Workplace alcohol testing not as simple as X or Y


If you have a predominantly female workforce, you may think that workplace alcohol testing isn’t necessarily needed. After all, it’s mainly males who are irresponsible with alcohol, isn’t it?

While this thinking may have been correct many years ago, today it’s not so. According to the National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), the consumption of alcohol by females is catching up to and may actually be passing that of males. And NDARC says, “this has important implications for how we think about our community response to harmful alcohol use”.

To prove their point, NDARC trawled through studies and pooled data from 68 studies in 36 countries over more than 100 years. The total sample size was more than 4 million people. Doing this, they were able to look at the ratio of alcohol consumption of both men and women from as early as 1891.

For people born in the early 1900s, NDARC found that men were a little over 2 times more likely to drink alcohol than women, 3 times more likely to binge drink, and 3 ½ times more likely to have an accident or injury as a result of drinking or experience an alcohol-use disorder.

Approaching the end of last century, however, NDARC found that virtually the same amount of women were drinking as men, and they were just as likely to binge drink or have alcohol-related harm.

If you’re a business owner or manager, NDARC’s findings, to paraphrase NDARC’s words, have important implications for how you think about workplace alcohol testing. No longer is it sensible to consider that alcohol misuse and irresponsibility with alcohol is a male issue.

The end result is that if you conduct workplace alcohol testing, you’re just as likely to get a positive breath test from a female employee as you are from a male employee.

Implementing workplace alcohol testing

Implementing a workplace alcohol testing program in your workplace, as part of a robust and clearly communicated drug and alcohol management plan, is one of the ways you can help protect your business from the dangers of alcohol and improve safety in your workplace.

Integrity Sampling can help your workplace implement and manage a workplace alcohol testing program. All our branches use modern, accurate and effective equipment and we can conduct our workplace alcohol testing anywhere you do business.

To discuss your workplace alcohol testing needs, contact Integrity Sampling by phoning 1300 SALIVA (725 482).

Workplace alcohol testing should never target just males, particularly following findings from the National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre.

By Michael

Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Melbourne and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs. You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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