Employee Support for Alcohol Reduction Intervention Strategies in an Australian Railway
Zinkiewicz, Lucy, Davey, Jeremy D., Obst, Patricia L., & Sheehan, Mary C. (2000) Employee Support for Alcohol Reduction Intervention Strategies in an Australian Railway. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 7(1), pp. 61-75.
The current study surveyed employees of an Australian state railway (N = 4979), in order to assess perceptions of alcohol as a problem in the workplace, and employee support for alcohol intervention strategies. Of the sample, 13% reported having seen an alcohol-related accident. Eighty-four percent felt that alcohol affected the railway workplace, with absenteeism and health being the most frequently reported problems. Those reporting higher drinking frequency were the least likely to see alcohol as a problem for the workplace. Respondents felt that those coming to work drunk or hungover should discuss the issue with their supervisor or be sent to the employment assistance program (EAP) for counselling. Those who had sought help within the organization for drinking problems reported seeking help from workmates and EAP counsellors. Respondents felt that the organization should deal with alcohol in the workplace by providing education and information on its alcohol and drug policy and on the effects of alcohol in the workplace, and by encouraging use of the EAP. Those reporting higher frequency drinking showed least knowledge of the organization's policy, the least support for any intervention strategy, and the most support for doing nothing. Overall, this study attested to the importance of a clear, well-understood drug and alcohol policy within an organization, and to the need for education and support services such as those provided through an EAP.
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