Intoxicated workers: findings from a national Australian survey

Kenneth Pidd, Ann Roche, Femke Pijlman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    51 Citations (Scopus)


    Aims To identify prevalence of alcohol and drug use and intoxication at work. Participants A total of 9828 Australian workers ≥14 years old. Setting Australia 2007. Measurements Work-place alcohol use and drug use, intoxication at work, industry and occupation of employment. Design Secondary analysis of a large nationally representative survey involving descriptive and weighted multivariate logistic regressions. Findings Differential patterns were identified by drug type, worker characteristics and occupational setting, controlling for demographic variables. Nearly 9% of workers surveyed (8.7%) usually drank alcohol at work and 0.9% usually used drugs at work. Attending work under the influence of alcohol was more prevalent (5.6%) than attending work under the influence of drugs (2.0%), and significantly more likely among young, male, never married workers with no dependent children. Hospitality industry workers were 3.5 times more likely than other workers to drink alcohol and two to three times more likely to use drugs at work or attend work under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other high-risk industries and occupations included construction, financial services, tradespersons and unskilled workers. Conclusion More than one in 20 Australian workers admit to having worked under the influence of alcohol and almost one in 50 report attending work under the influence of psychoactive drugs. The rates are higher for some industries, such as the hospitality industry, than others.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1623-1633
    Number of pages11
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


    • Alcohol
    • Drugs
    • Employee
    • Intoxication
    • Safety
    • Worker
    • Workforce
    • Workplace


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