You organised a Christmas party for team morale and to have some fun.  Now you’re facing a prosecution and a $250,000 fine because someone got hurt.  What went wrong?

Christmas parties are a common part of seasonal festivities at workplaces and they are certainly to be supported! However, just like at any other activity your organisation undertakes, you need to ensure you have identified significant health and safety hazards and planned strategies to manage them.  Proper advance planning will mean that you have fulfilled your legal duty to take all practicable steps to keep people safe and lessened the chance that your business will face legal action if anything goes wrong.

Seven Suggestions for a Safe Santa Shindig are as follows:

  1. Check the venue for the function to ensure it is safe.
  2. Serve food with alcohol.
  3. Ensure low alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages are available.
  4. Designate some managers to stay sober.
  5. Recognise and adhere to responsible alcohol policies.
  6. If required, organise taxis or other transportation for employees to get home safely.
  7. Provide a friendly reminder to all employees prior to the Christmas party about your policies on harassment, alcohol and drugs.