Alcohol and drugs in construction industry under the spotlight

Published:  30 June, 2016

Most people in the UK construction industry have concerns over the effects of drugs and alcohol on the industry's workforce, according to a new survey by the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS).

The CCS has launched a new 'Spotlight on...' campaign to raise awareness of the drugs and alcohol across the workforce, after a recent survey of over 1,300 people working across the industry found that 59% are concerned about these issues.

The survey, which was carried out in May 2016, also found that 35% have noticed their colleagues under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and 25% agreed that consuming drugs or alcohol had caused them to be tired at work. Sixty-five percent of those questionned said they have never been tested for either substance, while 39% believe their workplace could tackle these issues better.

Many contractors, suppliers and industry clients undertake rigorous and regular measures to tackle this issue including a zero tolerance policy and random testing, providing information on drugs and alcohol through toolbox talks, site inductions and resources such as on-site posters.

A number of Scheme-registered contractors have provided case studies on how they tackle this issue, all of which are available on the CCS Best Practice Hub. These include commentary from:

  • A-one+ Integrated Highways Services
  • Ardmore Construction Ltd
  • Ballymore
  • Bowmer & Kirkland
  • Interserve
  • Jerram Falkus
  • John F Hunt Demolition
  • John Sisk & Son
  • Mick George
  • Mulalley & Co.

Edward Hardy, chief executive of the CCS, said: "Maintaining a safe working environment is of the utmost importance for any employer; this not only applies to the workforce, but also the surrounding public and anybody else who may be affected.

"Spotlight on… drugs and alcohol is an essential read for everyone, as the Scheme's latest industry survey revealed 59% of respondents agree that drugs and alcohol are issues of concern. It is clear action must be taken across the industry to ensure workforce safety, health and wellbeing on sites and in companies throughout the UK."

More information on the campaign can be found here: https://www.ccscheme.org.uk/