The use of alcohol can help liven up social situations and ease anxiety in some people. However, when it is abused it can have a number of negative effects on the drinker’s personal and professional life. Drinking in excess or at the inappropriate time can greatly affect an employee’s job, from productivity to the denial of workers’ compensation benefits for injuries that may occur at work.
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcohol use can be very costly for the company as well as for the employee. There are a couple different types of drinking-related behavior that can have devastating results. One is by the alcoholic, who may drink either before coming into work and/or throughout the workday. The other is by someone who may not abuse alcohol on a regular basis but drinks in excess the night before and comes into work with a major hangover.
Some of the issues that arise in the workplace for users of alcohol include:
- Higher absenteeism
- Lower productivity and efficiency
- Sleeping on the job
- Lack of concentration and attention
- Bad decision-making abilities
- Inability to get along with co-workers
- Increased rate of accidents and injuries
While most companies carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover injuries sustained on the job, FindLaw reports that alcohol use can result in coverage denial. Employers are required to get employees emergency medical care when needed, but they can also give the worker a drug test. If the employee fails it, the company still needs to prove fault and that alcohol was related to the cause, but there is a good chance the injury will not be covered by the employer. The employee may also be fired for using alcohol on the job.