Environment influences workers’ drinking: study

Use of employee assistance plans encouraged
By Kristan Wolfe
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/04/2007

The ease with which employees can access alcohol before, during or after work is the clearest indicator of the manner in which they may drink, an Ottawa researcher has found.

As a PhD sociology student working on her dissertation at Carleton University in Ottawa, Karen Garabedian studied raw data gathered by the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC) in 2002. A total of 1,890 respondents answered questions for AADAC’s study about their pattern of alcohol use in the 12 months preceding the survey.

Garabedian discovered that, overall, more women were drinking on the job than men. Further, she discovered that if alcohol was easily accessible to the workplace — at work or near work — the social component of people going out for drinks with their co-workers came into play and resulted in an increase in alcohol consumption among employees.