Concerns in construction industry over effects of drugs and alcohol

Concerns in construction industry

A recent survey by the Considerate Construction Scheme (CCS) has revealed that the majority of UK construction industry workers are concerned about how drugs and alcohol effect their workforces. The survey included 1300 participants – 59% of which have concerns or issues related to drugs and alcohol in the workplace.

Due to the nature of work within the construction industry, employee safety is already at high risk. Statistically a construction worker is six times more likely to be killed at work than employers in other industries. Adding drugs and/or alcohol to this mix can only lead to an increase in workplace accidents and potential fatalities.

The survey also revealed that 35% of workers have witnessed their colleagues working whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This means that not only are these workers putting themselves at risk, but also everyone else working on their site.

These numbers suggest that this issue is quite prominent in the construction industry, but what is being done to combat it?

Many contractors and suppliers to the industry are trying to utilise random testing and offer education to their workers in an effort to tackle this issue. However, according to the CCS survey, 40% said they think more needs to be done to address this issue, with a further 65% saying they have never been tested for any substances.

One method that has proved effective in the USA is regular testing on both current and prospective employees. Research found that companies who conducted workplace drug and alcohol testing this way experienced a 51% reduction in work-related injuries within 2 years of implementing a drug and alcohol testing policy.

This is of course easier said than done. Construction companies need to be equipped and supported to implement these kinds of policies. At Randox Testing Services we assist construction companies in conducting employee testing through offering a variety of employee testing including pre-employment, random, for-cause and abstinence testing. We also offer a range of quality point of care (POC) products which enable employers to conduct their own testing in their workplace. We can also train staff members to conduct the tests so that as issues arise testing can be done as quickly and effectively as possible.

For more information on our services, products or to enquire about how we can help you write and implement an effective workplace drug and alcohol testing policy, contact us today.