It may sound like a silly question. However, if you think your company doesn’t pay for alcohol abuse, think again. Statistics show that over 75 percent of heavy drinkers are employed. If your business employs at least 8 workers, there is a likely chance that your company is affected by the problems and costs associated with alcohol abuse.
Employees who have a problem with alcohol cost businesses through absenteeism, productivity, workers’ compensation and health insurance. Alcohol abuse costs American businesses about $134 billion in productivity losses nationally each year. Alcoholics and problem drinkers are absent from work 4 to 8 times more often than normal employees. When they do show up, substance abusers are 33 percent less productive. Furthermore, up to 40 percent of industrial fatalities can be linked to alcohol abuse. Between 38 and 50 percent of all workers’ compensation claims are related to substance abuse. Substance abusers are also three times more likely to use medical benefits than other employees.
A company’s cost for alcohol abuse increases for industries with a high risk of substance abuse, such as the construction, transportation and service industries. You can calculate your company’s costs for alcohol abuse at www.alcoholcostcalculator.org. There are ways you can help your employees and reduce your costs of alcoholism in your workplace.
Your company can:
- Provide confidential alcohol screenings for all employees. Offer brief intervention services for individuals who are not yet dependent on alcohol.
- Offer health insurance coverage to treat alcoholism the same way that other chronic illnesses are treated.
- Set up or strengthen your company’s Employee Assistance Program(EAP) to actively identify and assist people with alcohol and drinking problems.
The Small Business Wellness Initiative offers a variety of programs that address substance abuse in the workplace. For more information, contact us at 817.921.4260, ext. 258.
Source: Ensuring Solutions