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Help us investigate: Drugs and alcohol

Lucy Alderson

In 2016, the Considerate Constructors Scheme revealed some worrying research.

More than a third of construction workers had witnessed colleagues under the influence of drugs and alcohol while working on site.

It is therefore unsurprising that three in five workers (59 per cent) said they were concerned about the impact drugs and alcohol was having on the industry’s workforce.

But apart from this CCS report, there is a lack of data on the issue.

In a Freedom of Information Request I submitted to the HSE last year, I asked for information on the number of injuries and dangerous occurrences that had taken place in the industry between 2012-2017 where drugs and alcohol were a likely contributory factor to these incidents.

The HSE told me that they did not log this information. It would require an HSE officer to trawl through all 3,020 accidents that took place between 2012-2017.

I was more than surprised there was no consistent log in place of this information.

CCS research indicates use of drugs and alcohol on construction sites is a problem that needs to be tackled. But it is hard to monitor and tackle the issue without more consistent data and research.

This is why Construction News is taking matters into our own hands.

We’re investigating the issue in a special report later this year, and exploring what the industry can do to help support its workforce.

From those working in the boardroom to those on the tools, we want to hear your experiences.

Have you seen a colleague under the influence, or have you struggled with an addiction at work? Did you receive enough support from your employer? Is the industry doing enough to address the issue?

Every response will be kept completely anonymous in order to protect the interests of all of our sources.

We know that construction can be a tough place to work. 

Late payment worries and constant pressure to deliver on time and on budget on unforgiving programmes can create a perfect storm for stress, anxiety and poor mental health to occur.

Hitting the bottle or turning to drugs can be one way of coping with this.

Help us understand the scale of the issue – and most importantly, how we the industry can improve the situation – by filling in our form here.

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