Pilot Analysis Report


It is well established that high levels of alcohol consumption can have a detrimental effect on productivity in the workplace and on the health of workers. Equally, some occupations with stressful working environments can be a factor in enhanced drinking levels amongst employees. The negative impact of alcohol on the workplace and on employees can, therefore, be significant. However, the evidence for effective workplace-based policy responses to tackle health and economic problems caused by alcohol is more limited. In this context, the EWA project seeks to enhance knowledge about how interventions in workplace settings can have a positive impact on alcohol-related awareness, attitudes, policies and behaviour.
The aims of the pilot intervention were to assess the impact, effectiveness and outcomes of alcohol preventive interventions in order to inform future practices and policies.

Pilot interventions were carried out in 55 companies. They were evaluated before and after using two different questionnaires –one survey for workers and one for employers. A total of 9,433 questionnaires were collected from workers (5,623 at baseline and 3,810 at follow up) and 109 from employers (55 at baseline and 54 at follow up). In addition semi-structured interviews were included with key informants and participants. Due to the anonymity questionnaires are not linked and gender and age representativity was not ensured.

Measures for the purposes of these analyses were divided in two groups: impact at organisational level and impact at workplace level. Within the second group, variables covered several broad topics such as awareness, attitude, consumption, behaviour at workplace, help and workplace policies and satisfaction with the intervention. Workers and workplaces characteristics were also taken into consideration.
Data have been analysed using SPSS version 18.0 for Windows. Analyses included univariate analysis -frequencies of certain follow-up survey items- and bivariate analysis –crosstabs to assess change-. The majority of the variables are categorical, thus Chi -square test has been used with a confidence Interval of 95 %.

Baseline survey results suggested a need to raise awareness concerning the impact of alcohol on certain health conditions, to improve attitudes towards alcohol consumption at workplace and to reduce risky consumption. Workers¬¬¬¬ in companies with a pre-existent alcohol policy at baseline were more aware on health conditions, had better attitude concerning alcohol availability at corporate events, less risky consumption among men and less workers reporting the need to cover co-workers.

Follow up survey results showed the programme made a positive impression on workers. Higher levels of awareness of the impact of alcohol on health conditions and accidents, less risky drinking among women, less workers reported problems with co-workers and more awareness and opinion of companies’ alcohol policy were observed. However, those workers directly exposed to the intervention displayed more benefits than those who weren’t.

Although any type and level of intervention has positive effects among the workforce, differences were observed according to the characteristics of the programme implemented. Results also revealed an association between utility and satisfaction with the programme and better outcomes. Alcohol preventive interventions seem to have as well a positive effect on the organisation measures to prevent alcohol consumption at workplace.

Alcohol consumption has a very negative impact on work and preventive alcohol interventions are needed to raise awareness towards alcohol consumption and help to implement alcohol policies. Workers and companies benefit from alcohol preventive interventions. Higher levels of awareness, improvement of attitudes, reduction of risky drinking and problems at workplace due to workers’ alcohol consumption are observed after the intervention. Furthermore participating companies can develop appropriate alcohol policies.

Read the full EWA Pilot Analysis Report