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Christmas is a time of great tradition - the tree, the presents, the over-indulgence and families getting together. Of course, one other great Christmas tradition that usually takes place in the festive period is the quintessential work Christmas party.

For most companies, this is the one time of the year where everyone really lets their hair down. From the CEO to cleaning staff, everyone is equal and out for a good night, but the Christmas party is not without its risks. There is the chance you could have one too many and say something you shouldn’t to the boss, or that you may have an ill-advised romantic liaison with a co-worker. These things tend to happen when the pressure of working in close proximity all year is finally released.                                                                                                                   

However, these risks might be trivial but there are others that pose slightly more of a concern. Depending on where you are having the party, there are some occupational hazards that could be involved.


Rockin’ Around the A&E


For example, if you’re planning on holding your party in the workplace itself, then you need to think about the risks. Whatever dangers there might be every day will be magnified when you add alcohol into the equation. Even electrical devices such as photocopiers and computers might be at risk - and not just from people copying body parts and sending indiscreet emails.


If you’re decorating the office, then check the safety of fairy lights (a notorious safety concern) and think about any hazards from falling, tripping or fire risks that you might be creating. Always use a suitable step ladder if you’re hanging decorations up high and make sure that the tree and other flammable items are away from heat sources.


Mistletoe and Whine

There is also the risk around food and drink in the workplace. As well as contaminating food, there is also the risk of serving food that may be perishable. You will also need to establish dietary requirements, especially with regards to allergies.

Think about the drinks you are providing too. Everyone wants to have a good time, but you need to make sure no one is drinking to a dangerous level or driving home after the party after consuming alcohol. Think about designating a senior member of staff to be alcohol free for the evening (usually someone will not mind staying sober), so that there is someone looking out for the team and able to drive in an emergency. You could even pre-book a few taxis to make getting home safely easy for everyone.

In short: if you are sensible, consider the risks and plan ahead, there is no reason why you can’t have a fun and safe office Christmas party, where the only major risk is a few sore heads the next morning!


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