With the festive season only just around the corner, companies from all over are getting ready to let their hair down and celebrate. The details for end of year work parties are being finalised, Christmas decorations are getting dusted off and it’s safe to say – we’re all ready for a break and a little fun!
End of year Christmas parties provide the perfect opportunity for staff to unwind, celebrate their achievements and socialise together in an environment that’s entertaining for all. That being said, workers and employers all want to enjoy themselves so minimising risks to everyone’s health and safety is essential for a successful day. We check out some important first aid tips to keep in mind so you and your work colleagues can kick back, and finish the year off in style.
1. Consider Workers’ Dietary Requirements
One of the best parts about the festive season is the food you can indulge in – but that’s not to say everyone can eat it. If you will be providing food for the event, it’s vital you check all attendees’ dietary requirements and encourage worker’s to notify you as soon as possible to minimise the risk of allergic reactions or any illnesses. After all the information has been collected, make sure any relevant catering companies or third parties organising the food are aware too.
For festive season events that involve heading to bars and restaurants without a set menu, make sure a place has been picked that suits everyone’s dietary requirements. This way, everyone can enjoy the Christmas food and drinks.
2. Pre-Hydrate and Line Your Stomach before Drinking
There’s nothing worse than nursing a five-day hangover after your Christmas party, or feeling your stomach churn at the smell of freshly cooked roast turkey – especially when it cuts into your celebration time. Consequently, it goes without saying that hydrating yourself before you start drinking is essential. If you’re already dehydrated before you start drinking, you’ll be dramatically increasing the punishment for the day after as the night progresses!
Along with upping the water prior to drinking, work Christmas parties should encourage a meal beforehand too. Not only will you be less likely to binge eat fatty foods later once you’ve finished drinking, but it’ll encourage a much safer celebration session for you and your colleagues. Besides, who really wants to miss out on the Christmas food anyway!?
3. Stay Hydrated During the Day
Whilst it may seem that common sense should prevail, staying hydrated with fluids other than alcohol at Christmas parties is often taken for granted. Let’s face it, it’s not always an easy thing to do when you just want to let your hair down but it’s the smarter option – especially for a work do.
We’ve all heard stories about the publicised circumstances of inappropriateness that can come with festive season parties, but it’s important to remember that these celebrations are still work related. Fun is definitely encouraged, drinking, eating and being merry is definitely encouraged – but you don’t want to be the subject of the conversation in the days following the event.
To ensure the event is smooth rolling for all, it’s vital to maintain hydration throughout the day. For some states, celebrating Christmas can usually mean a heat wave too so an adequate intake of water in between drinks isn’t just to protect you for the following day, but to also keep you safe throughout the event too. This article provides some great tips for staying hydrated.
This goes for both sides of the fence – the employee and the employer. The festive season and work functions to celebrate this time of year should be a fun way for staff to feel relaxed and enjoy
themselves, but you got to stay smart too, have your wits about yourself and be clear about any expectations.
It’s also highly recommended to have someone at the event that knows first aid. Whilst all these precautionary measures definitely reduce the risks of something happen, it’s much smarter to have a staff member that’s qualified in first aid and a first aid kit on board. If you don’t have anyone, it may be a wise idea to ensure a senior first aid course is done prior to any big events. It’s also a great safety measure for any other day in the office too.
5. Communicate the Start and Finish Times of the Event
In the lead up to the event, the boss of the company or person in charge of running the day will need to communicate all the essential details to other staff. The start and finish time should be clearly identified and expectations noted about staff absence the next day (if it’s during the week).
Whilst specifying the start and finish time of the Christmas function, it’s ideal to remind staff that anyone continuing the celebrations after the event do so at their own risk with no reflection on the company. For some organisations, after parties of a planned work event can blur the lines of responsibility on the employer’s part. Whilst there can be no harm in continuing on with work mates – and it tends to be out of the employer’s control – its important guests are fully aware it’s at their own responsibility.
6. Ensure all Employees Have a Safe Means of Getting Home
After all the fun is done and dusted, there comes a time when we have to venture back home. Complete with your Santa hat (if you haven’t lost it already!) and any Christmas goodies from the day, making travel arrangements prior to the event will ensure you get home safely.
For festive functions away from the office, it can be ideal for the company to arrange transport to and from the event – especially if there’s alcohol involved. For Christmas parties at the office, it’s up to the person arranging the day to remind all staff to be safe. This includes no driving in if you’re going to be drinking and ensuring the event finishes at a time when public transport is still running.
Stay away from picking a venue that makes it difficult for staff to find their way home, or arrange a bus or charter company to get you back to local grounds. If public transport isn’t running nearby, numbers for the local cab companies can also be provided to staff by the employer. Having a plan in place before the event will encourage staff to arrange a lift if they need too and reduce the risks of anything happening whilst staff are traveling home from the function.
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Training Course Experts – offering highly qualified first aid courses for staff by an experienced team. You can catch her on Google+.