Alcohol Testing in Workplace Recommended

The Alcohol Health Network wants employees to take a standardised test, which identifies whether or not they are misusing alcohol.The body’s director and founder, Don Shenker, said that if problems were identified, employers could provide advice to help prevent problem drinking at an early stage.He stated that introducing such a measure could prevent alcohol-related harm and sickness costs.”Employers need also to be convinced of the business case for prevention rather than cure – that is, that it is ultimately more cost effective to prevent and reduce harmful drinking in the general working population, compared with the costs of managing dependent drinking among a minority of staff,” said Shenker. The NHS estimates that in the UK around 9% of men and 4% of women show signs of alcohol dependence. In 2011, 167,764 prescriptions for drugs to treat alcohol dependency were prescribed. In 2010, 6,669 deaths were directly related to alcohol. The Government advises that people should not regularly drink more than the daily unit guidelines of three to four units of alcohol for men (equivalent to a pint and a half of 4% beer) and two to three units of alcohol for women (equivalent to a 175ml glass of wine).

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