Construction workers' alcohol use, knowledge, perceptions of risk and workplace norms

Ann M. Roche, Janine Chapman, Vinita Duraisingam, Brooke Phillips, Jim Finnane, Ken Pidd

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction and Aims: Globally, there is growing concern regarding workers' alcohol use and its implications for health, wellbeing and workplace safety. Male-dominated industries are more susceptible to risky alcohol consumption and its associated harms. This paper investigated the patterns, prevalence and predictors of risky drinking among construction workers. Design and Methods: Male construction workers (n = 511) completed a survey measuring alcohol-related measures including Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test - Concise (AUDIT-C), which was compared with population data. Hierarchical multiple regression examined alcohol-related knowledge, perception of risk to workplace safety, psychological distress, job stress, general health, quality of life and workplace alcohol culture variables as predictors of risky drinking. Results: Prevalence of risky drinking was higher than the national average, particularly for younger (<25 years) and mid-aged (45–54 years) workers. One in six construction workers reported workmates being visibly affected by alcohol in the workplace. Key predictors of risky drinking were perception of alcohol-related risks to workplace safety, general health, alcohol knowledge and descriptive norms regarding workmates' alcohol use. Discussion and Conclusions: These findings provide useful insights into the patterns and predictors of risky drinking in construction and can inform future preventive programs and interventions in high-risk workplaces. In addition to tailoring programs to both young and mid-aged workers, this work highlights the importance of implementing strategies to increase awareness of risks to workplace safety; and the adoption of norms that inhibit the social acceptability of risky drinking behaviour in the wider workplace.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)941-949
    Number of pages9
    JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


    • alcohol use
    • construction
    • health and safety
    • male-dominated industry
    • workplace


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