Do your staff need alcohol awareness training?

by L&D30 May 2016
The Alcohol & Me program began as an internal training initiative for the alcohol beverage company Lion in 2013.

The alcohol awareness program has now been completed by more than 40 organisations in New Zealand, with three-hour in-house sessions embraced by the likes of Z Energy, Frucor and NZ Rugby, reports The New Zealand Herald.

Moreover, an additional 10 companies in industries such as engineering, construction, utility and banking have shown interest in attending the next session in Auckland on July 6.

The training is also significant in light of the new Health and Safety at Work Act being passed into NZ law last month.

The changes have resulted in employers' responsibilities to handle risks at work increasing, and penalties rising accordingly. Indeed, alcohol consumption at staff functions is one of the workplace activities under new focus, according to The New Zealand Herald

Meanwhile, in Australia, a Flinders University program looking at the impact of drinking in Victorian workplaces has been reported to have reduced incidences of binge drinking and coming to work hungover by more than a third.

Indeed, the Workplace Reduction of Alcohol-Related Harm Project (WRAHP) includes alcohol harm reduction policies, tools, resources and training programs that could be applied in a wide range of situations.

Dr Ken Pidd, Deputy Director (Research), of Flinders’ National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) said one of its greatest achievements was changing workplace culture and how workers viewed drinking at work or turning up to the job hungover.

“It’s very significant that workers’ attitudes to alcohol, their awareness of workplace alcohol and drug policies, and their access to alcohol-related health and wellbeing services also improved during the project,” Dr Pidd was quoted as saying by InDaily.

“These results support NCETA’s own extensive research, which indicates that cultural change only happens when there is a full appreciation of the wide range of factors that influence alcohol use.

“To this end, we also trained workplace supervisors and managers on how to effectively implement workplace alcohol and other drug policies and procedures.”

To access the online Alcohol and Me quiz, click here.

To view the Reducing alcohol-related harm final report, click here.