Hosting a corporate party? Keep your employees safe and limit your liability.

A person driving a car with one hand on the steering wheel facing the windshield.
Group of 5 employees at a party mingling next to a table containing alcoholic beverages.

Whether it’s a corporate holiday or office Christmas party, an employee boat cruise, or after-hours social event, corporate parties are a great way to boost employee engagement. However, a corporate function could also result in an injury to your employees or their guests, putting your business at risk.

Let’s outline some tips for your company to consider if hosting a company function.

Before the function

  • Remind all employees about your company’s workplace violence and harassment policy. If you don’t have such a policy, now is a great time to develop one. A workplace violence and harassment policy, along with a program to implement it, is mandatory for most Ontario workplaces. Have your employees review and acknowledge the policy.
  • Ask guests about allergies and dietary restrictions and prepare alternative food options.
  • Let all employees know that drinking and driving will not be permitted. If your company plans to offer complimentary transportation to and from the function, let them know how this will work, e.g., taxi chits, company shuttle, etc.

Reduce slip and fall hazards

  • If hosting your event in the winter, ensure snow and ice are routinely cleared from walkways and parking lots to avoid slips and falls.
  • Inspect parking lots and walkways for adequate lighting and uneven surfaces.
  • If you’re providing audio and visual services, e.g., video presentation, DJ, etc., ensure cords and cables are correctly managed by tucking them along walls, using mats, or taping them securely to the floor.

If serving alcohol

  • Serve food too.
  • At the beginning of the function, emphasize that drinking and driving will not be permitted. Repeat this reminder toward the middle and end of the function.
  • Provide complimentary transportation to and from the venue. Offering a free ride to the venue can reduce any temptation for an individual to drive home after a few too many drinks.
  • You can limit alcohol consumption by providing guests with a limited number of drink vouchers. However, this approach may not be completely sound as some guests may be given additional drink tickets from other guests.
  • Offer non-alcoholic beverages for those who do not consume alcohol or for designated drivers.
  • Consider how you will de-escalate confrontational situations, such as an intoxicated guest who insists on driving home or violent behaviour between guests.
  • Consider having an individual stationed at the exit to monitor guests as they leave, to call a taxi, or intervene where a guest may not be fit to drive.


WorkBright™ specializes in helping businesses identify hazards to employee health and safety and can help develop solutions that minimize risk. Call us today to learn more.