Evaluation of a workplace alcohol and other drug (AOD) harm reduction program

October 2018

Professor Ann Roche
Associate Professor Ken Pidd
Dr Janine Chapman
Brooke Ledner

Other Collaborators: 

Jim Finnane, Building Trades Group Drug and Alcohol Program

Project description: 

NCETA is partnering with the Building Trades Group Drug and Alcohol Program to evaluate the Program’s AOD Impairment Awareness Training delivered to construction workplaces in New South Wales. The training, delivered onsite to groups of 10-20 workers at each site is part of a wider construction industry ‘fit-for-work’ policy.

The aim of the awareness training is reduce AOD-related risk to workplace safety and improve worker wellbeing in the construction industry. NCETA’s ongoing workplace research has found that construction workers are at elevated risk of AOD-related harm and that context-based tailored interventions may be effective in reducing that harm.

The evaluation study design involves:

  • An outcome evaluation, using a cluster randomised trial to examine the training’s effectiveness in changing AOD-related behaviours. Participating worksites (clusters) will be randomly allocated to either the intervention or control group. A purpose designed pen and paper survey will be administered to participants at three time points: pre-intervention delivery baseline (T1); immediately following training (T2 – intervention groups only); and approximately three months after training (T3).
  • A process evaluation using semi-structured key informant interviews (from a sample of 10-15 training participants, trainers and workplace managers) to identify perceptions about the training and perceived barriers / facilitators to training implementation.

NCETA’s evaluation will assess whether the training leads to attitude and behaviour change required to reduce risky AOD use and related harms by examining:

  • Increases in knowledge about AOD-related harm
  • Changes in attitudes and beliefs about the impact of AOD on health and safety
  • Changes in awareness of AOD treatment/counselling options
  • Perceived barriers to, and facilitators of, training effectiveness.

An evaluation report will be produced and the findings published in peer-reviewed journals and disseminated via industry journals, conference presentations and workshops.

The findings of the evaluation will be used as a quality control mechanism for continual improvement and to support the ongoing roll out of the awareness training across the building industries in New South Wales. The project will also build the research capacity of the Building Trades Group Drug and Alcohol Program as its staff will be involved in the evaluation and will be mentored by the NCETA researchers to assist with the evaluation data collection.