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Drinking Alcohol while on the Job Survey Results

January 9th, 2006

Drinking Alcohol while on the Job  Survey Results


A report by the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) was published in the current issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol says that 15 percent of the US employees have been either intoxicated with alcohol or affected by alcohol while on the job.  That is roughly 19.2 million workers.

The study was funded by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.  The researchers conducted telephone surveys of 2,805 employed adults in the 48 contiguous states including Washington D.C.  The demographics were adjusted to survey a wide selection of professions of adults ranging in age from 18 years old all the way up to 65 years old.


The telephone survey took place from January 2002 through June of 2003.  The survey included questions about how often they drank alcohol within two hours before reporting to work. They also asked if they drank while on the job, whether they worked while they were intoxicated, or if they worked with a hangover.

Michael R. Frone, PhD who is an associate professor from the Department of Psychology in the University at Buffalos College of Arts and Sciences, and principal researcher working on this study believes that 2.3 million workers (1.8 percent of the workforce) have had at least at one time drunk alcohol before attending work.  He also says that approximately 8.9 million (7.1 percent of the workforce) have consumed alcohol during work time at lease once.  Most of the alcohol is consumed while on lunch breaks, but some workers are drinking during work and on other breaks.

Frone also believes that approximately 2.1 million employees have been intoxicated while working on the job, which is about 1.7 percent of the workforce.  He also believes that a large amount of workers, approximately 11.6 million employees (9.2 percent of the workforce) have worked with a hangover. 

Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism does not occur as often.  The majority, 71 percent surveyed said that drank alcohol before work less than once a month, 25 percent surveyed said only once a month.  For the workers that drunk alcohol during the workday; 14 percent did so weekly, 24 percent drank monthly, and 64 percent consumed alcohol less than once a month.


Men were more likely to consume alcohol during the work day and were more likely to be intoxicated than women.  Working with a hangover was seen more in young adults compared to older workers.  Unmarried employees were more likely to suffer hangovers at work compared to married workers.

Occupations that suffered more alcohol use and intoxication were management, sales, arts based, entertainment related, sports related, and media, food preparation, food service, building and grounds maintenance.

Employees with irregular hours, evening shift and night shift and varying hours were more likely to drink before their work day as well as being more likely to drink alcohol while working and be intoxicated during their shift.

"Of all psychoactive substances with the potential to impair cognitive and behavioral performance, alcohol is the most widely used and misused substance in the general population and in the workforce," Frone reported. "The misuse of alcohol by employed adults is an important social policy issue with the potential to undermine employee productivity and safety."


This research paper will help employers and others to further understand work habits and how alcohol influences job performance.

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By Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer


Keywords and misspellings:  Employe manigemant maniger alcholism alchohol surveyed while at work statistics stitistics empoyee workers


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                     Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:49 PM