Drink culture at work discussed

Liverpool-based charity, Health@Work, is hosting an event to raise awareness of issues surrounding alcohol and the workplace.

It will see Sir Ian Gilmore, the Chair of the Liverpool Health Partners; join Health@Work in discussing alcohol culture within the workplace before finishing with an expert witness panel. The lunch time event will be held at the Maritime Museum on 27 November 2013, beginning at 11am and finishing at 1.30pm.

The event will discuss drink culture in the workplace; with advice on developing policy, thoughts as to why it is an issue for employers and what procedures can be put in place when dealing with it. Health@Work is currently working with a number of Partners across Europe to develop effective methods of engaging with workplaces and their workforce, to raise awareness and influence changes that lead to safer alcohol consumption. The results and findings of this research will be discussed at the event by James Dunningham, Operations Director at Health@Work.

Alcohol in the workplace is a prevalent issue; according to the Institute of Alcohol Studies, alcohol misuse costs the UK economy up to £6.4 billion per year, with up to 17 million days per year lost in productivity and absenteeism.  The research also suggested that 25% of employees in any large workforce typically drink above NHS guidelines, raising the risk of ill-health, time off work and loss of employment.

The frequency of alcohol misuse in the workplace has a direct impact on the organisation and the quality of work. A survey by YouGov found that a third of employees admit being at work with a hangover, which they accept impacts directly on their own productivity and safety. Alongside this, one in four admits they make mistakes as a result.

Sir Ian Gilmore will be talking about his findings on issues surrounding alcohol in the workplace at the event; Ian is an expert in the fields of Health and Alcohol. As a Professor of Hepatology, disease of the liver, Ian was made Honorary President of Liverpool University in 1999. He was also the previous President of the Royal College of Physicians in London; under his leadership the college initiated the Alcohol Health Alliance UK in 2007. Ian was recognised for his work in the 2010 Queen’s Honours and was subsequently knighted.

Health@Work is a registered independent charity offering a wide range of health, safety and wellbeing related products and services alongside the Charter. These include workplace wellbeing programmes for medium and large employers to help create healthier workforces and reduce sickness absence levels. Health@Work also provides health and safety support for small and medium sized businesses including audits, policy development and risk assessments.

James Dunningham, Operations Director at Health@Work said: “Alcohol in the workplace has always been a prevalent issue, as highlighted through the £6.4 billion it costs the UK economy a year. We want to bring our research to the forefront to give fellow businesses advice when dealing with it. It’s not only the productivity issues that need dealing with but the impact on health alcohol has is also a concern.

This event has been created to give advice and guidance on the issue; we have one of the country’s leading experts in the field in Sir Ian Gilmore speaking so I’m sure people will leave with a better understanding of how to deal with alcohol in the workplace.”