Four drinks, per day, perhaps? No perhaps about it, it’s now a guideline for Chamber of Minerals and Energy operations in Western Australia to limit alcoholic drinks to four per day for accommodation residents. Credit omid roshan https://unsplash.com/photos/Evss0Whf5OI

Digging for a better way to manage alcohol in Western Australia

If you’re a fly-in, fly-out mine worker in Western Australia, or have other reasons to stay at a mine on-site accommodation facility, you’ll now be limited to four alcoholic drinks in a 24-hour period.

The four drinks per day rule is part of a series of changes in the way alcohol will be managed at sites governed by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) of WA and its member companies. The aim of the changes is to provide industry-wide guidance for the consumption of alcohol at on-site accommodation facilities.

According to an Australian Mining Magazine article, the new guidelines builds on drug and alcohol policies already implemented across industry workplaces.

CME Director of Policy and Advocacy Rob Carruthers said in the article the guideline reflected the WA mining and resources sector’s long-standing commitment to best practice for both physical and psychological safety in the workforce.

“This guideline represents a significant milestone in our sector’s work to be as safe as possible at all times,” he said.

“Over the past couple of years, several CME member companies have implemented their own alcohol limits. But it’s also very important that there is industry-wide guidance that can be used at any operation, driving healthy behaviours that encourage a culture of moderation.

“Crucially, the guideline takes into account not only the experience of CME member companies’ work around alcohol, but also input from independent drug and alcohol experts…”

The guideline will affect 156,000-plus employees that work in the sector for more than 75 companies. The guideline includes:

  • The four-drink limit in 24-hours for all accommodation residents. This guideline is in line with the National Health and Medical Research Council recommendations that people should drink no more than 4-standard drinks in any one day.
  • Banning alcohol that encourages rapid-consumption, including shots and double servings.
  • Ensuring low and medium strength alcoholic options are available, as well as non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Ensuring food is available whenever alcohol is served.
  • Actively promoting a culture of moderation and healthy dietary choices.
  • Education for residents of the alcohol policy that applies to those who live in on-site accommodation facilities, as well as general education of the potential harmful effects of alcohol consumption.

“The guideline will take a period of time to achieve broadscale implementation,” said Mr Carruthers in the article, “however it demonstrates a clear industry-wide commitment to raise standards. Some CME member companies have already led the way by adopting the elements of the guideline, and those that can practically implement it immediately will do so of course.”

The CME is also encouraging other operations that don’t fall under the CME umbrella to adopt similar management practice for alcohol. They hope that the guideline will help WA mining and resources as a whole achieve positive safety and inclusion objectives.

IMAGE CAPTION:

Four drinks, per day, perhaps? No perhaps about it, it’s now a guideline for Chamber of Minerals and Energy operations in Western Australia to limit alcoholic drinks to four per day for accommodation residents. Credit omid roshan https://unsplash.com/photos/Evss0Whf5OI

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Michael

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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 Thomastown 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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