11:13 pm, Thursday 26 September, 2013
“Around five percent of all Australian workplace deaths and 11 percent of workplace injuries involve alcohol.”
This is according to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland who issued a reminder on the risks of higher levels of drinking.
WHSQ said increased levels of alcohol drinking can affect an individual’s health and hurt his family and work colleagues.
According to the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, the agricultural industry has a high rate (6.3%) of workers who are frequent drinkers at risky levels, higher still for farm managers (12.1%). The National Drug Strategy Household Survey in 2010 revealed that men, younger individuals and farm workers are more likely to drink at risky levels.
The Australian Guidelines to reduce health risks from Drinking Alcohol says “risk of long term harm equates to having 5-6 drinks per day or 29-42 per week for men, 3-4 per day or 15-28 per week for women.”
Several workplace factors can contribute to a worker’s alcohol consumption:
- long and/or irregular hours
- low job satisfaction
- hazardous or dangerous work
- availability of alcohol and workplace drinking culture
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland offers the following strategies for employers to positively influence employees’ attitude towards alcohol consumption:
- developing and implementing an alcohol policy with input from workers
- providing resources to employees about the harmful effects of alcohol
- encouraging workers to complete the Australian Drug Foundation ADF Aware online education program
- encouraging workers with a drinking problem to access counselling and treatment services
- creating a responsible drinking culture in the workplace