WA initiative tackles alcohol in the workplace

Thursday, 25 September, 2014

The WA Minister for Mental Health, Helen Morton, has launched a resource to address the issue of alcohol in the workplace. The Healthy Workers Alcohol Program is a collaboration between the Drug and Alcohol Office, Healthier Workplaces WA and the Department of Health. The initiative uses online resources to help both employers and their staff to make safer - and healthier - choices around their use of alcohol.

The program includes an interactive alcohol risk assessment tool that allows participants to gauge whether their version of what’s ‘normal’ could actually constitute a risky pattern of drinking. There is also a standard drink tool, allowing individuals to pour what they think is a standard drink - and then to compare it with how much alcohol is actually contained in one standard drink.

For employers there’s advice for establishing ‘fitness for work’ policies. For employees, there are connections to confidential support, counselling and treatment services.

“Alcohol costs Australian workplaces $3.5 billion in lost productivity each year,” says Neil Guard, executive director, Drug and Alcohol Office. “It’s a safety issue, a duty of care issue - yes, but, more than anything, it’s a health issue.”

The resource can be found at www.alcoholthinkagain.com.au/workplaces.

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