Christmas Party Safety
The festive season is a chance for businesses to celebrate the year and bring some joy into the office. It’s a great way to thank staff, to network and to have fun.
A Christmas party is a ‘corporate event’ and steps need to be taken to ensure a safe and incident-free end of year party. Employers and their staff need to be aware of the OH&S risks, including when alcohol is involved. Workplace functions, even if off-premises, become a ‘workplace’ for the purpose of the Anti-discrimination and OHS legislation.
- Check the latest COVID Safe Rules and the maximum amount of people allowed.
- Follow NSW Health social distancing guidelines.
- Organisations holding functions should consider adopting a SWNSW COVID-19 safety plan.
We want everyone to stay safe and have fun, which is why we have prepared a Christmas party checklist for employers and event organisers to help ensure a risk-free festive season.
CHRISTMAS PARTY SAFETY CHECKLIST
BEFORE THE EVENT
- Choose a safe venue or location that is easy for people to get to.
- Consider providing transport or arranging car pools to minimise the risks of people drinking and driving.
- Check the venue for trip hazards, fire exits, toilets, non-smoking areas and venue policies
- If mobility-impaired people are attending, make sure the venue is fitted with necessary ramps and accessible toilets.
- Consider crowd control security for unwanted guests.
- If your function is outside, take into account environmental hazards, high temperatures or slippery surfaces.
- Set clear expectations. Send an email reminder about your Code of Conduct policy including inappropriate behaviour, sexual harassment and alcohol consumption.
- Social Media. Remind attendees about your social media policy and ensure that inappropriate photos and comments are not posted online about your staff.
DURING THE EVENT
Drinking to excess creates a significant risk to employees, other members of the public and your business. The handling of alcohol at the party can significantly reduce the chance of there being an incident.
- Ensure all employees are aware of their responsibilities and to drink alcohol sensibly and legally.
- Make food and non-alcoholic drinks available.
- Monitor the amount of alcohol served.
- It is best practice to nominate a a responsible person, who remains sober, to supervise alcohol consumption and make required decisions.
- Set a time frame for the event.
- Consider fit-for-work the next day for any employees who need to work.
- Consider hiring a security guard to keep your staff safe and informed.
Food and entertainment
- Make sure any entertainment content is age appropriate and doesn’t offend anyone.
- Ensure planned activities are safe.
- Check dietary requirements to ensure that the menu caters for everyone.
- Ensure that your staff are aware of your policy around harassment and workplace behaviour.
- Monitor the behaviour of employees including silly and/or inappropriate behaviour.
- Take steps to prevent incidents of bullying, harassment, derogatory comments and discrimination.
- Dress appropriately.
Sexual harassment is illegal and includes unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favours or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, which offends, humiliates and/or intimidates another person.
Examples of sexually harassing behaviour include:-
- unwelcome touching
- staring or leering
- suggestive comments or jokes
- sexually explicit pictures or posters
- unwanted invitations to go out on dates
- requests for sex
- intrusive questions about a person’s private life or body
- unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person
- insults or taunts based on sex
- sexually explicit physical contact
- sexually explicit emails or SMS text messages.
AFTER THE EVENT
Getting home safe
While it’s not a requirement to provide transport at a party, you can rest easy if you know your staff got home safely.
- Consider alternative transport options including taxis, carpooling, public transport or designate non-drinking drivers.
- Event finish time – ensure the service of alcohol stops when the event does.
A lot of planning goes into an event; so don't forget to plan for your Christmas Party Safety too!
Providing security staff at the event can be an excellent way to keep emotions, behaviour and good cheer under control!
Contact us today. For further information please Call 1300 566 379 or Email