After a June 25 lightning strike injured 15 maintenance workers at the North Stonington, Conn., course, OSHA issued $19,200 in fines, which were reduced to $11,600 when the course made “prompt corrective action” to five reported hazards.
Lake of Isles Golf Course in North Stonington, Conn., has paid $11,600 in fines to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in response to a June 25 incident that injured 15 maintenance workers, The Day of New London, Conn., reported.
The course paid the fines after reaching a settlement on August 30. OSHA inspectors visited the golf course the day after lightning struck a wooden restroom building on the facility’s South Course. Fifteen workers sustained injuries while inside the shelter and two employees suffered second-degree burns, The Day reported.
OSHA cited the course for a “serious” violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, for failing to provide a place of employment “free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.” OSHA recommended the course follow the recommendations of the National Lightning Safety Institute, The Day reported.
Additionally, OSHA cited the course for four other violations related to machinery and equipment storage. The fines associated with all five violations amounted to $19,200, including $6,300 for the unsafe shelter. Other violations included an improper adjustment on a grinding machine and storing oxygen cylinders near fuel-gas cylinders and other combustibles, The Day reported.
As a result of “prompt corrective action on the part of the employer and the reclassification of the non-lightning items as other than serious violations,” the total amount of penalties was reduced, said Ted Fitzgerald, OSHA’s Regional Director for Public Affairs.
Archie Cart, General Manager of Lake of Isles, said the building that OSHA inspected meets local codes and is properly grounded. He said contractors have been brought in to suggest ways to make the structure safer. Cart added that the course purchased a software program that tracks lightning to alert employees when lightning is within 30 miles, giving them time to go into the course’s clubhouse, The Day reported.
“The employer has overhauled its response to such incidents, to include enhanced communication with employees in the field and have employees relocate to a larger, grounded structure during lightning incidents,” Fitzgerald said.
All employees affected by the lightning strike continue to be employed by Lake of Isles, The Day reported.
Lake of Isles, managed by Troon Golf, was featured in the June 2005 issue of Club & Resort Business (“Ace of Clubs?”).