Alcohol problems affect all employers, with an average of 9 percent of U.S. workers drinking in ways that contribute to absenteeism, higher health care costs and lost productivity.
Employees in the hospitality,construction and wholesale industries,in particular, are significantly more likely to be dependent on or abuse alcohol, according to Workplace Screening & Brief Intervention: What Employers Can and Should Do About Excessive Alcohol Use, a report issued by Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol Problems at The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, D.C. Ensuring Solutions researchers found that men working in the hospitality and construction industries are approximately 50 percent more likely to have an alcohol related problem than female workers.
In wholesale trade, men are almost three times more likely to have an alcohol problem than women. In addition, more than 18 percent of young workers between the ages of 18 and 25 have an alcohol related problem,compared to 7 percent of workers 26 and workers 26 employees represented in older.
“Most are not dependent on alcohol,”said Eric Goplerud, Ph.D., director of Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol Problems and lead researcher. “But they do use alcohol in ways that lead to short term safety problems and long term of Ensuring survey results have been used to develop a web based calculator that employers and providers can use to estimate the impact of alcohol to develop the potential cost savings to problems and through workplace screening and brief intervention.