Issues of Drinking Alcohol at Work

Drugs and alcohol policy  

As an employee, you have a duty to take appropriate care of your health and safety; and ensure that you don’t affect your co-workers. Meaning, you have to be fit to do the job and not be influenced by alcohol or drugs while at work. As an employer, if you have a reasonable and justified belief that one of your employees may have problems with alcohol consumption and maybe drinking alcohol at work. You should create and implement a drugs and alcohol policy that is specifically made for your business. Your drug and alcohol workplace policy should clearly outline the terms and conditions that all employees can easily understand. The policy should state that:  

  • Alcoholic beverages are not tolerated before going to work, during working hours, during breaks, or at work events without explicit permission from the company.  
  • Going to work intoxicated or drinking alcoholic beverages at work is not tolerated and should be considered an example of bad workplace behavior and a serious offence.  
  • Support and counseling should be provided to an employee suffering from a drinking problem.  

Alcohol Testing at Work  

Generally, most companies and businesses do not have the necessary policies in place to conduct mandatory alcohol testing at the workplace. However, some companies may have the proper equipment and trained staff to conduct an alcohol test at work, although that test would be voluntary and consent is given by the employee undergoing the test. If you are interested in knowing if your employee is drinking alcohol at work and want to conduct alcohol breath testing, the BACtrack workplace breathalyzer units are an excellent choice. The sturdy BACtrack S80 Pro Gen2 breathalyzer provides you with reliable, on-point accuracy when it comes to alcohol breath tests.  


If you have suspicions that your employee is drinking alcohol at work rather than working properly, there are some potential signs to look for:  

Work signs:  

  • Unexplained increase in absences or tardiness  
  • Failing to focus on work tasks  
  • Having poor quality and quantity of work  
  • Missing task or project deadlines  
  • Unusual and inconsistent behaviour at work  
  • Sleeping during working hours  

Physical signs:  

  • Going to work smelling like alcohol  
  • Poor personal hygiene and neglecting appearance at work  
  • Red and puffy eyes  
  • Constantly chewing gum, taking breath mints, and using mouthwash  
  • Uncontrollable shaking, tremors.  

It is crucial that you keep in mind that not all people with drinking problems may show any of these signs and that an employee who does show these signs may not explicitly have a drinking problem and is not drinking alcohol at work. 


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