St Patrick’s Day – Alcohol Awareness

This up and coming weekend the UK and Ireland will be celebrating St. Patricks Day (Saturday 17th March). The pub industries will be gearing up for what will be a busy few days so health and safety will be bigger than usual.

Here are some tips on how to be alcohol aware:

Ensure that you keep an eye on how much alcohol you take in. Alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream within just a few minutes of being drunk and carries itself to all parts of your body including the brain. Only time can remove alcohol from your body so watch how many units you inhale throughout a day.

Do not drive after drinking, ensure you get a safe way of transport home as you are not only putting your own life at risk but also others. Even at blood concentrations lower than the legal drink/drive limit, alcohol reduces physical coordination and reaction speeds.

As a pub landlord, read our blog posts all about Health & Safety in the Pub Environment and Hazardous Equipment in the Pub Environment or our ‘Health & Safety Essentials for Breweries and Landlords‘ mini guide.

Affecting the workplace:

After a heavy weekend of celebrating this can affect employees, and their workload if alcohol is still in their system. Did you know 3 to 5% of all absences from the workplace are due to alcohol-related sickness. That works out that 8 to 14 million working days are lost per year in the UK.

Staff members who do come in after a heavy drinking session are more likely to work at a slower pace reducing their performance. Alcohol can also cause an individual damage the reputation of the company, relations with customers and fellow employees.

If an employee’s job involves using a machinery, electric equipment or ladders they should not have had any alcohol consumption at all.

Other effects of alcohol can be the loss of productivity, lateness, lack of safety, negative effect on the team or department and bad behaviour.

Employers have a legal right under the Health and Safety at Work Act to question an employee if they believe they are under the influence of alcohol. As a company can be prosecuted if found having employees work whilst under the influence as they can harm not only themselves but others too.