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Health and Safety - Drinking and Work

Alcohol and indeed any form of intoxication or substance use can be a problem for managers of an organisation as it will seriously impair the ability of a worker to perform their workplace duties in a correct, efficient and above all, safe manner. Whilst these risks can come from a person taking drugs, either legal or prescription, the most common hazard comes from alcohol. Even a small amount can affect the judgement and motor skills of a person which can have serious health and safety repercussions for themselves or those around them. Managers and/or supervisors need to ensure that people turning up for work have not been drinking and are in a fit state to work competently.

However, the beginning of the day or shift is just one point in time. It may be the case that workers are sober at the start but drink as their working day progresses. This may either be on the premises when managers are not looking or, more likely, during a lunch break. Some workers may leave the premises to go down to the pub during their lunch break and drink alcohol. Whilst they are unlikely to have the time to get extremely drunk, even a small amount can be enough to cause a mistake or misjudgement when back at work which can have severe ramifications.

To combat an actual problem or to discourage potential infringements managers not only need to carefully monitor workers to check for signs that they are intoxicated, but also need to create and enforce rules which make it clear that drinking before or during working hours will not be tolerated. This can be done through health and safety training and talks which include the pitfalls and dangers associated with drinking alcohol and performing tasks such as operating machinery. Courses and qualifications like the NEBOSH General Certificate also cover the effects of substances when looking at workplace hazards and risk controls. It may be that a worker has a serious alcohol problem rather than just someone who goes to the pub at lunchtime and has a drink, in which case help may be sought.




Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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