Safety impacts of alcohol and other drugs in construction : development of an industry policy and cultural change management program

Biggs, Herbert C. & Williamson, Amy Rose (2012) Safety impacts of alcohol and other drugs in construction : development of an industry policy and cultural change management program. In Smith, Simon (Ed.) ARCOM Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference, Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM), Edinburgh, Scotland, pp. 445-454.

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There is increasing concern about the impact of employees‟ alcohol and other drug (AOD) consumption on workplace safety and performance, particularly within the construction industry. While most Australian jurisdictions have identified this as a critical safety issue, information is limited regarding the prevalence of AODs in the workplace and there is limited evidential guidance regarding how to effectively and efficiently address such an issue.

The current research aims to scientifically evaluate the use of AODs within the Australian construction industry in order to reduce the potential resulting safety and performance impacts and engender a cultural change in the workforce - to render it unacceptable to arrive at a construction workplace with impaired judgement from AODs. The study will adopt qualitative and quantitative methods to firstly evaluate the extent of general AOD use in the industry.

Secondly, the development of an appropriate industry policy will adopt a non-punitive and rehabilitative approach developed in consultation with employers and employees across the infrastructure and building sectors, with the aim it be adopted nationally for adoption at the construction workplace. Finally, an industry specific cultural change management program and implementation plan will be developed through a nationally collaborative approach. Final results indicate that a proportion of those sampled in the construction sector may be at risk of hazardous alcohol consumption. A total of 286 respondents (58%) scored above the cut-off cumulative score for risky or hazardous alcohol. Other drug use was also identified as a major issue. Results support the need for evidence-based, preventative educational initiatives that are tailored to the industry. This paper will discuss the final survey and interview results.

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ID Code: 55049
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Alcohol & other drugs in construction, Safety impacts in construction, Change management program, Safety in construction
ISBN: 978-0-9552390-6-9
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 The Authors
Deposited On: 21 Nov 2012 23:14
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2016 19:59

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