You might have thought that slips, trips and falls or falls from height were the most common accidents in the workplace, but a report claims that a staggering 40% of incidents are caused either directly or indirectly by alcohol.

alcohol at work

This is one of the reasons the director and founder of the Alcohol Health Network, Don Shenker, has called for companies to provide a “self awareness test” to gauge whether employees have a potential drink problem.

Citing that alcohol causes 40% of accidents in the workplace and 17 million lost days of work per year at a cost of £7.3bn, Mr Shenker said that companies should screen their staff for signs of “risky drinking”.

He stressed that “standardised screening for alcohol misuse” would save money and prevent accidents and lost days of work to hangovers or more serious alcohol-related problems.

“Offering staff confidential use of the alcohol use disorders identification test and brief advice as a self-awareness initiative at work, whether through face to face interactions or leaflets, may well help prevent problems with alcohol at an earlier stage,” he said in an article published on the British Medical Journal website.

Tests are ‘highly effective and cost efficient’

Self-assessment tests to identify alcohol abuse have proven “highly effective and cost efficient among NHS patients in primary and secondary care,” he added.

Mr Shenker recommended that workers complete the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, or AUDIT, which scores workers on the answers they give to a series of drink-related questions.

Results range from “low risk” of harm to a score of 20, which can indicate a “possible dependence” on alcohol. In this situation, workers can be given confidential advice before a potential drinking problem gets any worse.

Sometimes a worker is at fault for an accident, but sometimes the employer or another person is at fault. If you sustain an injury in an accident where negligence or blame can be proved to lie elsewhere, we can pursue a workplace accident claim on your behalf.