Could your Christmas party turn into a disaster?
As we approach the end of the year, it is common for businesses to organise an end of year social event for all staff. But to ensure that no one gets hurt and the event is enjoyed by all, there are some simple steps that you should put in place.
There is no doubt that irresponsible alcohol consumption has led to some unsafe activities at end of year functions. So what should we do to manage the risks caused by this very well-known and foreseeable risk?
As you plan your end of year event, you should:
- Take steps to address workplace attitudes that condone excessive drinking. If your business has historically tolerated consumption of excessive alcohol at social functions – then start to overhaul that practice and draw a line in the sand by setting clear expectations around what is acceptable and what is not.
- Ensure all workers are aware of:
- the repercussions of drinking in excess;
- the legal driving limits; and
- the responsibility of workers to drink alcohol sensibly and legally.
- Make arrangements for the provision of travel to and from the function.
- Make it clear to workers that events are only authorised for a specific period of time.
- Place time limits on the alcohol supply and ensure that this is actually enforced.
- Do not arrange or pay for drinks at alternative venues after the event is finished.
- Supervise to prevent excessive drinking and inappropriate behaviour.
- Use taxis, Uber, public transport or designate non-drinking drivers.
- Ensure employees below the legal drinking age do not drink.
- Ensure that everyone safely vacates the premises at the end of the event.
Check out the function centre
If you have never used a particular function site before, make sure that you are satisfied that:
- there are adequate first aid facilities available at the venue;
- the level of security provided is sufficient for the numbers of your workers;
- there is safe access for all your workers, including your mobile workers;
- alcohol consumption will be controlled by bar staff; and
- any special dietary requirements of your workers are conveyed to the venue if food is to be provided, in particular food allergies.
You’re sure to have a safe and incident-free end of year function that can be enjoyed by all your staff if you follow these steps.
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