Alcohol and Drug Use Damaging to Construction Industry

More than half of construction industry workers consume alcohol at levels that are dangerous to their health while one third of them used ecstasy or methamphetamine (or similar substances) in the past year.

A survey conducted at the end of last year showed that recreational alcohol and drug use in the construction industry was alarmingly high. In fact 58 per cent of workers consumed alcohol at hazardous levels, according to the World Health Organisation’s Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test.

This type of illicit drug and alcohol use is alarming for any industry workers but particularly for workers involved in such high risk work such as construction. Operating machinery and mobile equipment, the proximity to road traffic, using electrical equipment and operating at heights combine to accentuate the potential adverse impact of drugs and alcohol on construction sites.

Part of worker training should involve educating them about the dangers of excessive drug and alcohol use including teaching them about the physical effects of alcohol and other drug use and how these may affect worker’s performance. It also hampers productivity and undermines safety in the industry.