Alcoholism is a chronic disease that is often progressive and can lead to fatal repercussions. Moreover, its influence develops and manifests based on several factors such as genetics, psychology and the environment. These factors are unavoidable most of the time and can seem harmless at first. But, if left alone, it can cause a great deal of harm to oneself and others around an individual. Accordingly, it can affect an employee’s professional career as well as employers or business owners. Hence, companies and businesses in Australia and worldwide are now implementing policies regarding drinking alcohol during working hours. In addition, with the help of the personal and workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia, employers and employees alike can work together for a safer and healthier work environment.
Drinking Alcohol During Working Hours: How alcohol affects the workplace
Alcohol intake can affect a person’s problem-solving skills, common sense, concentration, ability to react, and coordination. Drinking alcohol during working hours can have adverse effects and repercussions on ‘fitness for work’ and the health and well-being of an individual.
As an employee, alcohol consumption in and out of work hours may become a workplace safety and health issue when the capability to apply common sense, proper coordination, and attentiveness is affected. Drinking alcohol during working hours at dangerous levels can directly affect the workplace in terms of:
- Safety – working under the influence of alcohol results in an unsafe work environment. There will be a significant increase in the risk of injury (or worse) to themselves and fellow employees. Additionally, it increases the possibility of workplace incidents and accidents. Workplace safety is especially critical in industries that operate heavy machinery or involve transportation.
- Workplace relationships – alcohol can affect an individual’s general behaviour towards people. Drinking alcohol during working hours increases the chances of having poor work relationships with fellow employees and customers. For example, if they may be covering for others in times of absence or reduced productivity due to alcohol consumption.
- Low productivity – alcohol consumption can lead to excessive absenteeism and tardiness. It can result in lower quality and quantity of work output. Thus, it disrupts a company’s day-to-day operations. Consequently, this can result in the loss of skills, self-esteem and wages.
Drinking Alcohol During Working Hours: Employee Obligations
If the company implements a workplace drug and alcohol policy, employees should clearly know and understand the procedure. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (1994), it is the employee’s obligation to take reasonable care of their own safety and that of others in the workplace. Drinking alcohol during working hours endangers the safety of everybody in the work environment. Moreover, it is also essential to keep track of their own alcohol use and its effects on their safety, health, conduct, and general attitude in and out of working hours.
An employee drinking alcohol during working hours can have detrimental effects to your workplace culture. Suppose an employee is at work intoxicated. In that case, they will be putting their own and their co-worker’s safety and health at risk of alcohol-related accidents. Working under the influence may also result in increased chances of unprofessionally responding to situations with customers, other employees, and superiors.
Drinking Alcohol During Working Hours: Employer Responses
Drinking alcohol during working hours is a serious problem that employers should deal with. Moreover, it is their legal responsibility to provide a safe and healthy work environment to all employees in the company. Thus, an employer’s workplace response should be consistent with the company’s health and safety plan and general approach to managing risks. These responses could include:
- Creation and Implementation of a Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy
- Workplace health development
- Education and proper training courses
- Grant employees access to support, treatment, and counselling
- Workplace alcohol testing
Creating and Implementing a Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy
In order to prevent employees from drinking alcohol during working hours, the implementation of a comprehensive workplace drug and alcohol policy should be a top priority for employers. Creating and implementing a workplace policy that prohibits employees from working while impaired by alcohol consumption can prevent further problems from happening. Moreover, it is to both protect employees and employers alike. It provides employees with the safety and security of a safe work environment. Alternatively, it shields employers and their company/ business or organisation from risk and liability issues.
The workplace drug and alcohol policy should outline all procedures regarding prevention, education, testing, counselling and rehabilitation for workplace drug and alcohol use and abuse. Moreover, employers should also convey the reason and importance of implementing such a policy. It is especially crucial for workplaces that have an existing problem of workers drinking alcohol during working hours. Nonetheless, the primary reason for creating and implementing a drug and alcohol policy should be to maintain workplace health and safety. Furthermore, workplace alcohol testing should be an essential part of the workplace drug and alcohol policy.
Workplace Alcohol Testing with BACtrack Workplace Breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia
For workplaces that have employees drinking alcohol during working hours, investing in proper equipment in conjunction with a drug and alcohol policy can go a long way. Breathalysers Australia provides employers with various options for alcohol testing in the workplace. The workplace breathalyser units from Breathalysers Australia have police-grade fuel cell sensors that guarantee reliability. Moreover, their one-button operations feature and low power requirement make them ideal for high-volume testing requirements. BACtrack breathalysers can process Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) results in just 10 to 15 seconds. In addition, they can conduct up to 1,500 tests with just a single set of AA batteries. Thus, it enables quick back-to-back alcohol breath testing without sacrificing accuracy.
BACtrack Personal Breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia for Employees
Employers are not the only ones that can make use of breathalysers. Employees can purchase BACtrack personal breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia to detect their own BAC levels. Thus, they can have an increased awareness of their own alcohol consumption. It is especially helpful for the ones who have trouble controlling their alcohol intake and are more likely capable of drinking alcohol during working hours. Breathalysers Australia also has a variety of BACtrack personal breathalysers to choose from, each having its own unique features.
Some BACtrack personal breathalysers come with keychains that can easily attach to one’s car keys, belt or wallet. These devices are compact and highly portable but are also highly accurate with their readings. Moreover, there are also BACtrack smartphone breathalysers. These breathalysers can connect to any modern iOS or Android smartphone device seamlessly via Bluetooth. You can basically turn your smartphone into a breathalyser using the free to install BACtrack App. Furthermore, thru the ZeroLine® technology, users can estimate how long until their BAC will return to 0.00%. Therefore, employees having trouble preventing drinking alcohol during working hours can benefit significantly from investing in reliable self-testing with BACtrack personal breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia.