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Alcohol and the workplace

167,000 years of working life were lost in 2015 due to alcohol and alcohol costs the UK between £21 billion and £52 billion a year.  For people aged 15-49 in England, alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for early death, ill health & disability

The impact of alcohol can have a wide rang of impact, from sickness absence and low productivity to putting the employee themselves, alongside colleagues and customers, at risk of harm.

Occupational Health support can be crucial to managing the impact of alcohol on the workplace.  For example London Underground operates a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol in order to keep customers and staff safe. This policy was created by London Underground and union partners more than 20 years ago and every employee is briefed on it and the reasons behind it.

The TfL Occupational Health team, led by Chief Medical Adviser for Transport for London Dr Olivia Carlton, provide early interventions such as physiotherapy and counselling to achieve early recovery after illness and injury and crucially offers support those who have asked for help with alcohol addiction.  This means that alongside the zero tolerance policy, help is on offer for those who need it.

The alcohol health alliance has been supporting Alcohol Concern’s dry January. Find out more: