Staff safety and Christmas parties

Published on Dec 4, 2018

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Christmas parties are a time to let your hair down and have a laugh with your employees and co-workers. But there are things to remember so that everyone has a good time without any negative fallout.

 

Before the event

Remind staff that although this is a party acceptable workplace behaviours still apply. Reinforce your organisation’s work health and safety (WHS) policies such as your code of conducts and your bullying and harassment policies, with perhaps a reminder on sexual harassment in the workplace.

If you don’t want to make an announcement you could send out an email to all staff and put up posters in the lunch room. Keep it light, but the point needs to be made upfront.

 

Consumption of alcohol

Unfortunately some people get a bit carried away when there is free alcohol on offer. If alcohol is being served remind staff to drink responsibly, and make sure there is plenty of food and non-alcoholic drinks available.

Use the same strategy you might see at your local pub in regard to the responsible service of alcohol. If someone seems to be getting too loud or in any way aggressive, quietly suggest some water or a soft drink and some food.

If all else fails, it might be time to call them a cab.

 

Getting home

Help make arrangements for your staff to get home safely after the event. You could organise a bus, pre-order some taxis, or arrange designated drivers.

 

Ultimately it’s up to you

Keep your eyes open and step in if you see things heading down a dangerous path. You don’t have to be the fun police, but ultimately you are still responsible for your staff and their wellbeing at a Christmas party.

Make sure that come Monday morning the only clean up you need to deal with is picking up the empties left behind after the party.

 

For more information on employer workplace bullying and harassment responsibilities and obligations go to the Fair Work Ombudsman or Worksafe Australia.

 

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Topic: Christmas, party, staff, WHS