Is drug and alcohol use a problem in Canadian workplaces? The following statistics on workplace drug and alcohol use in Canada, gathered by Drivercheck (http://www.drivercheck.ca/), illustrate the extent of the issue.
1. 47% of Industrial Injuries Can Be Linked to Alcohol Consumption
The effects of alcohol impairment can result in accidents in industrial workplaces, which can have potentially fatal consequences. According to Q3 Innovations, a company that works with the US Department of Labour, nearly 40% of industrial fatalities and 47% of industrial injuries can be linked to alcohol consumption and alcoholism.
2. Workplace Drug and Alcohol Use Costs Businesses more than $2.8 Billion in Alberta
Not only is there a human cost to workplace drug and alcohol use, but it takes an enormous economic toll as well. The Alberta Health Services reports that on-the-job drug and alcohol use costs businesses more than $2.8 billion in that province alone.
In addition to lost time accidents, the loss is attributed to increased absenteeism, higher workers’ compensation costs, insurance costs, reduced morale, and emotional problems.
3. 41% of Drivers Treated for Accident Trauma Test Positive for Drugs
A study by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse looked at the rates of drug and alcohol use by drivers who were treated for trauma following a collision. It was found that 41% of drivers tested positive for drugs and 35% were positive for alcohol.
4. In the Oil and Gas Industry, Employees Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Abuse Rose 481%
Shepell-faj, a research group, examined health and wellness trends in the Canadian oil and gas sector. One alarming statistic uncovered was the fact that the number of oil and gas workers seeking treatment for alcohol abuse through Employee Assistance Programs rose by 481% over a three-year period.
While it is positive that employees are pursuing treatment, the sharp rise in requests is notable.
5. Workplace Injuries Drop 51% After Introducing Drug Testing
Using injury rates as a way to measure the effectiveness of drug testing, one study found that the average company that drug tests sees its injury rate decrease by 51% within two years of implementation.
In another study, 79% of employers in Alberta reported that testing has either been “very” or “somewhat” successful in reducing workplace problems due to alcohol. For drug testing, 87.3% of employers found it had a positive effect.