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Health and Safety News

Host responsibility- Frans blog (Waikato consultant)

Thursday, December 01, 2016

It’s that time of the year again when we just want to have some time to kick back just for a few hours. Staff functions, celebrations or after-work drinks can be a great way to relax, enjoy workmate’s company and celebrate a job well done.

When alcohol is involved there are no safeguards, people may over-indulge and things can go wrong. In addition to potential problems at events, alcohol-related issues at work can mean absenteeism, reduced productivity and effectiveness and workplace-related accidents.

Host responsibility

You’re the host

As the employer you're the host of any workplace functions. You, therefore, should implement host responsibility provisions.

Many of our farm workers are under 18 so it’s a good time to give some consideration regarding staff aged under 18 years old. It is illegal to supply alcohol to anyone under 18 years old unless you are the parent or legal guardian and the alcohol is supplied in a responsible manner OR you have the express consent of the young person’s parent/guardian. “Express consent” may include a personal conversation, a hand written note, or a text message you believe to be genuine.

You could be fined up to $2000.00 if you don’t follow the law.

Part of being a good “Responsible” host includes:

Supervise the consumption of alcohol, provide food, provide a choice of low alcohol and/or non-alcoholic drinks

*Making sure people can get home safely. Make sure they don’t drive if they’ve been drinking. Pre-arrange transport or help people order taxis.

SAFELY is an acronym for host responsibility. It gives you a simple way to remember the key components of host responsibility. As a host you set the tone for the workplace event and behaviour related to alcohol. It’s best to plan to ensure that people enjoy themselves without over-indulging.A useful approach is to make and adhere to an end time for the event.

SAFELY means:

*S – use responsible alcohol service

*A - provide alternatives to alcohol

*F – offer substantial food

*E – prevent excess consumption and intoxication

*L – organise lifts

*Y – look after young people