Coronavirus advice for Welsh greenkeepers

20 October 2020 COVID-19
© John Parry A greenkeeper at work at Wrexham Golf Club

 

The implementation of a 17-day 'circuit breaker' lockdown in Wales will see golf courses and other leisure venues close to the public.

For greenkeepers in Wales, there will be a return to the 'Essential Maintenance' guidelines that were produced by BIGGA and The R&A during the initial national lockdown earlier this year.

Safe routine maintenance practices for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Routine maintenance practices can continue, providing safe working practices are in place that are in line with Government safe working guidelines, and all golf facilities implement stringent measures to ensure staff members are not at risk.

The number of greenkeeping staff and the amount of time they spend at work should be tailored to fit with safe working practices.  

These include but are not limited to:

  • Focus on hygiene and social distancing
  • Ensure staff members work separately
  • Allocate individual machinery to one worker only
  • If multiple staff are on site, then stagger working hours and break times
  • Limit or prohibit use of communal areas
  • Regularly disinfect any surface that is contacted e.g. door handles, fuel pumps, communal machinery
  • Ensure there is a robust lone working policy

We've also produced some advice on how to keep teams safe in communal areas

The Welsh Government has provided five key steps to keep employees safe at work

1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment

Carry out a risk assessment through meaningful discussion with staff and their recognised trade union and share the results with your workforce.

You should have particular regard to whether the people doing the work are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

Risk assessments are a legal requirement for pregnant women no matter the size of the business.

2. Help staff to work from home whenever possible

3. Take action to ensure that 2m physical distancing is maintained between people on your premises, where possible

Where working from home is not reasonably practicable, those responsible for workplaces or for premises open to the public must ensure that everything reasonable is done to maintain a 2m distance between people on the premises while they are working, including outdoor locations. 

This is a legal requirement in Wales under the Coronavirus Regulations. Those responsible must have regard to the Statutory Guidance, which has been issued to help you understand what ‘taking all reasonable measures’ means and what to do if it is not possible to maintain a distance of 2m in certain circumstances.

4. Implement other measures to reduce the risk of exposure

Take all reasonable measures to minimise exposure to COVID-19, for example by:

  • Limiting the level of face-to-face interaction
  • Using physical barriers
  • Increased hygiene, environmental cleanliness and providing reminders about the importance of hygiene
  • Washing hands well for 20 seconds with soap and drying thoroughly, or using alcohol based hand gels, before and after close contact
  • Minimising loud noises which will require people to shout over them

The Welsh Government has issued Statutory Guidance on taking all reasonable measures to minimise exposure to COVID-19 to which you must have regard.

Failing to take reasonable measures to minimise exposure to coronavirus is an offence in Wales, which on conviction may lead to a fine.

5. Actively implement Test, Trace, Protect in the workplace

Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) works by: 

Testing those people who have COVID-19 symptoms and asking them to isolate while taking a test and waiting for a result

Tracing those individuals who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive for COVID-19, requiring them to take precautions and self-isolate (for 14 days).

Guidance is available for employers in Wales on how to Test, Trace, Protect.

Further guidance is available for greenkeepers and others who work outside.

Author

Karl Hansell
BIGGA | Communications Executive

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