A fifteen-year-old golf course worker (the victim) was killed when the utility golf cart he was operating overturned. The victim was employed by the golf club adjacent to which he and his family resided and had driven the utility golf cart to his home located at the top of a hill to change clothes. Before leaving work for his residence, he contacted a friend who then came to his house on a regular course golf cart (not a utility cart). After the victim changed clothes, he and his friend left the victim’s home. Then on their respective carts, traveled downhill via public and golf course roadways, towards the clubhouse. As they descended the hill, they were reportedly racing when the victim lost control of his cart; it left the roadway and struck a pile of dirt. The vehicle became airborne over a small creek, rotated in the air, throwing the victim from the cart. The victim landed on his head on the opposite side of the creek. Emergency medical services (EMS) was contacted. A physician on the course at the time arrived at the scene and assisted the EMS team. Efforts to revive the victim failed and he was pronounced dead at the scene. In order to prevent similar instances from occurring, FACE investigators recommend that:

  • workers under the age of 16 should not operate motorized machines; the Fair Labor Standards Act should be followed.
  • utility golf carts should be equipped with seat belts and rollover protection structures (ROPS). Research and certification on the ROPS design is recommended.
  • a warning label should be posted, in a highly visible location, stating no one under 16 years of age should operate the vehicle.

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