Workplace Christmas Parties: What are the risks?06-12-2023 | Resource
The annual workplace Christmas party is a festive occasion that brings colleagues together to celebrate the holiday season and the end of the working year. However, amid the celebrations, there can also be a number of potential personal injury concerns that both employers and employees should be aware of.
For example, there are a number of circumstances that could lead to an employee being injured or hurt at the party and many of which could result in a potential claim for compensation. Some of the most common areas of risk include:
1. Alcohol related injuries.
Many workplace parties involve the serving of alcoholic beverages, and this can lead to a range of issues. Alcohol consumption can impair judgment and coordination, leading to an increased risk of slips, trips, and falls. This can result in injuries such as sprains, fractures, or head injuries.
2. Accidents and injuries during transportation.
If the party involves transportation, such as buses or designated drivers, there is a risk of accidents when travelling to and from the venue. Employers should encourage responsible transportation choices and consider providing options for safe rides home – particularly when alcohol will be served at the event.
3. Venue safety.
Whether the party is held on company premises or at an external venue, employers are responsible for ensuring that the location is safe for staff members. This includes addressing potential hazards – including providing special dietary requirements to employees with food allergies - securing the venue, and providing information about emergency exits.
4. Harassment and inappropriate behaviour.
Injuries are not only physical, emotional distress or psychological damage can result from harassment and inappropriate behavior at workplace parties.Employers should communicate their expectations regarding behaviour, and promote a safe and inclusive atmosphere at the event as well as in the workplace in general.
5. Accidents and injuries during activities at the party.
Some workplaces incorporate team-building activities or games during holiday parties. If not carefully planned and supervised, these activities can result in injuries. Employers should always assess the potential risks associated with planned activities and take precautions to ensure participant safety.
Your workplace Christmas party is meant to foster camaraderie, reward hard work, and celebrate the holiday season. By proactively addressing alcohol consumption, inappropriate behavior and safety concerns, employers can create a festive atmosphere without compromising the well-being of the workforce. For more information on personal injury claims resulting from workplace Christmas parties, or to find out whether you may be entitled to compensation following injury, contact the experienced team at Lamrocks on ph: 02 4731 5688.