involving sharps e.g. accident or near miss reporting book.
- Providing staff with suitable sharps handling equipment or tools to move the sharp safely.
- Provision of personal protective equipment for staff to protect themselves when handling sharps.
- Procedures for cleaning contaminated area and equipment after handling of sharps along with associated training for any hazardous substances being handled during the cleaning process.
Questions to Consider
- Is there a Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CoSHH) assessment available for any hazardous chemicals being used for cleaning?
- Is the equipment suitable for handling sharps?
- Have areas of risk been identified and information been given to persons who could be exposed to sharps?
- Is your sharps container suitably labelled as well as being stored and away from easy access?
- Have all staff been made aware of the risks and precautions to take when handling sharps?
The above guidance provides an introduction on the main requirements needed to adequately manage this health and safety topic. If you require further guidance, risk assessments or template documentation on this subject please consult your relevant full guidance health and safety website (BIGGA, England Golf, Scottish Golf, Wales Golf). If you do not hold the log in details for this website, for your club, please speak to your golf club management team to identify who the account administrator is and request the details.