There are indications that WorkSafeBC is backing down from proposed new regulations B.C.’s golf courses say would have been disastrous.
The plan would require all courses across the provinces to outfit motorized equipment with seat belts and rollover protection bars.
Pushback from the industry has been swift, and harsh.
“It really is, really to be honest, a very stupid idea,” said Craig Rencher with Cedar Hill Golf Club. “It just makes no sense whatsoever.”
The idea is not only being called impractical, but also costly.
Rencher estimates it would come to roughly $2,000 to retrofit each golf cart.
That’s an $80,000 hit for his fleet, and potentially $20,000,000 for the industry as a whole. Courses would have no choice but to pass those costs down to the players themselves.
BC Liberal tourism, arts, and culture critic Doug Clovechok is weighing in.
“Who’s going to police it? So, you get a two stroke penalty if you get caught? Come on. This is ridiculous.”
That outcry has prompted WorkSafeBC to take another swing at the idea.
“Based on stakeholder feedback, WorkSafeBC intends to limit the proposed changes to golf-course workers only, and workers in other industries where golf carts may be used,” said the agency in a statement.
“The proposed changes would not affect the public or golfers.”
B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains backed the move.
“[WorkSafeBC] has the tools to understand that the worker’s health and safety is protected. That’s the bottom line, and I expect nothing less.”
Rencher says even the revised proposal that covers only employees is not feasible.
“These types of things are just a major, major setback — beyond what we could even imagine,” he said.
Additional consultation and public hearings will be conducted this fall. There is no timeline on a decision, either way.
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