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.
We here at Shared Global are always looking for ways to improve health standards from every day living to workplace safety to better health insurance rates. We strive to do everything we can to ensure the safety of all individuals and one of those ways is to provide information on preventative measures for health and safety especially in the workplace. Throughout current years, we’ve found that the stats for workplace safety have gotten worse. There’s been more accidents and negligent actions that have resulted in devastating consequences, and we truly believe most of these accidents could have been prevented if the right information was in place. For example, with proper heights training, we could prevent injuries while working at heights for all employees of companies. This can be easily taught in a classroom where there are no distractions. When provided with the proper, accurate training, there should be no room for negligent mistakes. Accidents like falling from a dangerous height can be prevented when the right safety features are in place and taught to employees.
Many employees do not know that they may ask for proper training when they feel there is not enough information on the tasks at hand. Many workers don’t fully take advantage of their rights in a company. For example, many workers don’t know about worker’s compensation and the viable options when an accident occurs. Employers should also know fully what they can do to provide the best environment for their workers. Employers can’t control an earthquake hitting their building, but they can control the building environment and safety features. Employers can also control the amount of knowledge their workers have in these types of situations. If you need more information, check out the schedule of training and classes for JHSC for classes and online workshops to enhance workplace safety. We cannot stress the importance of improving workplace standards so that accidents and mistakes can be prevented. The first step in preventing workplace accidents is to place preventative measures for health and safety.