Boozy staff trips are costing naïve employers an arm and a leg, says risk experts.
More and more employers are taking their staff away on “team bonding” trips which can involve alcohol. Some corporate away days turn into weekends and popular activities include, wine-tasting, ski-ing, boating and horse-riding.
Simon Parums, founder and managing director of Themis, a claims investigation and risk assessment company, said:
“Even though corporate away days take place outside the workplace companies are still responsible for their staff and need to take precautions before organising activities.”
Accidents with alcohol as a contributory factor are estimated to comprise 20-25% of all work accidents However, not all claims that arise from away days are alcohol related and a lot of claims come from potentially dangerous outdoor activities.
A recent case should serve as a warning. Themis investigated a company in Yorkshire that took its employees quad biking. One of the employees fell from the quad bike during the course and put in a personal injury claim.
“In this particular case the claim wasn’t awarded as we found the employee had received the right amount of training before getting on the quad bike and had not disclosed a medical condition beforehand.
“Companies planning corporate away days needn’t be put off, they should just pay attention to all the risks involved and in some cases contact their solicitor to have a disclaimer drawn up for their staff to sign before the trip, in which they agree the company will not be responsible if anything goes wrong.”
Parums gives his five top tips for preparing for a corporate away day:
- Identify all potential risks involved in any activity
- Make sure adequate training is given to everyone before the activity
- Always give the option of whether or not to take part
- Have a disclaimer drawn up for each employee to sign detailing the company will not be responsible if something goes wrong
- Write down full details of the activity and give to staff before it commences