We’ve all been warned about the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol – and for good reason – but less is mentioned about the danger in our workplaces.
A recent poll conducted by the Australian Drug Foundation across a range of industries found that one in five people have gone to work while under the influence of alcohol. In addition:
- One in five people have taken a sick day after drinking alcohol.
- Around 40% admitted to going to work feeling the effects of alcohol.
- Close to one in five performed work while drunk or affected by alcohol.
One of the issues is that drinking alcohol is socially acceptable. Many people see it as a way of relaxing, celebrating and enjoying themselves. So, inevitably, the affects of alcohol use are seen in the workplace.
How does alcohol affect people in the workplace?
- Even a small amount of alcohol can lead to slow reflexes and poor coordination. A dangerous mix in a work environment, particularly around machinery and in trades and manual jobs.
- Even people who would never knowingly go to work under the influence do, because of the affects of drinking alcohol the night before.
- People who drink heavily will usually be dehydrated, leaving them exposed to the potential of heat stress and other issues.
- Drinking alcohol will lead to reduced work performance, stamina and productivity.
- People who are under the influence are more likely to adopt risky or inappropriate behaviour.
To reduce the exposure to the dangers of people being affected by alcohol in your workplace, what’s needed is an appropriate alcohol and drug management program. A program that not only includes random alcohol testing, but also education for people within your workforce.
For advice and support in implementing an alcohol and drug management program, contact Integrity Sampling on 1300 SALIVA (1300 725 482).