EAP use skyrockets for oil and gas workers

Industry has seen increased EAP use for addiction, elder care and child care
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/18/2009

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of employees in the oil and gas industry seeking help for addiction issues, particularly alcoholism, according to a report.

From 2006 to 2008, the industry experienced a 112-per-cent increase in employee assistance program (EAP) access for addiction issues and a 481-per-cent increase in access for alcohol-related problems, found a study by EAP provider Shepell-fgi.

The very nature of the oil and gas industry, which includes shift work, high stress and isolation, presents inherent risk factors for addiction problems, said Michael Kennedy, regional director of Western Canada for Shepell-fgi.