The head of Alcohol Health Network has had an article printed in the British Medical Journal calling for employees to be screened at work for alcohol use.

Don Shenker said that screening for risky drinking and alcohol abuse could detect problem drinking at an early stage and save a lot of days off work and work related accidents.

He said self-assessment tests have proved “highly effective and cost efficient among NHS patients in primary and secondary care,” he added.


He said “workplace culture of mixing alcohol with off-duty relaxation … remains as strong as ever in the UK’s private and public sectors”.

He maintained that a quarter of the British workforce is estimated to drink a dangerous amount.

He said that “Alcohol can be held directly or indirectly responsible for 40 per cent of accidents in the workplace and 17 million lost days of work per year at a cost of £7.3bn”.

Positive Link

Studies in Finland have shown a positive link between alcohol use and days off work.

He said “Reducing hazardous drinking also reduces the risk of dependent drinking occurring.

“Offering staff confidential use of the alcohol-use-disorders identification test and brief advice as a self-awareness initiative at work, whether through face to face interactions or leaflets, may well help prevent problems with alcohol at an earlier stage.”