A recent study of almost 10 000 Australian has found that alcohol is still a significant safety issue in the workplace. This first study to look at drug and alcohol use in Australian workplaces was conducted by the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction at Adelaide's Flinders University.
In the study, 9% of workers said that they “usually” drank at work and a very significant 5.6% admitted to being “under the influence”. This is particularly concerning as the self reporting of being intoxicated or impaired is usually significantly underestimated. Most people equate a level of over 0.05% as impairing whereas extensive studies have shown that levels between 0.02% and 0.05% can double the risk of an accident.
Of further concern, the study may have understated the use of alcohol and drugs at work because people who only used them occasionally rather than usually were not recorded. In addition Dr Pidd, Centre Deputy Director, reported that 2% of the workers admitted to being under the influence of drugs in the workplace and 1% admitted to taking drugs at work.
It is clear from these findings that workplaces need to address these issues if they are going to manage the potential risks created by these statistics. DASA has a team of experienced professionals who can assist your organisation in this area.