Managers twice as likely to drink heavily

Workers are being encouraged to be aware of the risks of excessive drinking in the run up to Christmas, as part of a new initiative that highlights how managerial and professional workers are more prone to frequent and binge drinking compared to manual workers.

Those working in managerial or professional roles are nearly twice as likely to drink on 5 or more days of the week (16%), compared to manual workers (9%), while women working as managers or professionals were twice as likely to binge drink (16%), compared to women manual workers (8%).

Equally, 24% of men who are managers drink at binge drinking levels compared to 16% of men who are manual workers.

Drinking just 3 pints of beer (5% abv) for men, or 3 standard 175ml glasses of wine (14% abv) for women, is considered binge drinking, being 8.4 and 7.2 units respectively.

The findings, from the 2013 General Lifestyle Survey, are being stressed in a new ‘Drink Checker’ website tool for workplaces, which is being launched to support managers and other workers to keep their drinking within the recommended low-risk guidelines during office party season.

The new website tool - - developed by the UK social enterprise Alcohol Health Network, is being released as part of Alcohol Awareness Week to help employers raise awareness of alcohol issues at work.

Alcohol-related absence at work leads to 17m days being taken off sick and this is estimated by the Home Office to cost UK businesses £7.9Bn every year.

The Drink Checker website includes advice for workers about staying safe during office parties, dealing positively with workplace stress and where to go for help for those worried about their own or a colleague’s drinking.

A recent study looking at online alcohol support and information found reductions in drinking rates up to 12 months later.

With businesses increasingly aware of the reputational risks associated with excessive drinking during the office party season, the new Drink Checker website is designed to raise employee awareness and guide managers on conducting themselves professionally when work events include possible alcohol consumption.

Don Shenker, Director of Alcohol Health Network, said:

In the run up to Christmas, with most workplaces having parties and celebrating the end of the year, its important to remember that drinking too much alcohol does carry certain risks. Managers in general tend to drink more heavily and this can lead to problems if employers are not prepared.

This is a good time to remind all managers, employers and workplaces that when it comes to drinking, raising specific awareness about the risks involved can prevent workplace injuries, accidents and health problems from occurring.
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Posted by Don Shenker on 13th November 2015