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Revealed: The perils of the office Christmas party

We reveal the accidents most likely to befall you at this year's office Christmas party.

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15 December 2015 / by National Accident Helpline Communications / legal-and-consumer-news

‘Tis the season of the office Christmas party and it’s not just the rumour mill we should be wary of, as it’s revealed that 40% of people have had an embarrassing mishap or minor accident at their work Christmas celebration.

The study of 2,000 adults in the UK carried out by National Accident Helpline shines a light on the many perils of the office Christmas party. 

Some of the most common incidents cited by those surveyed include:

1.    Spilling a drink on someone else

Not a serious accident, but an estimated 3.7 million of us have suffered this awkward moment at the office party, made even worse if your drink ends up all over your boss.

2.    Falling over 

Some 3.6 million of us have taken an accidental tumble at a work festive shindig – an accident that will not only bruise your ego but that can also result in more serious injuries. 

3.    Catching a cold 

Approximately 2.1 million people have caught a chill after not wearing suitably warm clothes.

4.    Drinking so much that you have to call in sick the next day

An estimated 2 million of us have called in sick the day after the office Christmas party, after getting carried away with festive drinking, while 1.8 million have fallen asleep at work (with men almost three times as likely as women to suffer this embarrassing fate).

5.    Lighter burns 

Approximately 1.5 million people have burned themselves when lighting a cigarette at the office Christmas party.

Other accidents suffered by office party-goers include: twisting an ankle when wearing heels, getting food poisoning and falling out of a taxi. 

The survey also revealed which professions are most likely to have an unfortunate mishap at their Christmas party:

•    Lawyers and HR professionals polled as the most likely to fall over at an office Christmas party
•    Lawyers are also the most likely to spill their drinks on important documents or a computer 
•    Nearly a quarter (24%) of those working in sales, marketing and media jobs admitted to spilling their drinks on someone else, more than treble the national average of 7%
•    Finance professionals are the most likely to miss the train home after their work festive get-together
•    It looks like the safest office parties are those in the Arts and Education sectors; more than half (55%) of people working in these jobs say they have survived their office parties accident-free

National Accident Helpline shares guidance and top tips on staying safe during the festive season:


For further press information please contact Fiona Gildea on 020 3696 5800 / or

You can also follow NAH on Twitter @NatAccHelpline and find us on Facebook

Notes to editors 

The survey of 2,083 British people was commissioned by National Accident Helpline and carried out by Censuswide in December 2015.

Calculations are based on the ONS population figures of those aged 16 or over, as of 09/11/2015:  52,443,290 

About National Accident Helpline: 

National Accident Helpline is the UK’s leading provider of personal injury advice, services and support, and represents 50 legal practices across the UK. If a consumer has suffered an accident or injury which was someone else’s fault we can help them understand if they have a legitimate claim, and we will connect them with one of our specialist PI panel solicitor firms so they can seek appropriate redress. Through our approved network of specialist personal injury solicitor firms, we champion consumer rights for people who have suffered a personal injury, helping those with genuine claims to secure access to justice to help aid their recovery. 

National Accident Helpline is an ethical and professional organisation. We have industry-leading standards and we never cold call or send spam texts or spam emails to attract new clients.  

National Accident Helpline is part of NAHL Group plc and is a registered company, incorporated in the UK and regulated by the Claims Management Regulator in respect of claims management activities. For more information please visit the website:  

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