The warmer weather brings with it a time of reflection and celebration that another year has come to a close. To mark the occasion, many employers will host Christmas functions and end of year parties for their workers, either at the workplace or at an external venue. It is important to remember that an employer still bears responsibility for the safety of their workers during these functions. Unfortunately, whilst most people leave with no more than a heavy headache the next day, injuries can arise during the course of festive celebrations. An employer's responsibility extends to functions they have organised and facilitated, but does not include informal drinks or social gatherings arranged by individual staff members. Examples of cases where workers have been injured include walking into walls or furniture whilst intoxicated, slipping on spilt drinks, and dancefloor disasters. In one particular case, WorkCover accepted the compensation claim of an employee who was pushed off a party boat hired by his employer and suffered injuries after coming into contact with the boat's propeller. Aside from physical injuries, staff functions can also have serious consequences for people's emotional and mental health. The combination of alcohol, social media and previous workplace tensions can often be a volatile mix and can leave employees with long lasting psychological scarring. Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers wishes you and your family a safe and happy festive season. If we can be of assistance to you in 2017, we invite you to contact our office on (03) 9321 9988.