Finland: Workplaces Burdened by Alcohol Harm
A survey has found that in Finland, workplaces are burdened heavily by alcohol harm.
The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) published a survey which found:
- Two out of three trade union workers have encountered alcohol-related problems at their workplace.
- The most common problems were employees coming into work intoxicated or hungover, as well as unauthorised absences caused by alcohol consumption.
- One in four workplaces have dismissed employees for substance abuse. This figure has remained the same since 2014.
- 84% of shop stewards said they addressed problems, compared to 75% in 2014, showing that employers have become more sensitive to understanding alcohol problems.
- 58% of workplaces have referred employees for treatment.
- 8% of respondents said they noticed that someone had been under the influence of other drugs on the job.
- 29% of respondents spoke of drug tests taking place at their work
- 76% of shop stewards and occupational health and safety officials said they have a written substance abuse programme at their workplace, which an increase of 8 percentage points since 5 years ago.
Nearly 850 union representatives and labour inspectors had participated in the SAK survey. Kari Haring, a medical expert at SAK believes the results reflect a long term problem and that employers need to focus on preventive measures.
Just referral to treatment is not enough, there must be more ways for the workplace to deal with problems caused by substance abuse. Employers should pay particular attention to preventive measures,” said Kari Haring, as per YLE.