Most work places have an annual Christmas party, however the organiser is under a lot of responsibility. Whilst they may mainly be concerned with ensuring everyone has a good time, there are a number of very important health and safety obligations that also need to be considered. It is always safer and less responsibility to hold your office party at a bar, restaurant or hotel as their facilities are specifically designed for entertainment and leisure. However, if you do decide to host your Christmas party at the office, here are a few things to should take care of to avoid any accidents and liability.
Top Tips For Office Christmas Party Planning
- Make sure your employer is consulted on the plans for the event. Ultimately it is your employer who is responsible for the health and safety of those on the property, if an accident does occur they may be liable for compensation and will need to pay for any equipment that is broken on the premises. If you are the business owner or employer, you should ensure that any party being held in the office is compliant with health and safety regulations.
- It is a good idea to ensure that safety representatives and office first-aiders are involved in the planning of the party. A trained safety representative will be able to spot any potential hazards and advise you on solutions to your safety issues.
- Even though the office party is in your place of work, you should re-familiarise yourself and others with the nearest fire extinguishers and fire exit. Ensure that if you are rearranging the office for the event that you do not block any exits or fire safety equipment.
- If your party is occurring outside office hours, you should also make sure that you know what the late night security arrangements for your building are. Some doors and stairwells may be locked at night which could block escape in an emergency, or keep you trapped in overnight!
- If alcohol is being served at the party, ensure that this is in line with the company alcohol policy and that fellow employees understand that they are still in their place of work. There is always the stereotypical staff member that drinks too much at the office party, however this should not get out of hand and lead to them endangering the safety of others.
- Furthermore, it is very important that if alcohol is being served that employees who normally drive to work are reminded that they must not drive home after consuming alcohol. You could send an email outlining local taxi numbers and organise for people who live near to each other to share.