How much could alcohol be affecting your business and your workplace? If you’re not managing the risks of alcohol, including conducting alcohol testing, it could be more than you think.
In this blog, we’ll look at the potential impacts of alcohol on businesses, starting with statistics and costs from Australia and around the world.
Statistics and costs
There are hundreds of insightful – and often scary – statistics that provide an insight into the impact of alcohol on businesses. Way too many to list in this blog. Here are just a few:
- Alcohol is estimated to cost businesses between one and three percent of their total annual revenues each year. This considers absenteeism as well safety, productivity and other impacts when employees report to work under the influence.
- According to the World Health Organisation, alcohol consumption is a contributing factor in around 20 to 25 percent of all work-related incidents.
- Legal and liability costs alone due to alcohol-related incidents in the workplace can be massive. In the United Kingdom, the bill is estimated to be £6.4 billion annually.
- In the United States, alcohol-involved workplace deaths account for 11 percent of all workplace fatalities.
- Alcohol use is responsible for around five per cent of workplace deaths and 11 percent of non-fatal injuries.
- It’s estimated that absenteeism and presenteeism (working while impaired) alcohol-related issues cost businesses around $ 6.8 billion every year.
- Alcohol-related absenteeism results in an estimated 2.5 million days lost each year.
- Employees with alcohol-related problems are absent from work on average 11.8 days per year, compared to 7.4 days for employees without alcohol issues.
- Nearly 40 percent of employees have witnessed alcohol-related incidents at work.
Safety not the only issue
While safety is one of the key workplace areas – and in many ways the most important – to suffer from the effects of alcohol, as the above stats show it’s not the only area of concern. The impact of alcohol costs businesses in many ways, including:
- Accidents and injuries
- Loss of productivity
- Employee turnover
- Poor performance and behaviour at work
- Legal and liability costs
- Employee engagement and morale
- Impacts on the culture of the workplace
Protect your business from the scourge of alcohol
What can you do to protect your business from the impacts of alcohol?
- A proactive and strategic approach works best, starting with establishing clear alcohol and drug policies that outline expectations, consequences, and procedures for alcohol-related incidents.
- Regularly educate employees about the policy, its importance, and the potential consequences of alcohol misuse.
- Provide support for people who are having issues with alcohol. Large workplaces may be able to provide this support in-house. Smaller business can call on help from community groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Finally, if you’re workplace is safety-critical, conduct alcohol testing. This can include pre-employment testing, cause testing when an employee is suspected of being under the influence, testing after an incident and random alcohol testing.
Yes, it does take time, money and resources to manage alcohol correctly. But not managing the issue could cost you and your business a whole lot more.
FEATURED IMAGE CAPTION:
Managing alcohol in the workplace, as well as conducting alcohol testing, costs time, money and resources. But when you look at the potential costs of not doing anything or managing alcohol haphazardly, the investment makes perfect sense. Credit Issy Bailey https://unsplash.com/photos/dp2XEb0dCX0 (image modified).