A national survey of 494 workers has found 58% consumed alcohol at “hazardous” levels, and a further 15% were at “significant risk of harm”, based on the World Health Organization’s Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test.
Around 32% of construction site workers surveyed had used ecstasy or methamphetamine-type substances in the past year, and 16% had used cannabis in the same time period.
The reported drug use is higher than the most recent figures for the overall population, which show that 10.3% of Australians aged 14 years and over had used cannabis in the past 12 months, 3% had used ecstasy, and 2.1% had used amphetamines.
Study authors said the next step would be to develop an industry policy and associated change management program, including case studies demonstrating industry best practice. There was a wealth of anecdotal evidence from the building sector about the use of drugs and alcohol and the associated safety risks on construction sites, they added.