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Can I serve alcohol at our end of year party?

by , 07 October 2013
Can I serve alcohol at my end of year function, even if it's free? Do I need a license? Is our company liable for serving alcohol onsite? I have the answer to your end of year party planning questions...

Dear Reader

The end of year is rapidly approaching. Companies are planning their end of year functions. Have you started planning yours? If you're planning on having yours onsite, you had better know what your obligations are regarding the OHS Act.

Can I serve alcohol at my end of year function, even if it's free? Do I need a license? Is our company liable for serving alcohol onsite? Do we have to limit alcohol consumption? I have the answer to your end of year party planning questions to make sure you comply with OHS Act…

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Can I serve alcohol at our end of year party?

None of the safety regulation strictly forbids serving alcohol onsite. And you don't need a license to serve it. But, the OHS Act refers to preventing intoxication on site. You need to identify all the risks for serving alcohol on site and take the necessary steps to prevent intoxication and the incidents related to this (OHS Act section 8).

For example, it's a risk that your employees might get intoxicated and try to operate your machinery. You need to mitigate this by either switching off your machinery or hosting your party in another part of your premises. Read on for our experts' tip…

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EVERY incident and injury must be reported

No matter how big or small the incident/injury or accident is, it must be reported.
Make it every supervisor and managers responsibility. It doesn't have to be a stressful experience.
Use our Incident/Injury Report Form to make sure ALL the details are reported and recorded. It also includes an Investigation Checklist to complete with each person involved in the accident.

But only when you order the Health and Safety Advisor

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Keep a written company standard

Our Health and Safety expert, Wilna Louw-Malan, recommends keeping a written company standard based on the risk assessment of your year-end party. It's important that you comply with this standard every year. This way you know that you are meeting your obligations when planning your year-end party, year after year.

Now you know your basic obligations according to the OHS Act… Happy party planning!

Until next time,


Louise Harty
Senior Product Manager: Health and Safety

PS – If you have any Health and Safety questions, join our Health and Safety Club site and get your answers from your like-minded peers for free.


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