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HomeGeneral InfoWork Place Alcohol AbuseRecognizing the Signs of Workplace Alcohol Abuse

Recognizing the Signs of Workplace Alcohol Abuse

drinking at work

Recognizing the signs of workplace alcohol abuse can help ensure that you and your coworkers work harmoniously and safely.

Workplace alcohol abuse is not only a hazard to the person intoxicated but it is also a hazard to the people working with that person. Although alcohol may seem harmless to some people it impairs a person’s judgment, and a person inebriated from alcohol may not even be aware that their judgment is impaired.

Workplace Alcohol Problems

No matter the environment of a workplace, workplace alcohol abuse could potentially lead to numerous problems. Firstly, if a person has to operate any type of machinery while at work and they are intoxicated, one mistake could cause many employees to be injured or severe property destruction to occur.

On a different angle, intoxication at work can lead to a person’s job performance being poor and depending on the person’s role in the company can lead to many mistakes that could drastically impact the company’s revenue and ability to provide their services.

Furthermore, an intoxicated employee can cause a company to look unprofessional to its costumers if the costumers notice that the employee may be under the influence of alcohol.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse at Work

According to, signs of alcohol abuse at work can include the following:

Mood-Irritable, depressed, suspicious, withdrawn or excessively talkative behavior changes after lunch or breaks.

Appearance-Inappropriately dressed, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, poor hygiene, excessive weight gain or loss, hand tremors and an unsteady stance.

Work performance-Low productivity, poor quality of work, loss of concentration, inability to make decisions, resistance to authority, misuse of equipment and frequent breaks, sick days or tardiness.

Relationships-Bad listening skills, uncooperative, over-confident, argumentative, accusative and discussion of problems at home

It is important for an employer or manager to recognize signs of alcohol abuse early because the sooner the problem is addressed the better of a chance the employee will have to pull his or her act together.

A manger or employee should never openly accuse a person of having an alcohol problem, but they should talk to their employees to make sure everything is okay with them and tell them if they are not performing to a level that is satisfactory to the company.

Workplace alcohol abuse is a problem that leads to other problems and can ruin a company if not handled immediately and thoroughly. Other signs to look for in regards to workplace alcohol abuse would be, the employee calling off work frequently, the employee falling asleep at meetings, and the employee slurring his or her speech.

It is important to note that mental illness and sickness can look like alcohol abuse, which is why a manger or employer should not ever accuse a person of alcohol abuse and only talk to an employee in regards to matters concerning the job and their job performance. If a person openly admits to alcohol abuse then a manger or employer can take the necessary action needed, but to fire or accuse a person of presumed alcohol abuse could lead to many lawsuits.

Alcohol abuse in the workplace is a matter that should be addressed carefully, but overall it needs to be a matter that is handled quickly to prevent any mishaps from occurring.


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