As businesses and workers come to the end of the working year, WorkCover NSW has issued a reminder that safety at end of year celebrations is everyone’s responsibility. Source: Timberbiz
Acting Director, Operations, WorkCover NSW Work Health and Safety Division, Tony Williams said health and safety responsibilities at work functions were the same as in the workplace and if alcohol was being served, businesses should ensure workers are aware of the risks of misuse.
“As we head towards the Christmas break, many workers push themselves to complete jobs before they go on leave and the end of year work celebration is seen as an opportunity to let off steam and celebrate the achievements of the past year,” said Mr Williams.
“While we all want to have a safe and enjoyable event, businesses need to remember that they are still responsible for the health and safety of workers at these functions.
“Workers also have a responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of themselves and others.
“With alcohol likely to be served at most events, businesses also need to ensure workers are aware of the issues associated with the misuse of alcohol.”
Mr Williams said prior to an event, businesses should take a number of actions in consultation with workers.
“These don’t have to be onerous and could include reminding staff about healthy, safe and respectful behaviours when interacting with others at work functions,” he said.
“If alcohol is going to be served, ensure plenty of food and non-alcoholic drinks are available.
“Also encourage workers to look out for their workmates and if they are concerned someone is under the influence of alcohol, work with their manager to keep them safe.
“Other things include setting a set start and finish time, and checking that transport options are available for workers to get home safely.
“By taking these steps, businesses can celebrate the holiday season safely.