Making Your Members and Guests Safe and Comfortable on the Course

The number one goal of every club owner and manager should be the safety and comfort of their members and guests. You can meet that goal by providing comfort stations at appropriate points on your course.

While there are no standards requiring golf course owners to equip their courses with comfort stations – known in various parts of the country as safety shelters, halfway houses, turn buildings, rest stops, etc. – the structures are welcomed additions to any golf course. The buildings provide respite for various purposes: protection from inclement weather, double as rest rooms or concession stands, or simply to provide shaded relief from a hot, summer sun. 

No matter their purpose, comfort stations should be well-built, strategically located, blend in aesthetically with the course, and be included on the course maintenance schedule. They should comply with local, city, county, and/or state building codes including handicap-accessible standards. Depending on where your club is located, comfort stations should be built to account for hurricane-force winds, earthquakes, or heavy snow. Even a basic, open-sided structure should have a properly secured concrete foundation, anchored supports, and roof.

Factors to take into account when considering where comfort stations should be placed include:

·         Distance from the clubhouse: One comfort station on each nine located in the farthest areas from the clubhouse.

·         Adjacent exposures: It should go without saying, but comfort stations should not be placed in the field of play. Also, exposures such as neighboring structures, poor terrain should be considered.

·         Use of utilities: If your comfort stations feature concessions and/or restrooms, they will require utilities such as plumbing, electricity, and/or gas.

·         Government requirements: Federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations may dictate where you may or may not place comfort stations on your course. For example, if the land on which your course is built features environmentally sensitive areas, the EPA may not permit structures to be built on them.

Daily inspections, housekeeping, and maintenance of your comfort stations are very important. While the purpose of the structures is to provide your members and guests relief and shelter, comfort stations can also pose liability exposures. Common complaints from golfers at these shelters are slips, trips, and falls on smooth or wet surfaces. Rubber mats and slip-resistive epoxy coatings can help reduce the potential for such incidents as well as your exposure.

Golfers come in all shapes, sizes, and physical capabilities. Many physically challenged individuals play the game and those who are members or guests of your club should expect to be able to enjoy a pleasant – and safe -- round of golf at your club. Your clubhouse no doubt meets handicapped standards; your comfort stations should meet them as well.

Lightning can occur anytime, anywhere, so no matter the size or design of your comfort stations, they should feature lightning protection. A lightning protection system forms a continuous conductive path for lightning current to follow, directing the current to the ground. Even the smallest shelter should have the basic elements of a lightning protection system:

·         At least one air terminal (rod)

·         At least two – preferably four – down conductors on two diagonally opposite sides of the building.

·         Ground terminals connected to the down conductors

If ANY structure on your course – including comfort stations – does not offer lightning protection, you should post a statement of that fact on the structure. Members, guests, and employees should avoid these unprotected buildings during thunderstorms.

To minimize your club’s liability exposure and to reduce the potential for loss, comfort stations on your course should be inspected regularly and preventive maintenance performed as standard club practice. On a daily basis:

·         Remove debris and perform general housekeeping.

·         Lock all doors when not in use.

·         Check the condition of walking surfaces, utilities, pest control, etc.

On a monthly basis:

·         Inspect fire and lightning protection systems.

·         Inspect all lighting fixtures.

On a semi-annual or annual basis:

·         Test fire and lightning protection systems.

·         Inspect the condition of the entire structure (roof, siding, etc.)

Comfort stations are designed to provide what their name implies: comfort for your members and guests. Proper planning and risk management will reduce the potential for loss and ensure the safety and security of all who use your facility. We suggest you consult with a qualified electrical contractor, your local fire department, your legal counsel, and broker or insurance provider prior to installing, replacing, or upgrading lightning and fire protection systems in your comfort stations.

 

David A. Harnois, CCM, is a proud employee-owner of Affinity Club Underwriters, specializing in commercial and group program business. David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world. He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com.

 

ABOUT AFFINITY

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services; operations and coverage audits; policy and information storage and archaeology; RFP preparation; market analysis; and help in developing specific loss control programs.  Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

Is Your Club's Fitness Center In-Shape?

Introduction:

Getting fit is no craze in the United States. Fitness is a full-blown American lifestyle. According to statista.com, the number of fitness and health centers in the U.S. increased nearly 21 percent from 30,022 in 2008 to 36,180 in 2015.

Those figures are not lost on the club industry. Many clubs feature on-premises fitness centers as not only a way for their members, guests, and employees to trim off a few pounds, but also as a key element as they evolve into a one-stop fitness shop.

While injuries associated with fitness equipment are not frequent, they can be serious, leading to liability impact. Some clubs elect to contract the operation and management of their fitness centers out to qualified entities. Going that route requires contract terms that address indemnification and minimum insurance.

However, the majority of club fitness centers are managed by the clubs themselves. In this case, proper planning and risk management is essential to ensuring the safety and security of all who use the facility.

Equipment Considerations:

Depending on what services you offer or plan to offer through your fitness center, you will need a variety of exercise equipment. A host of manufacturers serve this market, but we recommend focusing on institutional-quality equipment from reputable companies.

Exercise equipment comes in two basic categories:

·         Cardiovascular or aerobic equipment: Examples include stationary bikes, ski and rowing machines, mechanical stairs and treadmills.

·         Musculoskeletal equipment: Single and multiple station exercise machines to tone or condition shoulders, legs, back and abdomen. Avoid free weights; rather select machines with enclosed weight stacks. Do not allow users of your fitness center to bring their own weights to the facility.

Depending on what other services you wish to include, you might also need tanning booths, massage tables, towels and robes, and other items.

Facility and Layout:

There are several areas regarding the physical nature of an on-site fitness center to consider:

·         Spacing of equipment: Adhere to manufacturer recommendations to reduce possible interference as people use the equipment.

·         Sequence and traffic flow: Should be appropriate to avoid overcrowding.

·         Safety of users: A see-through glass wall allows passersby to notice anything out of the ordinary, such as a medical emergency. A remote monitoring system is an option, especially for unstaffed fitness centers. Lighting should be adequate and remain on during hours of operation. An emergency phone should be easily accessible and clearly marked with dialing instructions. For all electrical equipment, correct voltage should be determined with outlets located in the floor next to the equipment.

·         Aesthetics: If your fitness center features aerobics and a group exercise area, consider its design, décor, location, and furnishings. Don't be afraid to offer simplicity where it fits and luxury where it's needed.

·         Locker rooms and showers: Check your local and state health codes regarding regulations that apply to public locker and rest rooms and showers. Consider accessibility by disabled members, guests, and employees, and signs should be placed appropriately. Floors should be kept as clean and dry as possible. Use mats to reduce slips and falls, and inspect grab bars and restroom stall doors periodically. Protect your members, guests, and employees from scalding water by installing devices on showers and sinks to prevent water from exceeding a temperature of 120°F at the source and 110°F at the tap.

Housekeeping/Maintenance:

Because of the number of people who have access to your fitness center, it is a must that good housekeeping practices be performed daily. All exercise equipment should be sanitized and locker room and showers inspected every day. Place sweat mats under all cardio equipment.

Ensure that all guards and protective covers are in place at all times. Periodically inspect all exercise equipment, and repair or replace as warranted. Fix or replace all torn carpet or missing tiles immediately to prevent trips and falls.

Staffing:

Hiring qualified individuals to manage and supervise all areas of your club determines the overall success of your facility. Your fitness center is no exception. Hiring specially trained staff is necessary to ensure the satisfaction and safety of your members, guests, and employees who use your health club.

Consider an individual’s credentials such as a phys ed degree or certification by a national health-related association. Each member of your staff – not only your fitness center staff but all staff who comes in direct contact with your members and guests – should be qualified to perform first aid and CPR. Automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) should be installed in appropriate locations throughout your facility.

Physical Health Questionnaire:

To help protect your club from potential liability, all members and employees choosing to use regularly your fitness center should be required to complete a detailed health survey. Written permission from physicians should be required of pregnant women and people with prior conditions such as heart issues, back problems, or other conditions.

Signage:

You should check with your insurance agent or broker, legal counsel, and your local and state regulations regarding signage requirements for fitness centers and health clubs. All signs should be placed in conspicuous locations. The size of all signs should be such for all to see and read clearly. A sign that clearly states the fitness center is for use by members, guests, and employees should be placed where people can see it as they enter the facility.

Manufacturer’s printed instructions for the use of exercise equipment should be placed near each piece. A disclaimer should be included on all shower and locker room signs regarding the liability for any loss associated with locker room use and warn the guests about protecting their valuables and personal possessions. Provide a warning sign about slippery floors.

Licensing:

Depending on your local and state laws, you may need more than a simple business license. Check with a city official or chamber of commerce to find out what more you might need.

Insurance:

It is often wise to carry a highly inclusive insurance policy in case of accidents or injury occurring at your fitness center. There may also be government regulations that apply to insurance and health clubs. We strongly urge you to consult with your legal counsel and broker or insurance provider if you have or are considering adding a fitness center to your club’s operation.

Conclusion:

Fitness centers promote a healthy life style among your members, guests, and employees. While accidents and injuries are not very frequent, they do happen in fitness centers. Proper planning and risk management will help you manage your fitness center operation and ensure the safety and security of all who use your facility.

David A. Harnois, CCM is a proud employee owner of Affinity Club Underwriters, specializing in commercial and group program business. David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world. He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com.

 

ABOUT AFFINITY

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services; operations and coverage audits; policy and information storage and archaeology; RFP preparation; market analysis; and help in developing specific loss control programs.  Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

Protecting Your Club Against Thieves and Vandals

Anyone who owns a home or a business has the right to feel their property is secure and protected. As a club owner or manager, you have that same right. Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that bad things sometimes happen to good people.

Providing security for your club can be a daunting task. The most obvious reason is the sheer size of your facility. Even the smallest nine-hole club can be spread over a wide area. By the time you factor in another nine holes or more, tennis courts, swimming pool, clubhouse, maintenance building, parking lots and more, the job of protecting your valuable assets and the assets of your members and guests becomes even greater.

The trick, then, for club owners and managers is to minimize losses as best you can. Let’s look at some of the more obvious security threats that can happen in and around your club:

·         Vehicle vandalism

·         Stolen golf clubs

·         Locker room damage

·         Stolen coats from your coat check

·         Clubhouse break-in

·         Damaged or stolen golf carts

·         People driving their cars over your greens and tee boxes

·         Garbage thrown into your pool

·         Nets ripped or stolen from your tennis courts

Security threats to your club don’t always come from the outside. Unfortunately, the threat also exists from the inside. Research shows that one in seven employees will steal from an employer at some point.

As a club owner or manager, one of your primary responsibilities is providing security to your environment and for members and guests. The question is: How?

That’s a good question to ask your insurance broker or agent. They, along with security experts, have the knowledge and expertise to advise you on how to minimize risk and protect the valuable assets of your club, members and guests.

You and your staff can do something else yourselves. Take the time to inspect your property through the eyes of a thief. Literally pretend you’re a vandal or a criminal, and walk through your clubhouse, including the office, pro shop, kitchen, dining room, lounge, and locker rooms; all ancillary buildings, including cart garage and maintenance buildings; parking lots, tennis courts, pool area…your entire facility. As you go, ask yourselves, “If I wanted to, how could I break in? What could I steal, especially quickly? What could I damage?”

Thieves are not dumb. They know your club is full of high-end goods from golf equipment to flat screen TVs; from expensive men and women’s clothing to computers; from golf carts and maintenance equipment to cold, hard cash.

Your club is a business. As such, it’s a target for those who would prefer to take what you have; and if they can’t take it, they’ll try to break it. And, let’s face it: there are people in this world who do bad things just because they can.

But, you can make it difficult for them. Here are some common sense steps you can take to safeguard your club’s property:

·         Install a card-swipe entry system to gain access to more vulnerable areas such as offices, club storage rooms, etc.

·         Install security cameras to monitor areas such as the pro shop, parking lots, bag drop area, driving range, and cart rental area.

·         Install fences and locked gates around your property, including parking lots.

·         Hire a security firm to patrol the grounds.

While it’s true you can’t protect everything, it’s a good time to visit with your insurance broker or agent and ask what coverages are available.

 

David A. Harnois, CCM is a proud employee owner of Affinity Club Underwriters, specializing in commercial and group program business. David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world. He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com.

ABOUT AFFINITY

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services; operations and coverage audits; policy and information storage and archaeology; RFP preparation; market analysis; and help in developing specific loss control programs.  Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

Protecting Your People and Property Against Lightning

Human beings and lightning make for a dangerous – and sometimes deadly – combination. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), over the past 20 years, an average of 51 Americans are killed by lightning each year. By its very nature of offering outdoor activities such as golf, tennis and swimming, your members, guests, and employees are potential victims of lightning strikes. So too are the physical assets that dot your landscape such as buildings, equipment, even trees.

Lightning prevention is, of course, impossible. Lightning protection is not. Unfortunately, we never know where or when lightning will occur. However, by developing, implementing, and maintaining a lightning protection program – and throwing in a dash of good ol’ common sense – lives can be saved, property can be protected from significant damage, and losses from lightning can be avoided or mitigated.

Some Facts About Lightning

Lightning takes the path of least resistance on its way to the ground. And, because the human body consists of a high percentage of water, it makes for a very good conductor.

·         According to the NOAA, a lightning bolt can be fatal up to 100 feet away from the point of the strike.

·         The air in a lightning strike can heat up to as much as 50,000° F, producing the shockwave that results in thunder.

·         Each year in the U.S., lighting causes more than 26,000 fires with damage to property exceeding $5-6 billion.

·         Globally, 2,000 on-going thunderstorms cause about 100 lightning strikes each second.

·         Lightning can occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.

·         A cloud-to-ground strike can produce between 100 million and one billion volts of electricity.

·         Lightning strike victims carry no post-strike electrical charge, so they should be helped immediately.

Protecting Members, Guests, and Employees

The average nine-hole golf course in the U.S. occupies approximately 74 acres of land, while the typical 18-hole course has 150 acres of maintained turf. That’s a lot of ground. And what occupies that ground are your clubhouse, parking lots, maintenance buildings, equipment, tennis courts, swimming pools, trees -- and, of course, people. All are potential lightning targets.

Common sense should tell everyone who is outdoors – in the swimming pool, on a tennis court, or on the golf course – to begin to move to shelter when they see threatening weather approaching. The Rules of Golf – Rule 6-8a -- even allow golfers to discontinue play if they believe there is danger from lightning. But, as you’re well aware, there are those who often put that day’s round or tennis match or daily swim ahead of their own safety and continue to play even when the weather turns potentially dangerous.

The primary job of all employees of your club is the well-being of everyone on your property. Education should be your first line of defense against lightning. When we were kids, we were taught basic lightning safety tips. As adults, we often forget what we learned as youngsters. Here are several lightning safety tips you should consider posting in strategic places around your facilities as reminders to your members and guests:

·         Get indoors or in a car.

·         Avoid water, including swimming pools, and all metal objects.

·         Get off the high ground.

·         Avoid trees.

·         If caught outdoors during nearby lightning:

o   Stay away from other people.

o   Remove all metal objects (watch, earrings, etc.)

o   Crouch with feet together, head bowed, and place hands on ears to reduce acoustic shock.

And, do you remember how to measure lightning’s distance? Today it’s referred to as “Flash-to-Bang.” For every five seconds from the time you see a lightning flash to hearing the associated thunder (bang), lighting is one mile away. For example, an F-B of 10 means lightning is two miles away; an F-B of 25 is five miles.

To further help protect members and guests (sometimes from their own lack of common sense) and your club (from potential litigation), the National Lighting Safety Institute (NLSI) recommends the following additional measures if they’re not already in place:

1.       Install an audible lightning alert system that can clearly be heard in all areasof your facility, including the golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool, etc. DO NOT expose employees to danger by sending them around your grounds.

2.       Install weather shelters with protective, grounded lightning rods (today known as air terminals, installed at strategic points of the structure) at the farthest points of your facility. For example, at least one weather shelter per nine-hole course should be in place.

3.       Invest in early lightning detection technology. These systems detect cloud-to-cloud lightning, a precursor to cloud-to-earth lightning.

4.       Designate someone to be responsible for monitoring daily weather conditions. Suggested resources an NOAA weather radio; TV weather channel; on-line weather services; weather subscription services; notification from nearby commercial or government airfields; dedicated lightning detection and notification systems; looking out the window, etc.

5.       Inform your employees that they can suspend activities and go to an appropriate shelter if they feel threatened by lightning.

6.       Place lightning stickers on all operating machinery, pump house, employee bulletin boards, rest room and locker room mirrors, cash registers, golf cars, beverage carts, and other visible locations.

7.        Notify members and guests of threatening conditions. Some examples: post a daily weather advisory; activate the lightning alert system; put a safety notice on scorecards and golf cars.

8.        All outdoor activities should be suspended until 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard. The distance from strike A to strike B to strike C can be some 5-8 miles away, but lightning can strike much farther away. Don’t risk it.

 A special note about swimming pools: According to the NLSI, swimming pools are connected to a much larger surface area via underground water pipes, gas lines, electric and telephone wiring, etc. Lightning strikes to the ground anywhere on this metallic network may induce shocks elsewhere.

Above all, keep your people informed. Implementing a lightning detection and safety program may help you with issues involving duty-to-warn, liability or negligence issues.

Maintain written records of lightning safety procedures and keep copies of all posted materials. Maintain a file called "Lightning Safety." Adopt a policy for lightning safety. Post it for all to see.

Protecting Structures and Equipment

Protecting key structures on your club’s grounds can help limit property losses. If yours is like most clubs, your clubhouse – with tennis courses and swimming pool nearby – sits at the highest point on the course, making it and everything around it particularly susceptible to lightning strikes.

Your maintenance buildings, most likely located away from the clubhouse, house very expensive groundskeeping equipment. And, if your golf carts are battery-powered, the building in which they’re stored is especially vulnerable to lighting strikes because when hooked to their charging stations, these carts are extremely sensitive to lighting.

To protect all of these valuable assets, a well-maintained lightning protection system should be in place to intercept lighting along a controlled path between the air and the earth. Usually, these systems feature the following:

·         Air terminals situated at strategic points of a building.

·         At least two ground connectors should be installed at each building. These connectors provide contact with the earth to dissipate the lightning charge. You should consult a qualified contractor or electrician if you have any concerns about complying with local regulations.

·         Surge protection in your buildings is a must to protect computers, TVs, and other valuable electronic equipment.

Protecting Sprinkler Systems

Improved technology has driven the evolution of in-ground sprinkler systems, involving additional computer-controlled electronic components. As such, today’s sprinkler systems have become more susceptible to lightning strikes. Your grounds maintenance staff should be able to obtain from the system manufacturer instructions for protecting this valuable resource.

As with other computer systems throughout your facility, surge protection and regular back-up and off-site storage of computer data should be used.

Protecting Trees

Trees are probably the tallest things on your property, making them prime targets for direct lightning strikes. Golfers should be warned to keep away from trees during threatening weather.

Your lightning protection program should include efforts to safeguard those trees you consider to be most valuable. It’s recommended that copper air terminals and cables be placed strategically on a tree to create an umbrella effect and grounded similar to your buildings.

Inspection and Maintenance

Implementing a lightning protection program can be fairly expensive. You should develop an on-going inspection and maintenance plan to protect your investment. Your lightning protection systems should be inspected at least once a year. If your club is located in areas where the climate changes considerably throughout the year (northern tier of states, for example), semi-annual inspections are recommended. Every three to five years complete, in-depth inspections should be made.

Inspection recordkeeping is important. Maintain records of all inspections, maintenance, and testing. Keep them on file, compare results from previous records, and investigate issues if needed.

Summary

Finally, lightning is known to ignore every defense man can conceive, but a best effort defense is a prudent thing to do. We strongly urge you to consult with a qualified electrical contractor, your legal counsel and broker or insurance provider and to consider implementing a lightning safety program for the safety of your members, guests and employees.

 

David A. Harnois, CCM is a proud employee owner of Affinity Club Underwriters, specializing in commercial and group program business. David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world. He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com.

ABOUT AFFINITY

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services; operations and coverage audits; policy and information storage and archaeology; RFP preparation; market analysis; and help in developing specific loss control programs.  Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

Use of AED Key to Surviving Cardiac Arrest

Importance of Early Defibrillation

February is the month for red. Not only do we celebrate Valentine’s Day, but February is American Heart Month as well. According to the American Heart Association, more than a quarter of a million Americans die each year from sudden cardiac arrest. In the event of cardiac arrest, every second counts. For every minute that passes without treatment, a victim’s chance of survival decreases by 7 to 10 percent.

The key to survival, says the American Heart Association, is timely initiation of the five-ring “chain of survival,” including CPR and the use of an AED. The “rings” of the chain include:

1.       Immediate recognition of cardiac arrest

2.       Early CPR with emphasis on chest compressions

3.       Rapid defibrillation

4.       Effective advanced life support

5.       Integrated post-cardiac arrest care

Rapid defibrillation means immediate use of a properly functioning AED. When defibrillation is provided within five to seven minutes, the rate of surviving cardiac arrest is nearly 50 percent. According to OSHA, many lives would be saved every year if AEDs helped revive even 40 percent of cardiac event victims.

Is having an AED program worth the Investment?

Let’s answer that question with a question: What’s the price of a human life? It should seem that being able to save the life of an employee; customer or guest of your club would be worth the cost of implementing an AED program. Having AEDs on site shows your club genuinely cares for the well-being of all who frequent your facility.

An AED is a lightweight, portable, battery-operated device that is used to monitor a cardiac victim’s heart rhythm and seek an abnormal signal. When used properly, the highly user-friendly device provides instructions to the responder with voice prompts and an information display. The AED will shock a victim ONLY if the person’s heart gives off an abnormal rhythm and ONLY after the responder presses a button.

Several brands of AEDs are on the market; all have similar characteristics to assist those properly trained in the use of the device, even those who rarely use them. Most AEDs cost less than $4,000 and all are classified by the FDA as “restricted medical devices,” meaning a prescription from a physician is required to obtain and use the device in the state in which it’s located. This prescription is often available from the AED provider.

Implementing a Program

Implementing an AED program does not and should not take the place of calling 911 in the event of an emergency. AED use is one step in the chain of survival. An effective AED program has several components, including an emergency response defibrillation plan that covers:

·         Documentation procedures

·         Identifying employers who will be responders

·         AED training for those employees

·         Location of AEDs within your facility

·         Clearly defined program coordination and quality assurance

·         Knowledge of state and federal AED guidelines

·         Processes and procedures to ensure AEDs and supplies are in working order

Medical Oversight

Federal regulations also require what is called “medical oversight” with an AED program. Medical oversight means your program needs a physician to oversee its planning, implementation, policy establishment, training and quality control. The physician acts as an advisor for your club’s AED program.

State requirements vary, with some requiring medical control for any AED program and others requiring only a signed prescription. However, the American Heart Association recommends a physician be involved with any AED program.

Responder Training

FDA requirements allow the use of an AED only by persons trained and certified according to state and local laws. The following topics are required to be covered during AED training:

·         Proper CPR administration

·         AED training

·         Blood borne pathogens

·         Basic first aid

Recordkeeping of employee AED training is required as well. Certifications in CPR, AED, first aid and blood borne pathogens expire every 1-3 years. Timely responder training and documentation will ensure that your employees’ skills are up to date and that they’re able to respond to an emergency.

Club Liability and Legal Issues Regarding AEDs

Risk and liability are valid concerns your club may have should a customer, guest or employee suffer a cardiac event on your property. You may be concerned that legal action could be brought against your club should vga responder cause additional harm to the victim because of the use of an AED.

The federal Cardiac Arrest Survival Act of 2000 extended Good Samaritan protection to AED owners and users in states that did not have their own AED Good Samaritan protection. Good Samaritan laws ensure people are protected from legal liability should they harm someone they’re trying to help. All states have Good Samaritan laws that protect AED users and owners. All employee responders must be aware of your state’s Good Samaritan law to eliminate any hesitation for them to assist victims in need.

Every state has also passed legislation and/or regulations requiring places open to the public to have AEDs available. Click here to check on your state’s AED legislation summaries and requirements, including Good Samaritan laws. We strongly urge you to consult with your legal counsel and broker or insurance provider and to consider obtaining the appropriate number of AEDs for the safety of your members, guests and employees.

 

David A. Harnois, CCM is a proud employee owner of Affinity Club Underwriters, a division of VGM Insurance Services, Inc. and VGM Group; specializing in commercial and group program business. David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world. He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com

 

ABOUT AFFINITY

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services; operations and coverage audits; policy and information storage and archaeology; RFP preparation; market analysis; and help in developing specific loss control programs.  Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

Marijuana and the Impact on Your Workplace

As of Nov. 11, 2016, 26 states and the District of Columbia had passed laws legalizing the use of marijuana in some form or another. Nearly half of all states (and D.C.) have enacted laws legalizing the use of medical marijuana, while several states and D.C. have legalized the use of recreational marijuana. In addition, even in states that have not passed legislation legalizing either medical or recreational use, some cities within those state have. Laws vary greatly from state to state, offering various levels of protection for both medical and recreational use.

The federal government, however, has not legalized the use of marijuana – medical or otherwise. Under federal law, marijuana is still a Schedule I drug. Schedule I drugs, as defined by the United States Controlled Substances Act, are drugs that have a high potential for abuse and have currently no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. In other words, regardless of how many states have legalized its use in any form, marijuana is considered an illegal drug under U.S. law.

Therefore, if your club is located in an area of the country that has not legalized the use of marijuana, situations regarding an employer’s use of the drug are cut and dried: marijuana is an illegal substance and should not be permitted to be used by employees.

On the other hand, if your club is located in an area in which the use of marijuana has been legalized, you will no doubt be forced to deal with employees who use marijuana either medicinally or recreationally. The issues you could face as an employer regarding employees’ use of marijuana are increasing and raise many questions you need to consider, such as:

  •         Is my current drug-free workplace policy viable and enforceable?
  •       How can I avoid discriminatory practices and claims when it comes to medicinal marijuana?
  •          How and when can my club screen for impairment on the job?
  •       What liability exists if an employee is injured or injures another on the job while under treatment with medicinal marijuana?
  •       What involvement does a union have with medical marijuana?
  •       How are OSHA safety programs and injury and illness recordkeeping affected?

The word of law varies greatly from state to state (and even from jurisdiction to jurisdiction within a given state) regarding the use of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes. However, one major issue you’ll face as an employer, regardless of where your club is located, is drug testing in the workplace.

Generally, employers may conduct drug testing on a pre-employment, random or reasonable suspicion basis, regardless of their location. Several courts have held that an employee is not protected if terminated from a job for smoking marijuana. The most recent case took place in Colorado, which legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2012. In 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that an employer may fire an employee who participates in an activity that violates federal law. Regarding marijuana, this means that employers may conduct drug testing and may discipline and fire employees who test positive for the drug, even in states that have legalized its use.

We strongly recommend that you research your state’s law requirements and work with your safety advisor, legal counsel and your broker or insurance provider to ensure the correct workplace policies are in place to protect your club.

David A. Harnois, CCM is a Proud Employee Owner of Affinity Club Underwriters, specializing in commercial and group program business. David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world. He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com.

ABOUT AFFINITY

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services; operations and coverage audits; policy and information storage and archaeology; RFP preparation; market analysis; and help in developing specific loss control programs.  Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

Winter is Here. Is Your Sprinkler System Ready?

The calendar says December. That means winter, and with winter comes temperatures low enough to wreak havoc on a club’s fire sprinkler system. Clubs located in areas of the country not normally associated with cold weather are particularly vulnerable to frozen sprinkler systems, thus leaving them especially susceptible to fire and the damage it can cause. As a club owner or manager, it’s critical that you be alert to unusual climate changes that could causefreezing and be ready to take the necessary steps to prevent a possible disaster for your club.

 

Two Common Systems: Wet and Dry

The two most common fire sprinkler systems are wet pipe and dry pipe systems. Wet pipe systems are the more common of the two. In a wet pipe system, the overhead piping is filled with water under pressure. When one or more of the connected sprinklers is activated by fire, water immediately discharges from the sprinkler head.

Because the entire system is filled with water, wet fire sprinkler systems are normally not installed in climates where temperatures fall below 40 degrees F. Wet systems freeze most often in exposed areas, out-of-the way places and during “down” times like colder than normal weekends or holidays when a sudden cold snap catches a club off guard. Inadequate heating is generally the cause of pipes freezing in a wet sprinkler system.

Dry fire sprinkler systems contain pressurized air or nitrogen which holds back the water at a main valve. When the sprinkler system is activated by fire, the air pressure drops, opening the valve and releasing the water to be discharged from the sprinklers.  Because they are generally installed in environments where temperatures regularly fall below 40 degrees F., dry sprinkler systems are used in structures that are not heated, inadequately heated or that are open to the outdoor elements for extended periods of time.

Dry sprinkler systems are known to freeze when water collects in improperly pitched pipes, when water is allowed to accumulate in low-point drains or when water is not sufficiently drained after the valve has been tripped.

 

The Physics – and Cost -- of Frozen Pipes

In either type of fire sprinkler system, you’re dealing with water. When water freezes, it expands within the pipe by 10 percent, which can cause hairline fractures in the pipe. These cracks will go undetected until the next warm up when the ice melts and water begins exiting the pipe, potentially causing major damage to the property. A broken, one-inch pipe can lose up to 60 gallons of water per minute.

Fire sprinkler pipe freezes occur most commonly in exterior walls and attics. Why?  Because those areas of a building are often forgotten about when the sprinkler system needs to be drained.

The average cost of a burst pipe is at least $30,000 per episode. And, that doesn’t take into account what would happen should a fire break out while the sprinkler system is down. When a fire sprinkler system freezes, the building’s water supply drops. If a fire should occur and a portion of the pipe is blocked by ice, water flow would be hindered, and the nearest sprinkler head may not activate.

 

Prevention Tips

The best defense against a frozen sprinkler system is a good offense; that is, ongoing maintenance, testing and inspection of the system.

  • All structures on your club’s property that are protected by fire sprinklers should be physically inspected BEFORE cold weather hits. There should be no areas with insufficient heat, and precautions should be in place to make sure the sprinkler system is not exposed to freezing temperatures.
  •  Set all thermostats to 55 degrees or higher at all times.
  • Do not let ice and snow to accumulate on roofs, windows and around foundations of your club’s structures.
  •  Your employees should watch for and report any possible cold weather problems.
  • The sprinkler system should be inspected annually by a licensed contractor. The contractor should demonstrate to all of your employees how all valves operate. You should then assign to an appropriate employee the responsibility of shutting down the system in the event of a burst pipe.
  • Check on your club’s fire protection systems more frequently than normal during cold weather.

What if?

If, even after giving it your best shot, Mother Nature gets the upper hand and freezes your fire sprinkler system, you should act immediately to mitigate the possibility of additional damage and to reduce the chances of fire that could devastate your club.

  • Contact your local fire department about your sprinkler system being out of service.
  • Do NOT attempt to repair the system yourself. Contact the service professional who inspects the system.
  • Any hazardous activity should be stopped until the system has been repaired.
  • If not already a policy, implement and enforce a No Smoking policy in the area.
  • Place additional fire extinguishers throughout the area.
  • Until the system is repaired, the affected structure should be monitored 24/7.

If damage does occur to your property and you need to file a claim, contact your insurance provider immediately.

 

David A. Harnois, CCM is a Proud Employee Owner of Affinity Club Underwriters, specializing in commercial and group program business. David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world. He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com.

 

ABOUT AFFINITY

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services; operations and coverage audits; policy and information storage and archaeology; RFP preparation; market analysis; and help in developing specific loss control programs.

Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

Distracted Employee Driving Can Result in Employer Liability

In the not too distant past, cell phones were considered, if not a luxury for most, certainly a toy for the wealthy or tech savvy among us. Not so today.

According to PewResearchCenter, as of January 2014, 90 percent of American adults owned a cell phone. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the number of Americans aged 18 and over in 2014 was 245,308,220. Extrapolating those figures would result in nearly 221,000,000 cell phones in the United States alone. Fast forward two years, and the number of cell phones in use has almost certainly increased.

And, that’s just adults. The number of Americans under the age of 18 – who make up a large percentage the country’s population, as well as a club’s payroll – are among the heaviest users of cell phones.

Cell phones today have become as much of a business tool as the computer. Cell phones conveniently allow businesses to instantly connect with customers, suppliers and employees. This instant access leads many people to use their cell phone while driving. As valuable a tool as a cell phone is, however, its use while driving raises a myriad safety concerns.

 

The following are some startling statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation:

·         In 2014, nearly 3,200 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers.

·         As of December 2014, 159.3 BILLION text messages were sent in the U.S.

·         Ten percent of all drivers aged 15 to 19 involved in fatal accidents were reported to be distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group – again, which make up a significant share of a club’s employee base – has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the accidents.

·         A 2015 Erie Insurance distracted driving survey found that one-third of drivers admitted to texting while driving, and three-quarters said they’ve seen others do it.

 

Employer Liability: Vicarious Responsibility

Employers have faced liability for the actions of their employees, including lawsuits for negligence for using cell phones while driving. The most common legal theory under which an employer may be found liable for the actions of an employee is vicarious liability. Companies have been found liable -- and they and their insurers have paid out millions in settlements and judgements – even when those organizations have had cell phone policies in place; when employees were driving company-owned vehicles while running personal errands; when employees made personal calls on company-provided phones; and even when an employee was driving his/her own vehicle while attending to personal business when the distraction was business related.

For example:

·         Texas, 2012: Coca-Cola paid $24 million to a woman who was injured in an accident with a Coke salesperson who was driving a company car while using a hand-free phone. Even though Coca-Cola had a cell phone policy in place, the company was still found liable.

·         Florida, 2001: In the first vicarious liability case to bring in a verdict, Dyke Industries, a lumber company was found liable and $16 million awarded to the plaintiff who was injured when struck by a truck driven by a Dyke employee. The driver’s cell phone records showed he had been using his phone at the time of the accident.

·         Pennsylvania, 2003: A stockbroker working for Salomon Smith Barney was driving to a non-business event on his own time in his own vehicle and talking on his own cell phone when he struck and killed a 24-year-old motorcyclist. The employee admitted he was making cold calls, a normal, company business practice. Salomon Smith Barney was found negligent and a $500,000 settlement resulted.

 

Legislative Bans

At latest count, 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands have instituted bans on text messaging for all drivers. Fourteen states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban the use of handheld cell phones by all drivers. At this point, no state bans all cell phone usage for all drivers.

For current state-by-state information regarding cell phone laws, please click here.

 

Company Policy

As we’ve already seen, having a company policy banning the use of cell phones while driving does not prevent a company from facing liability should an accident occur.

Many companies in the U.S. have developed policies regarding the use of cell phones while employees are driving. However, the piece that’s missing in most of these policies is how these companies enforce and audit employee compliance. Without monitoring employee adherence, employers have virtually no way of knowing if employees are using cell phones while driving or not – until the next accident happens.

 

Monitoring Compliance

As a club owner or manager, you face enormous risk every day for the actions of your employees and their use of cell phones. Risks include not only financial losses – legal judgments, increased insurance premiums, workers’ comp claims, fines and repair costs – but injury to your club’s reputation. Implementing policy regarding use of cell phones while driving is not enough; you must demonstrate you’ve done everything in your power to audit and enforce employee compliance with your policy.

Technology is on the market today that is capable of disabling cell phones in a moving vehicle and returning them to service when the vehicle stops. We strongly recommend that you research such technology and work with your legal counsel and your broker or insurance provider to make the necessary investments and ensure the correct policies are in place to protect your club, reputation and most of all the lives of your employees and anyone who shares the road with them.

 

David A. Harnois, CCM is a Proud Employee Owner of Affinity Club Underwriters, specializing in commercial and group program business. David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world. He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com.

 

ABOUT AFFINITY

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services; operations and coverage audits; policy and information storage and archaeology; RFP preparation; market analysis; and help in developing specific loss control programs.

Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

 

Background Screening

Background checks are an indispensable tool for any industry. Bad hires pose unique hazards to the health and welfare of businesses – namely property loss, customer dissatisfaction, litigation and damage to a company’s professional reputation. We’ve made it our goal to help you eliminate the threat of these risks for our customers.  As a Club Manager, the responsibility lies with you to maintain a safe environment for your employees, customers and guests. We know you want to hire qualified, talented people who will help your club thrive; background screening must be an integral part of the process to find and hire those people. When conducting background checks, we offer these best practices for your consideration:

1.    Develop a policy. Create a policy for screening prospective employees, PUT IT IN WRITING, and make it available for all to see. Include a list of the types of background checks that are required for your club: criminal checks, motor vehicle records (MVRs), credit checks, etc. You may want to consider identifying these checks by job position. Finally, seek out your legal counsel to help you develop your unique background check policy.

2.    Comply with all pertinent laws. This is the big one. Background screening is impacted by federal, state and local laws. Your background screening policy and its execution MUST be compliant with each, most importantly with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The most common method of obtaining information about potential hires is through the use of consumer reports. Most everyone is familiar with consumer reports, and most people likely associate them with credit reporting. However, in addition to a person’s credit worthiness, standing and capacity, consumer reports can also provide employers with information about an applicant’s general reputation, personal characteristics and mode of living.

FCRA requirements include procedures that employers must adhere to when requesting consumer reports and processes that employers must follow if they plan on using any or all of the information gathered from the consumer report. In addition, about 20 states currently have consumer reporting laws on the books that are more stringent than the FCRA. You should check with your legal counsel and with your state concerning its own consumer reporting laws.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency charged with enforcing laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC also issues regulations on the use of criminal records. For example, the EEOC requires that when using criminal information to screen job applicants, employers must consider the nature of a crime, the amount of time elapsed since the crime occurred and the nature of the job for which a person is applying. The EEOC also requires that an employer’s policy for excluding potential hires based on criminal conviction must include an evaluation that such exclusion is “job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.”

And, “Ban the Box” laws have been in the news recently. About 23 states – the number continues to rise – and many cities and counties have passed some form of Ban the Box laws where employers are not allowed to ask an applicant if he or she has been convicted of a crime. Best practice is to remove such a question from your job application form. EEOC guidelines also suggest such a practice.

3.    Consistency is key. Think “all or none.” Be sure that when you run background checks you run the same background checks for all applicants applying for the same job. DO NOT PICK AND CHOOSE. Not all job positions require the same level of screening. But, for positions within the same job category, make sure all applicants undergo identical background checks.

4.    Establish criteria to evaluate results. No background screening program should be without a set of written standards by which an applicant qualifies to be hired. Such a set of standards will allow you to look at each candidate for hire objectively and without bias, thus remaining compliant with federal, state and local laws. The standards should be specific for each job position at your club. A best practice would be to include these standards within each position’s job description.

5.    Perform regular audits of your screening policy. Review your background screening policy and processes on a regular basis. As new federal, state and local laws regarding background screening are enacted, you will want to keep your policy and processes up to date. Assign the responsibility of monitoring legislation to someone at your club; this will ensure your club is consistent and remains compliant.

And, it should go without saying that keeping information about job applicants – and employees – confidential is best practice. Keep all such information in a locked cabinet or office, and shred all outdated documents that reference applicants and ex-employees.

It’s important to review club policies on a regular basis. Legal changes, technology improvements, and experience are factors that may result in updates. Leverage your broker or insurance provider to help provide you guidance. Brokers and insurance providers have experience with many clubs. They may be able to spot an area for improvement you might overlook.

About Affinity Club Underwriters

Since 2016, David Harnois has served as Executive Vice President of Affinity Club Underwriters, a subsidiary of VGM Insurance Services, Inc.  Subsequently he was President of Affinity Agency group, LLC.

Founded in 2007, Affinity is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the club and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services; operations and coverage audits; policy and information storage and archaeology; RFP preparation; market analysis; and help in developing specific loss control programs.  Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private clubs. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

 

David A. Harnois, CCM
Affinity Club Underwriters
163 Madison Avenue, Suite 310 Morristown, NJ 07960
P/ (973) 984-1000 x-111 C/ (973) 738-6020 F/ (973) 984-2500
E/ david.harnois@affinityclubs.com  W/ www.affinityclubs.com

 

 

The Risks of Offering Valet Parking

Depending on the location and type of business you run, in the eyes of the customer, offering valet parking may range from a nice perk to an expected service. But no matter what reason you have for providing valets, to protect yourself from out-of-pocket expenses, you must be prepared for the risks that come along with it.

There are two primary choices when it comes to offering valet services, either employ a staff yourself or contract a valet company. Hiring a company can defer some liability and will likely require less attention from you, while hiring your own employees will give you more direct control over operations.

Good Hiring Practices Reduce Risk

Over the course of their employment, valets will not only be responsible for handling customer vehicles and their contents, but they will also be the first and last people to interact with customers during their visit. If you are building your own valet staff, selecting the right employees can make all the difference. Looking at an applicant’s history will help you hire valets who will not generate unnecessary risk. Obtain the following reports before hire:

· Driving Record Check – tickets, suspended licenses and other traffic       violations are all red flags for valet hires. 

· Criminal Background Check – staying away from those with a history of theft can help you avoid a customer relations problem in the future if things start disappearing from vehicles.

· Drug Screen – some insurance policies will not pay out for damages if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

It is also a good idea to have a short probation period where a senior valet rides along with any newly hired employee to make sure they exhibit safe driving practices and can properly handle both automatic and manual vehicles.

When contracting with a valet company, you won’t get a direct say in who they hire to work at your property. Stay away from companies that don’t disclose their hiring practices. If you do decide to use a service, it is important that you make sure they enforce the same type of safeguards that you would if hiring the employees yourself. Even if the service is liable for damages, their employees still will be representing your company. An unhappy customer and tarnished reputation is a loss that insurance can’t cover.

Covering Damage

Even with the proper safety measures in place and a staff of highly trained, responsible employees, providing valet services will always carry risk. Valets deal with hundreds of cars a day in a fast-paced environment, making it only a matter of time before an accident happens. Whether you decide to employ your own valets or contract with an independent service, having the proper insurance is important.

If you have in-house valets, you will need to make sure you take out the appropriate insurance coverage's to avoid being stuck with the bill for any damage to a customer’s property. It is important that you get coverage specifically related to employees driving customer vehicles. Some important coverage's to consider are:

· Garage Keepers Liability – this protects you in case a customer’s vehicle is damaged or stolen while in your company’s possession.

· General Liability – covers costs related to personal injuries caused by the premises or employees.

· Employee Dishonesty Coverage – covers customer loss caused by fraudulent employee activities.

 While you may already have some of these coverage's in place for other facets of your business, check with your provider on how they will apply to your valet operations. Given the relatively high number and value of the vehicles handled by valets each day, you may have to look at a specialty insurer for coverage.

Benefits of Contracting Service

One of the benefits of using a valet service is that they absorb liability and keep you from having to pay out for damages or purchase additional coverage, assuming they have the appropriate coverage. When contracting with a service, make sure you see proof of insurance. Review all their information to make sure that you will not be held liable for any damage caused by their employees. To be on the safe side, it is recommended that you call their insurance provider directly to make sure they are accurately representing their coverage. If your contract with a valet company could expose you to liability, you need to know immediately so you can choose a different service or get any additional coverage you may need. 

ABOUT AFFINITY

Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the Club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services, operations and coverage audits, policy & information storage & archaeology, RFP preparation, market analysis and help in developing specific loss control programs.

Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.

David A. Harnois, CCM provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world.  He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at david.harnois@affinityclubs.com

This Risk Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice. © 2010 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Know The Facts About Zika and Your Staff - Risk Management Insights from Affinity Club Programs

Affinity Club Programs is here to help you stick to the facts. There is growing speculation about the Zika virus, which only continues as famous Olympians back out of the upcoming games. Take this opportunity to be proactive. Remind your maintenance workers to stay vigilant and smart as we focus on safety this month. Read the CDC recommendations below to help mitigate the risk Zika could potentially pose.

According to Affinity’s risk management partner Zywave, in Outdoor Workers and Zika Virus: In 2015, for the first time, cases of Zika virus infection emerged in the Americas and the Caribbean. In the past, Zika virus historically had been found in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. The virus, named for its discovery in the Zika Forest in Uganda in 1947, poses an ongoing risk to employers and employees alike.

Workers involved in landscaping, agriculture or any other business that requires long periods of time outside could face an elevated risk of contracting Zika virus. Use these guidelines to educate yourself and your employees about the Zika virus and how to reduce the chances of contracting it.

What Can Employers Do To Protect Employees?

Employers must comply with universal precautions for potential bloodborne pathogen (BBP) exposures, as described in OSHA’s BBP standard (29 CFR 1910.1030), and any applicable requirements in OSHA’s personal protective equipment (PPE) standards (29 CFR 1910 Subpart I), among other OSHA requirements.

The CDC recommends the following employer actions:

  • Inform workers about their risk of exposure to Zika virus through mosquito bites and train them on how to protect themselves. Check the CDC’s Zika website to find Zika-affected areas.
  • Provide workers with, and encourage them to wear, clothing that covers their hands, arms, legs and other exposed skin. Consider providing workers with hats with mosquito netting to protect the face and neck.
  • In warm weather, encourage workers to wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. This type of clothing protects workers from the sun’s harmful rays and provides a barrier to mosquitoes. Always provide workers with adequate water, rest and shade, and monitor workers for signs and symptoms of heat illness.
  • Get rid of sources of standing water (e.g., tires, buckets, cans, bottles, barrels) whenever possible to reduce or eliminate mosquito breeding areas. Train workers about the importance of eliminating areas where mosquitoes can breed at the worksite.
  • If requested by a worker, consider reassigning anyone who indicates she is or may become pregnant, or who is male and has a sexual partner who is or may become pregnant, to indoor tasks to reduce their risk of mosquito bites.

It is important to take these risks seriously and proactively approach the safety measures mentioned in the article above. For more information about Affinity Club Programs contact David Harnois, CCM at: dharnois@affinityagencygroup.com

This Risk Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice. Source: OSHA. Design © 2016 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

Heat Stress On The Golf Course: 10 Critical Ways To Protect Your Staff

Warmer weather is prime time for clubs. Warmer temps and a well maintained course bring the customers you work so hard for. More business means managing more staff, many of whom work outside. Outdoor workers are susceptible to serious heat related illness and death. Even moderate temperatures pose health risks. 

Exposure can result in illnesses caused by heat stress:

-Heat stroke

-Heat exhaustion

-Heat syncope

-Heat cramps

-Heat rashes

 

Heat stress and its related illnesses are largely preventable. Many deaths could have been prevented with better education and emergency response. As a golf course operator, it’s important to establish a heat illness prevention program.  

 

A comprehensive program will include education, prevention and emergency planning. 

-Encourage staff to wear light colored, loose fitting, breathable work clothes

-Educate your staff about heat stress symptoms to watch for

-Make sure everyone knows what to do if someone is experiencing symptoms

-Ensure everyone has a work buddy who can monitor for signs of heat illness 

-Encourage hydration and rest throughout the work day

-Schedule the most labor intensive work during cooler hours of the day

-Have a system to allow new staff to  get used to the heat and work load gradually

-Allow staff who’ve been away for a week or longer to re-acclimate to warm weather work 

-Ask staff to let you know of health issues that increase risk of heat stress

-Provide a cool resting place and plenty of water

 

Many organizations provide education, flyers and sample programs for heat illness prevention. These are good resources to help establish a program for your club.

-OSHA website for heat illness prevention

-CDIR Sample Procedures for Heat Illness Prevention 

-University of Washington Sample Heat Stress Prevention Program

 

These samples are a great starting point. Your plan needs to address the specifics of your facility, location, staff requirements and other factors unique to your club. It’s best to get the hands on help of a professional, like your insurance broker and carrier providers. 

 

David A. Harnois, CCM is a Proud Employee Owner of Affinity Club Underwriters; specializing in commercial and group program business. David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world.  He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com

ABOUT AFFINITY

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the Club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services, operations and coverage audits, policy & information storage & archaeology, RFP preparation, market analysis and help in developing specific loss control programs. 

Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.

Hurricane Preparedness: 8 Essential Elements Of Emergency Planning For Golf Courses

Tropical storms and hurricanes are a real risk for golf courses in coastal areas. Mother nature doesn’t play favorites. By their nature, courses are at higher risk for damage than many industries.

Even small storms, pose a threat to your most important asset - your course. Your business is dependent on your ability to offer well maintained, playable greens.

When it comes to natural disasters, golf course owners struggle with unique issues.

Golf courses are often excluded from federal help, like tax exemptions for damage. Owners and advocate groups have had to fight to make sure they get the same help as other businesses.

Some insurance carriers have raised premiums or limited coverage for golf courses. All the while, you have a business to run and protect as best you can.

Planning for natural disasters and mitigating damage are key aspects of risk management.

 

Select an emergency planning team

Identify staff to work with a risk management professional to create the emergency plan.

 

Create a natural disaster emergency plan

 The essential elements of an effective plan include:

  • identification of risks

  • documentation of equipment

  • emergency supplies needed

  • step-by step actions needed before, during and after natural disaster

  • maintenance/ prevention activities

  • practice and emergency drills

  • steps for keeping the plan up-to-date

  • designation of responsibilities

 

Professional emergency planning help

 

Golf courses represent a wide array of risks in the case of hurricanes and other natural disasters. Many operations include restaurant, hospitality and retail elements. Emergency planning and insurance coverage are complex issues.

Government resources (such as ready.gov/business, OSHA, Red Cross) are available to help with emergency planning. Generic business emergency checklists are available online. Local extension offices may provide tips and help for agricultural damage prevention.

For course managers, the best source of hands on help is a risk management professional. Insurance providers or brokers with a golf industry specialty are ideal partners. Working together allows you to make sure your insurance policy protects your business when natural disasters strike.

 

David A. Harnois, CCM is a Proud Employee Owner of Affinity Club Underwriters; specializing in commercial and group program business.  David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world.  He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com

 

About Affinity

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the Club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services, operations and coverage audits, policy & information storage & archaeology, RFP preparation, market analysis and help in developing specific loss control programs.

Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

---

NOTE: This article is not intended as legal advice nor as an exhaustive list of potential liability or safety requirements. It’s provided as general advice using sources we believe to be reliable at the time of publication. If you have specific questions, we recommend you consult the appropriate legal professional.

 

Swimming Pool Safety: The Most Important Responsibility In Your Clubhouse

Golf course managers know swimming pools and hot tubs are popular clubhouse features. They’re also an important responsibility and potential liability. With prime summer swimming season upon us, it’s a good idea to re-visit pool safety and accident prevention.

 

Adult Supervision Required

 

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act) addresses child safety in public pools and spas.

Though your clubhouse pool isn’t necessarily open to the public, the P&SS Act applies. One definition of public pools in the act, are those open exclusively to members of an organization and their guests.

According to the World Health Organization, in the United States, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in children aged 1-14 years and 27% occur in public pools.

 

Even Grown-Ups Need To Be Supervised

 

Drinking alcohol before or during recreation in or near the pool is a risk factor in adult injuries or death. There are no consistent standards for measuring blood alcohol in water related deaths. However, the World Health Organization cites a studywhere a blood alcohol screen was positive for approximately 50% of drowning victims over 14 years of age. Alcohol impairs judgement, coordination and response time, making accidents more likely.

Your swim facility must meet the minimum state law requirements including specific safety standards. If it doesn’t, lives are potentially endangered. In addition, your facility may be subject to fines or closure.

 

Here are 16 pool safety points to address:

 

  • Install and maintain perimeter fencing/barrier including self-closing and latching gates to prevent unauthorized access
  • Determine if a Red Cross Certified lifeguard is required for your pool
  • If no lifeguard is required, be sure required signage is clearly displayed
  • Keep all safety equipment accessible, clearly marked and in good repair
  • Clearly mark pool depth
  • Provide clean shower and bathroom facilities
  • Keep pool clear of debris
  • Properly maintain pool water with appropriate chemicals
  • Provide safe storage for all chemicals
  • Supply personal protective equipment and training for anyone handling pool chemicals
  • Provide clear signage to convey rules, regulation, safety, emergency procedures
  • Keep pool deck free of puddles or algae growth
  • Ensure non-slip surfaces are in good repair at all time
  • Maintain outdoor furniture in clean, operable condition
  • If minor children are allowed, establish clear rules about supervision
  • Ensure staff strictly enforce all rules and policies

 

Proper pool safety reduces the chance of guest injury, permanent disability or death. Doing so, also creates a relaxing environment and protects your business reputation.

Review your swimming pool safety efforts with your staff, and look to your commercial insurance broker for their input. Ensure you have policies that properly cover your pool area.

 

 

David A. Harnois, CCM is a Proud Employee Owner of Affinity Club Underwriters; specializing in commercial and group program business.  David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world.  He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com.

About Affinity

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the Club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services, operations and coverage audits, policy & information storage & archaeology, RFP preparation, market analysis and help in developing specific loss control programs.

Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

 

‘Cover Your Assets’ In Paper, Without Drowning In It | Document Management For Private Clubs

Documents (electronic or paper) are a cornerstone of a solid risk management program. They're an important part of managing employee records, safety policies, training standards and more. Each of these topics relate directly to a club’s ability to mitigate risk.

Bob Bodman managed private clubs for 11 years and provided management consulting for over 25 years. He’s got a clear understanding of club operations. Here, he demonstrates the problems with traditional document management, as well as possible solutions.

Consider this as you look at the risk management plan for your private club. Everyone want to save money. When done right, risk management can reduce your liability.  It may also reduce commercial insurance premiums.

 

 

Golfer’s don’t usually think about everything involved in maintaining a thriving club. Club managers think about it every day.

The best country clubs are a flurry of activity. They’re filled with happy (depending on the last hole they played) golfers and families. From practice ranges, fairways, swimming pools and dining rooms, private clubs are complex operations.

Successful clubs deliver high quality and luxury. To do this, clubs use an average of 200-300 documents. Managers rely on these documents to do daily tasks and achieve objectives.

This staggering library of documents provide the framework for every function within the club. It helps define the standards of operation necessary for success.

Here’s a sample of the documents that comprise the structure of a club:

  • Club Bylaws

  • Club Rules and Regulations

  • Employee Manual

  • Performance Review Forms

  • Membership Application

  • New Member Orientation Checklist

  • Hours of Operation

  • Member Directory

  • Preventative Maintenance Schedule

  • Dining Room Service Manual

  • New Employee Packet

  • W2 Forms

  • Liquor License

  • Chemical Applications License

  • Shoe Care Procedures

  • OSHA Forms

  • PTO Request Form

  • Bar Recipe Book

  • Inventory Forms

  • Operators Manuals

  • Golf cart cleaning checklist

 

 

Club managers are often overwhelmed by the very paperwork and vital documents they need to be successful.

Here’s why:

  • No Central Location: Documents spread throughout the club. This means there’s no central place to manage them from.

  • Lack Of Visibility: Many club documents are now in digital format. They’re stored on laptops, tablets, server drives, and even in the cloud. This makes storage easier, but, as they say, out of sight, out of mind.

  • Not Cataloged: There’s no Dewey Decimal System for club documents. They don’t come with timelines or calendar alerts to call attention to them. As a result, they tend to collect dust (or act as a door-stop) until there’s a problem.

  • Infrequent Use: Unlike a bottle of Grey Goose at the bar, most documents aren’t used every day. Most sit collecting dust or cluttering desks.

 

 

Manage the documents that manage the club

Most clubs have (or should have!) a comprehensive Standards of Operations or SOP. The SOP contains references to the respective documents of any particular line item.

Here’s an example of an operating standard:

“The Ballroom will be reset each night according to the Banquet Room Floor Plan. The plan is located within the Banquet Service Notebook.”  

This example provides references to two documents. Let’s say your club has a Risk Assessment done by the club’s Insurance company. During the assessment, it’s noted banquet chairs are blocking a fire exit. This creates an unsafe condition.

There are two approaches to remedy this type of situation:

  • Reactive: Have the facility manager move the chairs. This is a short term solution. You’ll likely continue to have the problem, increasing your risk and liability.

  • Proactive: Change the Banquet Room Floor Plan. Show where each chair needs to be to keep the fire exit clear. If the original document is readily available to reference, update and distribute, you’ll have a long term solution.

The reactive approach means most documents aren’t reviewed or updated regularly. In this case, they eventually become obsolete, rendering them useless.

Imagine how Risk Assessments or inspections would go if the Banquet Room Floor Plan was easily logged for review at regular intervals.

Automatic reminders for review mean it’s easier to address changes and be proactive.

Regular review of procedures allow club management to revisit state and federal guidelines, past inspections and day-to-day issues. This creates the opportunity to verify Standards of Operation are met before problems arise.

An effective document management system means the SOP is easily accessed. It's reviewed regularly, updated as needed and distributed to the appropriate staff. With a proactive approach, documents can make managing more effective.

Documents are vital to successful club operation. They’re only useful when  they are current and dynamically integrated into day-to-day operations. When they are, the club will find consistency, efficiency and operational excellence.

 

The solution to document integration is a comprehensive document management system.

StandPoint SOE (Standards of Excellence) is a leader in document management. They’ve developed the Reference Document Manager module. It’s an online management tool for developing customized club standards and effective document management. It also provides integrated metrics and dashboard reporting to make managing excellence even easier. Reference Document Manager is available through StandPoint SOE at www.StandPoint.Club .

 

  • CLUB RESOURCES
  • Office:  800-267-6758
  • Cell:     916-606-9282
  • Fax:      530-587-2979
  • Email:  bodman@mac.com
  • Website: www.standpoint.club

About Robert (Bob) Bodman, President, Club Resources

Robert Bodman, President, Club Resources

After more than a decade opening and managing private clubs, Bob Bodman co-founded Pacific Century Clubs in 1990, which changed its name to Club Resources in 2005. Bob has worked on numerous major country club development projects.  Bob specializes in club feasibility studies, club organizational structuring, standards development and membership sales. Bob also focuses on a host of consulting services for member-owned clubs (i.e., strategic planning, member surveys, focus groups, retreat facilitation, standards development, membership marketing plans and contract membership sales) for private clubs. 

In 1994, Bob co-authored the club industry’s first membership marketing newsletter called The Club Marketing Report. In 1995, he co-authored an industry best-selling book called The Guide to Membership Marketing, selling thousands of copies.  In 1997, Bob authored and published another industry best seller called Standards of Operations and Performance for Private Clubs, the industry’s first customizable workbook for developing quality standards. After selling hundreds of copies, Bob licensed this publication to the CMAA in 1999.  In 2012, Bob embarked on a new version of this publication called “StandPoint SOE,” a completely new approach to customizing even higher quality standards in private clubs. Bob has been a regular columnist for The Boardroom Magazine for the past three years. 

 

About Affinity: Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the Club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services, operations and coverage audits, policy & information storage & archaeology, RFP preparation, market analysis and help in developing specific loss control programs.

Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

 

Liquor Liability: How to keep that $5 shot from costing your club millions.

You have your liquor license. You’ve hired staff, ordered inventory, you’ve accounted for your expenses...or have you?


Liquor Liability Laws

Serving alcohol at your clubhouse comes with significant responsibilities. In the U.S., most states have laws, called Dram Shop Laws or other negligence laws. These laws vary by state and can be confusing. That said, the primary objective of the laws are clear; to hold owners of establishments where alcohol is served liable for the damage or harm which an intoxicated person may cause.

Case after case can be cited of owners being sued (successfully) for property damage, disability, even death caused by a drunk person after being served to excess. These cases often cost millions of dollars. The legal details are vast. If you have specific questions, we encourage you to consult a legal professional.

 

For The Greater Good

It may sound as if these liquor liability laws are designed specifically to be punitive. They’re actually designed to prevent patrons from becoming drunk, thereby reducing the risk of damage or harm to the public. You need to take steps to serve responsibly and limit your liability.

 

Prevention

Server Training

While only a quarter of states currently require server training for alcohol service, it’s an important step to preventing over-service in your establishment.

In some states, providing documentation of training may limit your liability. In addition, staff training may reduce your liquor liability insurance premium.

One widely recognized private program in alcohol training is:

  • TIPS - Training for Intervention Procedures

The program website (gettips.com) states the class will help participants, “Learn strategies for preventing illegal alcohol sales to underage and/or intoxicated patrons.”

 

Many states offer training programs (funded by the department of transportation) at no cost. Examples include:

  • ASK- Alcohol Server Knowledge Program
  • L.E.A.D - Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs

Programs like these are all designed to reduce risk of liability, prevent illegal service and provide techniques for servers to professionally handle difficult situations.


Ownership/Management Support

Without management support, even the best trained staff may find it simpler to look the other way. Establish clear policies that support and protect your servers.

 

Plan Ahead

Create, document and train on a definitive procedure for handling guests who may be intoxicated. Having clear steps outlined remove guesswork and subjectivity for your staff. It also shows them you’ll support them in taking these steps. Then staff doesn’t have to worry if they’re doing the right thing or if they’ll get in trouble.

 

ID Everyone

Making it policy to get proper identification from everyone, without exception, reduces the chance of accidentally serving a minor.

 

Designated Driver

Reward your patrons’ responsible planning, too. Offer free non-alcoholic drinks to designated drivers.

 

Tip Reimbursement

Patrons who’ve been “cut off” or had a drink removed, aren’t likely to be big tippers, if they tip at all. Consider a tip reimbursement policy of 15%-20% for your servers. This shows you appreciate them doing the right thing and care about their livelihood.

 

Safe Ride Home

Create a plan for offering patrons a safe way home. Ensure every staff member knows what the procedure is - ahead of time!

Taxis, local “care cabs”, even ride-sharing programs like Uber and Lyft are all possibilities. The $20-$30 you spend on a cab ride can save lives and protect the financial well-being of your establishment. Many transportation companies even offer free rides to keep an intoxicated would-be driver off the road.

 

Liquor Liability Insurance

Regardless of how comprehensive your prevention planning is, there are no guarantees. Having insurance coverage against liquor liability risk is one of the smartest things you can do to protect your business. Unless you have (and want to risk) millions of your own dollars, you need to purchase liquor liability insurance for your clubhouse or golf course. Talk to your broker about coverage options.

 

David A. Harnois, CCM is a Proud Employee Owner of Affinity Club Underwriters; specializing in commercial and group program business.  David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world.  He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com.

 

ABOUT AFFINITY

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the Club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services, operations and coverage audits, policy & information storage & archaeology, RFP preparation, market analysis and help in developing specific loss control programs.

Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

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NOTE: This article is not intended as legal advice nor as an exhaustive list of potential liquor liability or legal requirements. It’s provided as general advice using sources we believe to be reliable at the time of publication. If you have specific questions, we recommend you consult the appropriate legal professional.

Golf Cart Accidents: Will You Be Blamed? What Course Owners & Operators Need To Consider.

 

You never want a guest or employee to suffer an accident, but it happens.  Golf carts are often the reason. Golf cart accidents are a serious issue, bad for business and can be expensive.

This is why course operators need to have a comprehensive golf cart safety plan. The more thorough your plan, the less likely you are to have tragic accidents happen on your golf course. 

According to PubMed, golf cart injuries increased by 132% over between 1990 and 2006. Of those, over 70% occurred at sports facilities, like golf courses. Golf cart injuries occur when there’s a collision or someone falls out of the cart. Injuries are often serious and sometimes fatal.

While a course operator may not be liable if an accident was caused by the driver, liability is usually not that straightforward.

 

As a course operator, you are responsible for many things, like:

 

  • Providing a safe environment for golf cart usage
  • Ensuring the grounds are free from hazards
  • Warning of potential hazards on the course
  • Properly maintaining the golf cart
  • Maintaining safe storage of the cart
  • Educating drivers how to operate the cart
  • Warning golf cart drivers of the potential risks of operation

 

With so many responsibilities, it’s often easy for a person injured in a golf cart accident to claim the club is at fault. If an employee failed to meet an expectation, the club may be held responsible. This is why it’s important to look at every aspect of your golf cart safety plan.

 

Here are important elements to consider when evaluating your golf cart procedures:

 

  • Only allow licensed drivers to use course owned carts
  • Educate drivers on operation, risks, and how to drive safely on the course
  • Limit cart operation during inclement weather
  • Design golf cart paths with safety in mind
  • Maintain integrity of the path with regular upkeep and inspection
  • Provide clear signage on the course about any hazards
  • Implement a preventative maintenance program
  • Have a plan and service provider for emergency repairs
  • Conduct regular inspections of each cart
  • Train staff with related duties in all aspects of golf cart safety and maintenance
  • Develop an easy way for guests and staff to report damage to carts or course
  • Secure golf carts when not in use
  • If storing indoors, ensure proper ventilation and fire safety

 

Even a perfect plan doesn’t guarantee an accident-free course. Check with your insurance broker to be sure your commercial insurance is adequate to cover your risk of golf cart accidents. Remember, implementing new safety procedures may positively impact your insurance premiums too.

 

David A. Harnois, CCM is a Proud Employee Owner of Affinity Club Underwriters; specializing in commercial and group program business.  David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world.  He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com.

 

ABOUT AFFINITY

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the Club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services, operations and coverage audits, policy & information storage & archaeology, RFP preparation, market analysis and help in developing specific loss control programs.

Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

---

NOTE: This article is not intended as legal advice nor as an exhaustive list of potential liability or safety requirements. It’s provided as general advice using sources we believe to be reliable at the time of publication. If you have specific questions, we recommend you consult the appropriate legal professional.

 

Workplace Accident Prevention | The (Second) Most Important Thing Club Owners/ General Managers Can Do With The Dreaded OSHA Form 300A

It’s been a little more than a year since OSHA revised the Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements regulation. Golf, country, beach clubs, (reclassified as 713910: Membership Sports and Recreation Clubs by OSHA); Yacht Clubs (reclassified as 713930); Athletic/City/University Clubs (reclassified as 813410) were among those industries affected when the new rule went into effect on January 1, 2015.

In a summary document, the Department of Labor states, “The final rule retains the requirement for employers to report work-related fatalities to OSHA within eight hours of the event but amends the regulation to require employers to report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, as well as amputations and losses of an eye, to OSHA within 24 hours of the event.”

 

Workplace Accident Prevention

If you’ve been doing it right, you now have a completed OSHA Form 300, and the year end summary Form 300A. Hopefully the forms are blank, but chances are, you’ve experienced some reportable workplace accidents during the past year.  Remember, the 300A form is to be signed by the highest compensated employee or a Board member.

The first thing you need to do with your 300A is clearly post it in a common area until the end of April. The second thing? Use it as a tool for workplace accident prevention; a way to lower your risk for next year!

Accidents are unfortunate and costly. They’re also a learning opportunity; a way to mitigate future risk. Lowering your risk can help lower your day-to-day costs. Less risk may also have a positive impact on your club insurance premiums.

Thanks to OSHA, you have summary of workplace accidents. Use these for review as you consider ways to prevent accidents next year.

Do you notice any trends in your accident log?  (We recommend doing a 5 year review to spot trends more easily.)

  • Are there accidents that could have been prevented with better employee training?
  • Are you providing protective equipment where needed?
  • Are there lessons you can apply to guest or visitor areas?

Affinity recommends calling your insurance broker for help in identifying where your club policies and procedures might be doing harm instead of good.

 

Alan E. Achatz, CCM, CHE is a former club manager who assists clubs with safety issues  including emergency action planning / plan implementation, crisis management, OSHA compliance and behind the scenes safety audits.  Alan has written extensively about safety concerns for clubs.  He may be reached at 716-565-9122 or at www.clubsafetysolutions.com

 


David A. Harnois, CCM is a Proud Employee Owner of Affinity Club Underwriters; specializing in commercial and group program business.  David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world.  He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com.

 

About Affinity

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the Club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services, operations and coverage audits, policy & information storage & archaeology, RFP preparation, market analysis and help in developing specific loss control programs.

Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

 

Loss Control & Risk Management Solutions for Clubs | 11 Policies To Help Get Your Safety On

Be proactive with your loss control program

 

Affinity Club Underwriters (a nationally recognized program insurance provider for private and semi-private golf and country clubs) is often called upon to help clubs review or establish loss control programs. Usually, it’s after an insurance claim has been filed or when a policy change is being considered.

Affinity knows loss prevention isn’t glamorous. Even so, managers need to be involved. Clubs with effective loss control programs are the ones with management who oversee daily operations.

 

Fundamental loss control policies and procedures

 

Just having policies in a dusty three-ring binder somewhere, isn’t good enough. Review them, make sure they are current and being followed.

At a minimum, Affinity recommends the following policies, documents and procedures for golf and country clubs:

 

  • Job Descriptions

  • Safety Training

  • Club Safety Policy

  • Rules and Regulations

  • Employee Selection Policy

  • Employee Orientation Procedure

  • Daily Club Inspections With Check-sheet

  • Accident Investigations Procedure

  • Risk Management Reviews (post accident)

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Policy

  • First Aid Training and Re-certification

 

It’s important to review club policies on a regular basis. Legal changes, technology improvements, and experience are factors that may result in updates. Use your commercial insurance policy renewal notice as a reminder to review. Leverage your broker or insurance provider during your review. Brokers and insurance providers have experience with many clubs. They may be able to spot an area for improvement you might overlook.

 

About Affinity

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwritersis a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the Club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services, operations and coverage audits, policy & information storage & archaeology, RFP preparation, market analysis and help in developing specific loss control programs.

Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  


David A. Harnois, CCM is a Proud Employee Owner of Affinity Club Underwriters;  specializing in commercial and group program business.  David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world.  He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com.

 

 

Golf Course Security | How To 'Save Your Assets' | 9 Questions Every Owner Should Ask To Avoid Employee Theft

You're in business to make money, right? As a program insurance provider, Affinity Club Underwriters knows golf course security could have an impact on policy premiums and profitability.

Fewer claims could  mean lower premiums at renewal time. Good club security practices can lower exposure to loss, which should result in a better bottom line.

"Club security is often the last thing on a club manager’s mind. Let’s face it, managers are busy with day-to-day operations. It’s easy to forget about club security until something goes wrong, " David Harnois, CCM,  Affinity Club Underwriters

Employee Theft

Many claims seen by Affinity involve personal property and inventory theft. Unfortunately, experience shows, theft is often carried out by current or past employees.

Managing internal (employee) risk could have an impact on club insurance premiums. Naturally, it’s a good place to start when considering ways to reduce loss and costs.

 

Questions owners should ask

The following questions will help club managers and owners review security policies related to internal risk (employee theft).  

Affinity recommends talking them over with an insurance agent or broker who has knowledge of club operations and requirements.

  • How is facility access managed ?
  • What is the process for revoking access when an employee is fired or quits?
  • Is there a central station burglar alarm in critical areas?
  • Who has access to alarm codes?
  • How frequently are alarm codes updated?
  • Are actions documented for these security issues?
  • Have lighting issues in vulnerable areas been addressed?
  • How is personal property of guests and employees secured?
  • What methods of inventory control are in place?

Even if there is coverage in place, it’s important to blow the dust off and take a fresh look.

Evaluate if current policies are adequately covering the potential for loss. An experienced agent can help discover potential risks or confirm gaps in coverage.

An agent should also be able to help an owner or manager understand:

  • What coverage an insurance policy provides for claims of theft (internal or external)
  • What steps can lower risk and result in a lower premium
  • Measures that must be taken ahead of time for a claim to be paid

In addition to assessing policies for mitigating internal theft, it’s valuable to have an on-site audit by an agent or insurance provider. This can help identify potential club security risks before they become a liability.

 

About Affinity

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the Club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services, operations and coverage audits, policy & information storage & archaeology, RFP preparation, market analysis and help in developing specific loss control programs.

Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  


David A. Harnois, CCM is a Proud Employee Owner of Affinity Club Underwriters: specializing in commercial and group program business.  David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world.  He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com.