Creating Healthy Workplaces report on reducing alcohol related harm launched

April 2016

The Creating Healthy Workplaces report was launched by VicHealth on 23 March 2016. The report details findings from the Workplace Reduction of Alcohol-Related Harm Project (WRAHP), which was one of five projects funded under the Creating Healthy Workplaces program in 2012–15. The WRAHP was a comprehensive and tailored intervention designed to build knowledge on how to reduce alcohol-related harm in the workplace.

The intervention was based on Pidd and Roche’s Changing Workplace Cultures Model. This model proposes that working conditions and employee beliefs and behaviours interact to influence workplace cultures of alcohol use. This workplace culture has a direct influence on employees’ drinking patterns, but can also mediate the influence of the workplace environment on drinking patterns.

The project focused on the manufacturing industry, as this sector has demonstrated a high prevalence of risky drinking, and drinking at work. It involved a randomised controlled trial implemented at four worksites, with assessment taken at three points over the three year period.

The post-evaluation survey found significant:

  • reductions in risky drinking and presenteeism (i.e. coming to work with a hangover)

  • decreases in the proportion of employees unaware of alcohol and employee assistance policy and procedures

  • improvements in employees’ attitudes to alcohol and knowledge about workplace alcohol and other drug policies and procedures as well as access to alcohol-related health and wellbeing services.

This project is one of few empirical interventions that demonstrate success in reducing drinking to levels closer to those recommended in Australia’s Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol.

The report will be of interest to employers, policymakers, and workplace health practitioners.

VicHealth 2016, Creating healthy workplaces. Final report: Reducing alcohol-related harm, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Melbourne. Download the report here.

The Workplace Reduction of Alcohol Harm Project (WRAHP) was conducted in collaboration with LeeJenn Health Consultants and the City of Greater Dandenong’s South East Business Network (SEBN).

Contact NCETA or VicHealth for more information.