Study: Work Culture Determines Drinking Habits

May 31, 2007
A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests that companies that don't allow drinking in the workplace help curb employees' overall drinking habits.

The study polled more than 5,000 employees and managers of 16 different organizations, representing a range of different sectors, to put a finger on the pulse of their drinking behaviors and attitudes toward drinking. They were asked to reveal whether they thought alcohol boosted workplace morale, was good for business, alleviated boredom, improved health, was harmful or set a bad example. Their responses were tied in with those of their supervisors and managers, who also were quizzed about the drinking culture in their respective divisions.

Heavy drinkers who drank four or more drinks outside of work in a day represented 19 percent of those questioned. Some 8 percent had some alcohol on 5 or more days of the week outside of work, and 11 percent drank at work.

Overall, female employees who often attended religious services and those who cohabited were less likely to drink. Younger workers and smokers were more likely to imbibe.

Separate studies have indicated that heavy beer consumption – mostly seen among workers in blue-collar jobs – is strongly correlated with the fatality rate within occupations.

Stress, Hazardous Environments Could Impact Alcohol Consumption

According to the researchers, stress factors – such as having more than one job or working in a hazardous environment – also could have an impact on the amount of alcohol an employee consumes.

The researchers note that rates of heavy, frequent and workplace drinking were significantly lower in organizations that discouraged social drinking than in those that most tolerated it. Workers in organizations that discouraged social drinking were 45 percent less likely to be heavy drinkers than those in workplaces with a more relaxed attitude towards drinking. They also were 59 percent less likely to be frequent drinkers and 69 percent less likely to drink during the workday.

The study's authors conclude that the workplace drinking culture is crucial for changing drinking patterns and preventing alcohol problems, and should be included in public health initiatives.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!