Tips for a Safer Office Holiday Party

As the holiday season approaches, so do employee appreciation events such as the annual office holiday dinner or party. As a business owner it is important that you take steps to protect your business and employees from harm at events that involve alcohol.

Although you cannot eliminate the risk entirely, you can do a great deal to reduce the likelihood of a liquor-related incident and minimize your liability in the event that an incident occurs. To promote the safety and sobriety of your employees and guests at company-sponsored events, below is a list of suggested control measures:

  • Host your event at a third-party restaurant or banquet hall that hires smart serve certified staff.
  • Set up bar stations instead of having servers circulating the room; if offered, people are inclined to accept drinks they wouldn’t have otherwise ordered.
  • Place table tents at each bar reminding employees and guests to drink responsibly.
  • Don’t price alcohol too low, as it encourages over-consumption.
  • Offer a range of low-alcohol and alcohol-free drinks at no charge.
  • Require servers to measure spirits.
  • Always serve food with alcohol.
  • Close the bar an hour before the scheduled end of the party.
  • Do not offer a “last call” as this promotes rapid consumption.
  • Never raffle alcohol or hold contests that involve buying or drinking alcohol.
  • Entice guests to take advantage of safe transportation options by subsidizing taxis or promoting a designated driver program.
  • If your event includes a program or speaker, schedule it for after dinner and drinks are served. This allows additional time for alcohol to wear off.

Before your company hosts its next event, contact KNOX Insurance Brokers Ltd. We can review your coverage and assist in developing a risk management plan that keeps safety a top priority at your company-sponsored events.


Sources: © 2006, 2012-2013 Zywave, Inc.


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