How is increased legislation affecting groundstaff?

HW polled delegates at IoG Scotsturf

Andy Prentice, head of groundstaff, Scottish Prison Service "We are surrounded on two sides by waterways so we have to watch what we are spraying. It is hard to get up-to-date information because we are not on mailing lists that other companies might be because we are a stand-alone organisation.

"Any information we do get is from trade shows such as this. But I have just completed four years at Oatridge College, so that brought me up to date with a lot of legislation.

"The main concern would be the health and safety stuff because we work with young offenders who take on some tasks with us."


Tom Whitty, countryside ranger, Dumfries and Galloway Council "The thing that springs immediately to mind is lone working. It looks increasingly like lone working is going to be unavailable for most people, especially people like me who work in far flung places.

"Health and safety is very slowly building up, which is making life difficult. I do things like spraying and cutting that are affected by it and the legislation can become a headache. It can get so bad you end up not doing the job at all.

"With spraying, for example, trying to keep on the right side of the landowners and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency is a nightmare."


Barry Coutts, apprentice greenkeeper, Brechin Golf Club "It is very tough having to follow the legislation and everything else that goes with it.

"Spraying, particularly, is an issue; trying to get the right equipment, the right timing and making sure you have got the right protective clothing on is a lot to keep track of.

"Learning about all the different bits of legislation that affect us and all the equipment and procedures that go with it takes up a lot of my time.

"I have been an apprentice for four or five months and it is going well, but I didn't expect to have to learn so much about legislation."


Paul Summers, grounds maintenance liaison officer, Perth and Kinross Council "The two bits that give us the biggest problem right now are water safety and not being able to use granular chemicals.

"Water safety because a lot of our sites are bordered by water so we have to carry out very comprehensive risk assessments and formulate detailed plans.

"Not having granular chemicals now has caused a huge increase in workloads. We have gone from two sprays a year to what we thought would be four, but in fact is more like five or six. We're lucky to have dedicated officers to get the information for us."


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