Manchester, United Kingdom, (21st December, 2011) – Express Solicitors, a national firm of fully accredited solicitors specialising in no win no fee claims, comments on recent findings which support that drunken dancing on tabletops, chairs and bars can be one of the main causes of accidents at office parties, as unsteady revellers lose their footing and fall.
Sharon Denby, employers’ liability and personal injury partner at Express Solicitors in Manchester, commented: “Many office party injuries are caused by falls from a height when people have had too much to drink and decide to showcase their moves on a tabletop or chair. Unfortunately, injuries like broken wrists and twisted ankles are just the tip of the iceberg.
“What’s more, if an injury like this happens at an office party then the employer could be legally liable. It’s a tough balancing act because companies really want their staff to have a good time, but in essence they are still responsible for their employees’ actions as an office party is usually considered to be ‘work’.”
Sharon Denby represented a woman who fractured her spine when her colleague, who was dancing on a table, fell on top of her. In that case, liability fell with the bar the party was being held at, as bar staff were encouraging table top dancing and ultimately the venue ‘held overall control’ of the party. However, Sharon points out that this isn’t always the case.
She believes that employers must remember that they are usually responsible for what happens at an office party, even if it takes place outside of work and work hours, as employees are expected to attend these events. She suggests that managers are mindful of what is going on, keeping track of employees’ alcohol consumption and ensuring there is appropriate supervision, particularly for younger members of staff.
Sharon advises that preparing for Christmas office parties by conducting risk assessments can give protection to employees and businesses. This includes claims for other accidents such as slips on spilt drinks, alcohol poisoning or an injury caused by a falling Christmas tree. She believes that if businesses ensure that their human resources policies include office parties, they can protect themselves and their employees more efficiently.
Sharon concludes: “A thorough risk assessment is essential. If companies carry out simple risk assessments for an office party in the same way they do for other areas of their business, they really will avoid huge headaches in the future.”
For more information, contact Express Solicitors on 0800 294 6250 or visit www.expresssolicitors.com.
About Express Solicitors:
Express Solicitors is a national firm of fully accredited solicitors, which pursues no win no fee personal injury and accident compensation claims for people throughout England and Wales. Express Solicitors comprises 60 employees including three partners and 20 fee earners. From their headquarters in Manchester, solicitors give free over-the-phone legal assessments before they visit accident compensation claimants at home or in hospital. Express Solicitors pride themselves on offering a personal service and can guarantee that whenever a client calls, they will be answered by a qualified personal injury claims solicitor who is quickly able to bring their case notes up on the screen in front of them.
Tel: 0800 294 6250