Australian businesses lose $5.6 billion to alcohol

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Alcohol is harming Australian businesses in more ways that one, a new report has found.

The report compiled for the Federal Department of Health and Ageing and obtained by The Australian under freedom of information laws, found that 6.6 percent of the country’s workers who drink alcohol have turned up to work drunk in the last 12 months, and one in six have experienced physical abuse at work by a colleague under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Similarly, one in 10 workers admitted to drinking alcohol in the workplace, while nine percent drank at “risky” levels at least once a week.

The report, prepared by the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction at Flinders Univeristy, found that Australian businesses are losing approximately $5.6 billion a year to alcohol from lost productivity including hangovers, sickies, staff turnover and early retirement.

According to The Australian, the report said workplaces should play a key role in alcohol harm-intervention setting, as “workplace interventions are likely to be cost effective and efficacious.”

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