Alcohol: The risks to workplace health and safety

Alcohol risks to workplace safety

Christmas time is party time and many of us can already begin to feel the effects of overindulgence. As we enjoy ourselves a bit more at Christmas many of these effects can be caused by higher than usual alcohol consumption. The vast majority of people have a responsible attitude to drinking alcohol and would never dream of turning up to work whilst drunk. However they may not be aware how long alcohol can remain in their body after excessive drinking and therefore how long after drinking they could be impaired.
After a heavy drinking session alcohol can remain in an individual’s system until early evening the next day. This could mean that someone turning up for work the morning after a party could have an alcohol level above the permissible limit in your drug and alcohol policy, and therefore pose a risk to themselves, colleagues and maybe even members of the public.

An important way to help combat this is to remind your employees of the rules in your drug and alcohol policy and to provide some practical advice about alcohol consumption. This can include educational information about how many units are in popular alcoholic drinks and how long this can stay in their body. This will allow them to take a more sensible approach to drinking and understand the consequences of their decisions.

Regularly breath testing employees before they start work very quickly identifies individuals who may be impaired by the effects of alcohol. It will also identify those who have turned up for work in contravention of your drug and alcohol policy, so disciplinary action can be taken.

We have a range of breath alcohol testing equipment that you can use to test employees and maintain a safe working environment. We can also assist you in implementing a drug and alcohol policy and the management of a drug and alcohol testing programme. Contact us for more information.

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