No exceptions: The usual occupational safety provisions also apply to Christmas parties on company premises. This includes a risk assessment by the employer that takes account of the specific situation in comparison to normal everyday work. “In legal terms, an official Christmas party constitutes a company situation,” explains Dieter Berndt, an event safety expert at TÜV Rheinland. “For this reason, labor law also applies here.” This means that the statutory accident insurance is in effect during the preparations and the party itself. The exception: Accidents caused by excessive alcohol consumption. These are not covered.
Take safety precautions for the event location
Taking the example of a vehicle repair shop: If a party is to be held in a place that is normally used to repair cars, special safety precautions need to be taken. This is partly because people such as family members and external colleagues who are not familiar with the surroundings often join in the celebrations, too. For this reason, tools must be cleared away and hoists and pits must be carefully cordoned off. Furthermore, brake fluid and engine oil do not belong anywhere near food and drink.
Use suitable premises
“Before the event, the fire safety officer and the occupational safety specialist should check whether all of the legal requirements are met,” advises Dieter Berndt. For events with 200 or more people, the regulations on places of assembly (VStättVo) must be observed. The TÜV Rheinland expert recommends taking the VStättVo as a general guideline irrespective of the number of people. In addition, floodlights, loudspeaker boxes and other technical equipment for the event must be positioned stably and cables must be fixed to the floor properly with tape so as to prevent tripping hazards.
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