We’re soon coming to the season of Christmas parties, and often an individual or small team co-ordinate the party. It is great fun to organise and hopefully everyone will have a great evening. I don’t wish to be a party pooper when I mention the words “Elf and Safety”! Although health and safety gets a bad press, no one would want anyone to be harmed at a Christmas party, and keeping your guests safe is a priority. Here I share my top tips to ensuring you have a safe and fun party.
- It goes without saying that the venue and suppliers you use will have their own health and safety in place. Double check that stairs are well lit; candles are in safe locations etc. if in doubt ask the suppliers and venue for their health and safety policies. The musicians that use equipment all have PAT tested certificates and this is mandatory.
- Make sure you have a guest list available, which is portable in case you have to evacuate the building. This should include any suppliers you have booked for the event and who are in the building.
- Have a travel plan for your guests including maps, numbers of taxis, car park details, trains, buses etc. If necessary book a coach from the office. Provide times of the last tube, train or bus for party goers that need public transport as part of the invitation.
- Alcohol is the cause of many accidents at this time of year 🙁 Of course you want guests to enjoy themselves, but managing alcohol intake is a must. Companies who provide alcohol at Christmas events can be held liable for drunken injuries on the way home. Ensure there is plenty of tap water available throughout the evening. Limit the number of drinks guests are served before eating.
- You could either limit the number of ‘free’ drinks and if you have a barman from the venue, he/she could keep an eye on individuals.
- It might be a good idea to designate some senior members of staff to be alcohol free, so they can manage and unacceptable behaviour.
- Particularly keep an eye out for young people including interns, apprentices and work experience students who might not have planned how to get home; might not be experienced in pacing their drinking etc.
In the end, it is about being sensible, but I would hate it if a Christmas party that you had organised resulted in someone being injured on the way home due to drinking!