The festive season and alcohol in the workplace – a cautionary holiday tale

Rhian Greener

3 minutes read time

November 27, 2019

As we enter the holiday period and your employees and Service Providers’ social calendars fill up, how can you be sure one drink last night didn’t lead to ‘too many to work the next day’? How about that festive team lunch – did it include a beer?  

In high risk environments such as factories and construction sites, it’s important to know those operating machinery, transporting heavy loads or working on scaffolding are in a fit state to do so. For the safety of everyone on-site and the safety of the general public, how can you mitigate the risk the festive season brings? 

Is December any different to the rest of the year?

Alcohol abuse in the workplace is a problem at any time of year, but there’s a decided spike in alcohol consumption during the holiday period. 

Various studies have found alcohol consumption generally increases by roughly 30 percent in December, as work parties, client entertaining and drinks with friends fill the most sociable calendar month. 

What is the cost of alcohol consumption to organizations?

Organizations are required to protect the safety and wellbeing of everyone in their duty of care, but they could also be responsible for any accidents that befall the general public as a direct result of the actions of someone in their employment. Damage to equipment, medical costs and law suits are just some of the potential costs involved when a workplace accident arises from alcohol abuse.

Aside from the obvious risks around workplace health and safety, there’s another undeniable cost to organizations when it comes to alcohol consumption. According to studies, 72% of the cost of excessive drinking to the USA’s economy comes from a loss in workplace productivity. 

What are the benefits of alcohol testing in the workplace?

Testing for alcohol in the workplace is a common practise, especially when employees or Service Providers are carrying out safety sensitive tasks. Alcohol testing is an easy way for you to track who has or hasn’t been exposed to alcohol before entering a site.

By understanding who is over the limit when entering work, you can deny access, manage the situation and prevent a possible accident.

Isn’t alcohol testing a manual, time consuming process?

As part of WhosOnLocation’s safety software, breathalyzing employees, Service Providers and visitors is easy, efficient and completely automated.

Through our partnership with ‘Alcolizer’, the wall mounted Alcolizer Centurion and Wall Mount 4 models can now be seamlessly integrated with your WhosOnLocation account. 

During the sign in process, employees, Service Providers and / or visitors can be automatically asked to take a breath test at the Kiosk. 

Triggers can then be set up within WhosOnLocation to perform actions based on the result, including denying access, presenting a customized response on the Kiosk and/or sending notifications to designated safety contacts within the organization, leaving you with the confidence everyone on-site is fit to work.