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  • Writer's pictureTahnee Brown

Is your business Christmas Party ready?

Updated: Feb 25, 2021

In most circumstances the annual work Christmas party is considered part of the work environment. Meaning as the boss you have a duty to provide a safe work environment.

Employers have been held liable under both the health and safety legislation, and the workers compensation legislation for incidents that have happened at work Christmas parties.

We all know Christmas parties are great fun. They are time to let you hair down and dance on dance table tops but someone does need to do the ominous task of assessing the risks before the fun starts,

Here a Top Tips to make a great (and safe) Christmas Party

  1. Assess the risk with your HSE team. No HSE team? That's fine. Anyone can do it. When planning your event make a separate list of could or might wrong. Then, make simple changes to your plan that reduce or prevent these from happening

  2. Set your Expectations. In the days leading up to the event, remind your staff on the standard of behavior for the event. Reinforce the HSE policy and the Code of Conduct.

  3. Work out Transportation. How will your staff travel to and from the function? Remember that in some jurisdictions, your workers compensation obligations do not just cover the employee’s time at work, but also extends to the journey to and from work – in this case the Christmas or end of year event.

  4. The clincher. Alcohol. Needless to say, consumption of alcohol is likely to be a key health and safety risk. Consider restricting the amount of drinks or the strength of drinks that are available. Always have non-alcoholic alternatives available.

  5. Where there is alcohol there is Food. A meal or finger food has been shown to slow down alcohol consumption.

  6. Nominate a 'Sober-Sally Supervisor'. Someone should be nominated to monitor health and safety hazards such as wet floors, loose cables, behaviour, and manage incidents that may occur during the event. Is there a first aid officer, or emergency warden nominated? Supervision should include monitoring the controls identified within your pre-event health and safety risk assessment

  7. Wrap up. In the days following the event, review the pre-event health and safety risk assessment and evaluate the effectiveness of the identified health and safety controls. Good documentation at this end will support your planning for next year. Fantastic!

Should an incident occur at your event it is important you follow the workplace incident reporting and investigation processes.

Need a Risk Assessment template?

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