Managing Celebrations in the Workplace - Hasmate
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Managing Celebrations in the Workplace

Managing Celebrations in the Workplace

Your H&S responsibility?

A question I have been often asked over the past few years is about the responsibilities of the business owner (or in today’s terms, the PCBU) under the Health and Safety legislation, when they provide a Christmas party for their staff and provide alcohol.

While providing an answer as to what the legislation sets out, I always revert to this question – have you seen the rustic steel monument in the paddock on the Takapau Plains?

No matter how you answer this, I then ask what its represents.  It is a memorial to the lives of the 5 young people that were wiped out in a split second by the actions of a drunk driver.

Coincidently, I have a business associate who was only two cars behind the victims’ car with his young family, who witnessed the drunk driver speed past them, and saw the horror crash unfold before their eyes.

The driver had been drinking at a Christmas work function.  He had then driven 10km to his home, had a few more drinks, and then was on his way to the beach to be with his family, drunk.

This crash was mentioned in the Hawke’s Bay Today on 26 December 2007 – read article.

FIVE white roses mark the site where five young lives were lost in a fatal car crash on Christmas Eve 15 years ago in Central Hawke’s Bay. The roses were laid next to five white crosses, clustered on a busy stretch of State Highway 2 between Waipukurau and Takapau, to launch a campaign aimed at removing repeat drunk and drugged drivers from our roads.

To provide an answer to this employment and health and safety work-related issue, the following is an opinion from Sherridan Cook, a partner with top law firm Buddle Findlay – view article here.

If you have not considered this as a situation that could potentially impact on your business for a range of reasons, I strongly recommend that you address your policies and procedures, and communicate these to your employees ASAP so you can plan how you will manage this year’s Christmas function.