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Alcohol and drugs - use and abuse

A health and safety briefing provided by the IET.

As with almost any other aspect of life, an individual’s performance at work could be seriously affected by use of alcohol, illegal substances or certain types of medication. Clearly this might have an impact on an individual’s attendance or productivity. There could also be knock-on adverse effects on team morale, discipline and customer relations, but of primary concern here is that poor performance could endanger the safety of the individual or someone else. Alcohol and some drugs are known to affect judgement and physical co-ordination. Even small amounts could increase the risk of an accident.

Although the outcomes of consuming alcohol, drugs of abuse or medication could be similar, the causes and the management approach to dealing with these may need to be different for each.