Attention Construction workers: Dangers of Drug and Alcohol Use on the job
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Attention Construction workers: Dangers of Drug and Alcohol Use on the job Document Transcript

  • 1. Attention Construction workers: Dangers of Drug andAlcohol Use on the jobIt is no coincidence that research shows a link between drugs and alcohol use and stress.Alcohol and drugs are used as relaxants so it would make sense that workers with highlypressurised or stressful jobs would indulge in drinking and some even drug taking. Howeverdrinking on the job is completely different to having a drink after work to unwind. Workers whoengage in drinking and drug taking while on duty, seriously endanger the safety of everyone onsite and undermine a business’s operational ability.Drinking and drug taking alters a worker’s mental and physical capabilities which means theyare not able to perform at their peak. Workers who believe that they can have a drink or two andit won’t affect them are mistaken, especially in an industry as dangerous as construction.Activities such as welding, operating heavy machinery, working with power tools are all riskywhen undertaken by a sober individual, however when combined with drugs and alcohol are adeadly combination. Workers who are intoxicated do not operate on the same mental capacityas those who are sober and so jeopardise the health and safety of everyone on site.Other than slowing the productivity of the site and endangering the lives of workers, drinkingand drug taking also increases absenteeism and sick leave. Workers are also more likely to getinjured and so increase their compensation claims and cost to the company.Workers should also keep in mind that alcohol and drugs remain in the system even the nextmorning, so while you may not think you are still intoxicated, the chemicals could still be in yourbody the next day from a heavy night of binge drinking. This may affect the way you do your joband may even cause injury, especially if you are still hung-over.The main effects on your ability to work are: decreased alertness,impaired judgement andlowered productivity. A recent national survey which was conducted in Melbourne showed thatconstruction workers showed some of the highest rates of drinking and drug taking. The surveyincluded approximately 500 labourers, managers and office staff, more than half of whichshowed a drinking and drug taking level that put their safety at risk.Particularly concerning is the amount of construction workers who admitted to using ecstasy oramphetamine substances in the past year and the 16 per cent that had used marijuana,showing figures higher than the rest of the population. Sadly the majority of workers involved inthe research did not have sufficient knowledge of how drugs and alcohol could affect theirphysical performance on the job. This suggests that employers need to do more to educateworkers and create awareness of the issue. Employers and government should undertake to domore to remove the culture of drinking and drug taking in the construction industry.This post by MICHELLE Henderson, AAP National Medical Writer, explains what the resultsmean for construction workers: “Operating machinery and mobile equipment, the proximity to road traffic, using 1/2
  • 2. electrical equipment and operating at heights conspire to accentuate the potential adverse impact of drugs and alcohol in these workplaces,” Prof Biggs said. “What we need is educational preventative programs, rather than simply dealing with alcohol and other drug use after the fact through testing and dealing with positive results,” he said. Prof Biggs said a national education program would be developed to combat alcohol and drug use in the construction industry. The 494 workers surveyed over the two-year project also included engineers and plant operators. The Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology conducted the study. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/alcohol-use-putting-workers-at-safety -risk/story-e6frf7kf-1226459910908 http://www.whitecardonline.com.au/blog/my-category/attention-construction-workers-dangers-of- drug-and-alcohol-use-on-the-job/ 2/2Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org)