Golfers ‘could be forced to wear hard hats’

Golfers could be forced to wear hard hats in a bid to reduce golfing-related injuries, a health & safety expert has revealed.

Protecting.co.uk, a health & safety and employment agency, has noted that a number of insurance companies and private businesses are seeking to reduce the financial burden of golfing injuries by pushing for greater protection for players – including wearing hard hats or helmets.

Far from an interesting addition to golf’s already-notorious fashion rules, the move could help curb the number of injuries occurring as a result of the game – with National Health Statistics figures cited by Golf Monthly showing that golf is statistically more dangerous than rugby. Seven in ten amateur golfers suffer an injury whilst playing the game – and the phenomenon is so well-documented that it even featured in an episode of popular crime drama, CSI Las Vegas.

Insurers are keen to reduce the financial implications of these injuries, with thousands of pounds paid out each year in claims for head injuries from misjudged golf balls.

However, some businesses are also supporting the suggestion – due to the fact that the demographic of golf players heavily leans toward men in their forties and fifties, who make up a large proportion of managerial and director-level employees. With statistics suggesting that between 16% and 41% of amateur golfers are injured each year, the potential for working days lost to golfing injuries is high enough to prompt businesses into lobbying for improved safety measures.

Of course, many sports contain inherent risks – but this, Protecting.co.uk, is merely adding weight to the case for more strict safety legislation in this area.

Chris Hall, spokesperson for Protecting.co.uk, said:

“If you look at a selection of other sports played in the UK, both contact and non-contact, there are measures in place to reduce injury. For example, many amateur and lower-league rugby clubs insist on protective helmets; martial arts classes provide pads for their students – and this is not just to prevent injury. It’s because financially, it makes sense for clubs (and their insurers) to prove they’ve reduced harm wherever possible.”

One particular case study which Protecting.co.uk cited is cycling. Cyclists in the UK are strongly encouraged to wear helmets to prevent injury – and a concerted effort to raise awareness of cycling safety has led to much greater uptake of protective gear.

Hall concluded:

“Public safety campaigns are crucial to changing the status quo – but it has worked with cycling, and all cyclists are aware that helmet use is recommended. With enough support from insurers, businesses and health & safety professionals, a similar scenario could happen with golfers. Not only would greater pressure upon golfers to wear the correct safety equipment mean that thousands of pounds could be saved in insurance pay-outs and days lost to injury, but a huge proportion of potentially quite serious injuries could be avoided.”

David Adams a keen golfer said, “Golf is an easy game… it’s just hard to play. But a ball in head would be hard to recover from, so put me down for a Tartan hard hat”

Tony from Leeds retired now full time golfer “I’ve had the same golf cap that I borrowed from my son for 20 years now, it’s a fore-gone conclusion that I would welcome the opportunity to purchase a new hard wearing one!”