The Australian Drug Foundation says one in five workers admit attending their job while under the influence of alcohol.

A recent survey says the widespread workplace intoxication includes still feeling the effects of a night before.

Headaches and croaky voices are the least of the risks, and the foundation says non-productivity, workplace injury and even death can stem from turning up drunk or indulging in a liquid lunch.

“From an individual perspective, most people don’t fully understand the effect alcohol has on them – particularly when it comes to drinks one night having an impact well into the next day,” says the Australian Drug Foundation’s Head of Workplace Services, Phillip Collins.

“Alcohol affects a person’s concentration, coordination, decision making ability and slows reaction times. These can have implications for workplace safety and productivity.”

Authorities surveyed a range of industries, finding that;

  • 1 in 5 workers have taken a sick day due to the effects of alcohol
  • About 40 per cent admit to working while feeling the effects of their drinking
  • Nearly 1 in 5 had performed work duties while drunk

Drug use in all forms takes a big chunk out of Australian productivity, and can have serious OHS ramifications.

Australian businesses lose about $6 billion per year, and stats show alcohol use contributes to 5 per cent of workplace deaths and 11 per cent of accidents.

“People engaged in safety critical work such as transport, or use of heavy machinery, expect to undergo drug testing to reduce the risk of harm to themselves and others. Yet in other contexts workplace drug testing is far more controversial,” Mr Collins said.

The survey covered 1000 Victorian employees and was commissioned by the Myra Stoicesco Charitable Fund.

The following video describes some of the risks of workplace inebriation.