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Here's what to cover when conducting toolbox talks on alcoholism in the workplace

by , 24 January 2014
Employees who consume alcohol during working hours, miss days (or even weeks) from work without justification. Your business could suffer as a result. Make sure this isn't the case; use this toolbox talk to educate your employees about the dangers of alcohol.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence says a Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that harmful use of alcohol results in the death of 2.5 million people annually. In addition, it causes illness and injury to millions more, and increasingly affects younger generations and drinkers in developing countries.

Alcohol abuse is a serious problem all over the world. If you're an employer, this is something you can't afford to ignore.

But how do you address alcohol abuse in your workplace?

Conduct toolbox talks on alcoholism in the workplace, of course!

Tell your employees the following when conducting toolbox talks on alcoholism in the workplace

The Health & Safety Advisor says alcoholics can't go without their daily tipple of alcohol. They drink in the morning, during the day, at night and they hide their stash of alcohol all over the place: In toilet cisterns, under the sink, in boxes in the garage, and wherever else they think nobody will look for it.

Drunks, on the other hand, don't drink every day. They may only drink once a month. But that once a month means they go on a total binge. They drink until they pass out. Then they stay sober for a few weeks until the urge grabs them again.

So tell your employees that whether they're an alcoholic or a drunk, their habits make them a risk to everybody.

What's at stake?

Stress to your employees that this type of behaviour constitutes misconduct. And you can dismiss them for it.

They could lose everything and what's worse is they're putting themselves at risk of developing life threatening illnesses.

Toolbox talks on alcoholism in the workplace: Here's how employees can protect themselves

  • Don't drink and drive;
  • Don't work with heavy machinery if you're intoxicated;
  • Report anyone you suspect of being intoxicated;
  • Don't cover up for employees you suspect of drinking at work;
  • Don't lend employees money to buy alcohol.

Urge your employees to get help if they think they have a problem. Tell them to ask their manager or supervisor to give them information about alcoholics anonymous and contact them. And that they must feel free to sign up to your employee assistance programme for alcohol rehabilitation.

Alcoholism in the workplace can bring your business to its knees. So make sure you address it by conducting toolbox talks so your employees are aware of the dangers.

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