Workplace Equipment: Is Your Club Risking a Big Fine?

By Marsh

Posted 16/03/18

This article is featured in the March edition of The Golf Club Secretary Magazine

John Hayes, Development Executive at Marsh identifies the workplace equipment regulations that could leave golf clubs facing huge fines, and sets out a cost effective route to compliance.

Like any workplace, a golf club must be aware of and comply with any relevant health and safety regulations. Most are very good at the basics – dealing with the slip and trip risks, on-course hazards, and so on – but there are two quite specific regulations that are rather less well known and understood.

These are “The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998” (PUWER) and the “Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998” (LOLER). Both relate to the provision of work equipment and its safe use.

Make no mistake, these are very serious regulations. Failure to comply can result in fines, imprisonment or both. Indeed, punitive fines resulting from non-compliance can be very large indeed, rising to hundreds of thousands of pounds[i] – not forgetting of course that such a fine will usually result from someone being very badly hurt, or even killed, at work.

Is Your Golf Club at Risk?

Clearly knowledge is the first step to compliance and of course avoiding punishment should the worst happen. The key is to understand which items of equipment you provide to your employees are covered by PUWER and LOLER regulations.  It is then critical to put in place processes to mitigate the associated risks.

At golf clubs, equipment that typically falls under PUWER includes ladders, safety harnesses, lanyards, axle stands, excavators, excavator attachments, and pallet trucks. LOLER, meanwhile, covers lifting equipment and lifting operations – such as passenger lifts, goods lifts, disabled persons lifts, stair lifts, dumb waiters, vehicle lifts, chain slings, work platforms, and jacks.

So, if you provide employees with any such equipment for use at work, then your club does have a responsibility to comply with one or both of these regulations – if you are unsure, I would suggest contacting your health and safety adviser or your insurance broker for guidance.

Cost Effective Compliance

When it comes to complying with these regulations, the requirements are quite clear.  The fundamental requirements are for maintenance and either regular inspection (PUWER) or periodic thorough examination (LOLER) by a competent person.

However, in the case of PUWER, the type of inspection required depends on the nature of the equipment – and clubs failing to understand the distinction could be wasting hundreds of pounds on unnecessary third party expertise.

To quote the official PUWER guidance: “An inspection will vary from a simple visual to a detailed comprehensive inspection, which may include dismantling and/or testing.”

In practice, this means equipment like ladders, safety harnesses, lanyards, and axle stands could be inspected prior to use by employees with appropriate training – in these cases there is not necessarily any need to pay an independent competent person to carry out inspections.

Third party expertise will, however, usually be required for more complex items such as excavators, excavator attachments, and pallet trucks.

When it comes to lifting equipment covered by LOLER, external expertise is required more often than not. Typically, that will mean relying on an independent competent person such as those employed by engineering insurance and inspection companies with the appropriate accreditation.

Again, if you are in any doubt as to the nature of your inspection and maintenance responsibilities, leave nothing to chance – as a first step, contact your insurance broker for advice.

An Insurance Solution

This is clearly an important, and complex, issue – and, given the consequences of getting it wrong, one that no golf club can afford to ignore.

The good news is that insurance products are available to cover inspection and maintenance requirements, and to protect against equipment breakdown.

First, engineering inspection cover offers a cost effective way to put in place an appropriate regime of inspection and maintenance, carried out by accredited experts where required.

In my view, this is a simple way to take the uncertainty out of PUWER and LOLER compliance.  On top of that, it will help with regulations like the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 - which will affect items such as workshop tools, shoe/trolley cleaning hoses, pressurisation vessels for heating systems, even coffee machines – as well as COSHH and Electricity at Work rules.

Meanwhile engineering insurance cover is there to protect plant and machinery against:

  • Damage caused by sudden and unforeseen events.
  • Damage to surrounding property belonging to the insured or in their care, custody or control, caused by pressure plant explosion.
  • Damage due to operator error.
  • Breakdown of machinery.

Again, this cover is worth considering since it mitigates against the cost of breakdown and is likely to have important machinery back up and running sooner in the event of failure.

Act Now

In the end, whether an insurance solution or a tailored inspection regime, or a combination of both, is appropriate for your club will depend on the type and quantity of equipment covered by PUWER and LOLER present on site.

But one thing is for sure.  No club can afford to ignore these regulations, so if you are in any doubt, act now.  Seek professional advice – starting with a call to your insurance broker.

If you’d like to discuss the issues raised in this article, please contact Marsh on 020 7760 8930 or email us to request a call back.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) relates to the provision of work equipment and its safe use. These regulations require consideration to be given to:

  • The nature and degree of risk associated with the equipment and its use.
  • The means available to reduce those risks.


The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) apply in addition to the requirements of PUWER 98, for lifting equipment and lifting operations. These regulations require:

  • The planning, supervision and execution of lifting operations to ensure safety.
  • The safe use of lifting equipment.
  • The periodic thorough examination of lifting equipment by a competent person.




The information contained herein is based on sources we believe reliable and should be understood to be general risk management and insurance information only. The information is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such.

Marsh Ltd. Registered in England and Wales Number: 1507274

Registered office 1 Tower Place West, Tower Place, London, EC3R 5BU.

Marsh Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. © Copyright 2018 Marsh Ltd.  All rights reserved.

Posted 16/03/18

Author: Marsh

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