Employers must keep their "eye on the ball" during the World Cup and not allow football mania to disrupt their businesses or jeopardise staff safety.

London-based consultancy Hedron has raised the ...

Employers must keep their "eye on the ball" during the World Cup and not allow football mania to disrupt their businesses or jeopardise staff safety.

London-based consultancy Hedron has raised the possibility of serious accidents at the workplace caused by absent safety controllers, or by key employees being distracted from their duty by radio and television commentary of matches.

Hedron director Andy Knott said although many companies were arranging televisions for England matches, they had not fully realised the scale of the problem and did not know which, or how many, employees would be missing.

"I guess because they think they've got it covered, they're not worried about the insurance angle."

Royal & SunAlliance business continuity consultant Martin Savage said employers would have to fall back on their liability policies if football was somehow the cause of a "horrendous" accident.

He said lost productivity from staff absenteeism during the World Cup would fall outside most business interruption policies, but the issue was something that needed to be considered. It was good business practice to have business continuity plans in place.