If you’re a business owner or manager who’s been keeping up with the latest trends on alcohol consumption and roadside alcohol testing, you could be forgiven for thinking that workplace alcohol testing is no longer a priority and that testing for illicit drugs should be more of a focus.
Alcohol consumption in Australia down
A recent survey on alcohol consumption by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that we’re drinking less alcohol now than at any time in the previous 50 years. See Some positives from alcohol consumption rates for more details.
Roadside alcohol testing netting fewer
Another positive is that roadside alcohol testing in Australia is catching fewer people driving or riding a motorbike over the legal limit. The trend suggests that work over many years is finally getting through to people about the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Is workplace alcohol testing a priority?
Given the above, why should workplace alcohol testing continue to be a priority? While there are some positives in the above trends, we know that whether it’s in workplaces, on the road or in our communities, there will always be people who are willing to undertake risky behaviours with alcohol:
- Each year, workplace alcohol testing carried out by Integrity Sampling catches many people who wittingly or unwittingly attend work under the influence of alcohol.
- It’s true that fatalities on our road that involve a driver or motorbike rider with a blood alcohol content greater than the 0.05 limit have dropped. However, in Victoria alone, based on the last 5 years, there are still an average of 40 drivers and riders killed each year with a blood alcohol content over the limit. This represents around 24% of all road deaths in Victoria.
- In the UK, The Institute of Alcohol Studies estimates that alcohol is a factor in up to one in four workplace accidents.
- Just last week, a motorist in Melbourne faced court after blowing almost three times over the 0.05 limit. This follows previous fines and disqualifications for driving over 4 times over the limit, on two occasions!
- 1 in 5 Australians have admitted going to work drunk or under the influence of alcohol.
So if you own or manage a business, it’s wise to remember that there will always be people who are willing to take the risk and turn up to work under the influence. Which is why workplace alcohol testing, as part an overall drug and alcohol policy, continues to be a priority.
To keep up with news on workplace alcohol testing, workplace drug testing and other topics involving drugs and alcohol, keep a regular eye on our Latest News pages.