12/01/2006

Tips for Employers on Safe and Sober Workplace Parties

The holiday season and workplace parties often go hand-in-hand. However, when
alcohol is served, these celebrations can have dangerous consequences if
someone drives home under the influence. The US-American Department of Labour's
Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace Web site offers a
number of tips for employers and employees on how they can work together to
help prevent impaired driving in their communities and send a safe and sober
message about workplace parties and drinking.

Nine Tips for Office Celebrations

  • Be honest with employees. Make sure your employees know your workplace
    substance abuse policy and that the policy addresses the use of alcoholic
    beverages in any work-related situation and office social function.
  • Post the policy. Use every communication vehicle to make sure your employees
    know the policy. Prior to an office party, use break room bulletin boards,
    office e-mail and paycheck envelopes to communicate your policy and concerns.
  • Reinvent the office party concept. Why have the typical office party? Try
    something new like an indoor carnival, group outing to an amusement park or
    volunteer activity with a local charity.
  • Make sure employees know when to say when. If you do serve alcohol at an
    office event, make sure all employees know that they are welcome to attend and
    have a good time, but that they are expected to act responsibly.
  • Make it the office party of choice. Make sure there are plenty of
    non-alcoholic beverages available.
  • Eat...and be merry! Avoid serving lots of salty, greasy or sweet foods which
    tend to make people thirsty. Serve foods rich in starch and protein which stay
    in the stomach longer and slow the absorption of alcohol in the bloodstream.
  • Designate party managers. Remind managers that even at the office party, they
    may need to implement the company's alcohol and substance abuse policy.
  • Arrange alternative transportation. Anticipate the need for alternative
    transportation for all party goers and make special transportation arrangements
    in advance of the party. Encourage all employees to make use of the alternative
    transportation if they consume any alcohol.
  • Serve none for the road. Stop serving alcohol before the party officially
    ends.

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AplusA-online.de - Source: Department of Labour