Allianz seminar: Alcohol and drugs cost Australian businesses billions

13 November 2015

Allianz workers compensation seminar reveals cost of drug and alcohol use in the workplace to Australian businesses.

An Allianz workers compensation seminar has heard from a range of experts about the impact of drug and alcohol use in the workplace. The seminar heard that alcohol and drug use contributes to workplace accidents and injuries, reduced productivity and increased absenteeism.

Statistics from the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) reveal that drug and alcohol use contributes to $5.2 billion in lost productivity and $3 billion is absenteeism annually.

At an annual workers compensation information session held by Allianz Australia, Ken Lay, Chair of the newly formed National Ice Task Force (Taskforce), said “we are kidding ourselves if we think ice usage isn’t having an impact on the workforce.”

Alarming evidence provided at the Allianz event by Dr Ken Pidd, Deputy Direct (Research) at NCETA, suggested 90% of the workforce drinks alcohol and 15% drink at ‘risky levels’ at least once a week. Furthermore, 5.6% of employees admitted to working under the influence of alcohol and 2% under the influence of drugs.

Workplaces have a big role to play in supporting drug and alcohol users. The good news according to Dr Pidd is the workplace is an ideal intervention setting to deal with drug and alcohol use.

Ken Lay says and Taskforce research confirms that family, friends, and people in their workplace are really important to help address drug and alcohol dependency issues.

The annual client information session hosted by Allianz Australia included talks from Ken Lay APM, Ken Pidd, retired Australian rules football player and former addict Gavin Crosisca, and Intensive Care Paramedic, Alan Eade ASM.

“[It was] Very inspiring to see a leader in law enforcement so actively engaged as a change agent for future policy,” said one attendee of Ken Lay.

Commenting on the feedback Norm Cockerell, General Manger Victorian Workers Compensation, said “I’m pleased the information session was so well received. It’s definitely important to us that we provide our clients with relevant and timely information they can utilise in their workplaces.”

About Allianz Australia
General Insurance Company of the Year 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009*
Best General Insurance Company of the Year 2014, 2012, 2010, 2007, 2006**

Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services to more than 2.5 million policyholders. Over 50% of Australia's top 200 BRW-listed companies have some form of insurance cover with the group and the group provides workers compensation services to around one-fifth of Australian employees.

*Australia & New Zealand Insurance Industry Awards
**Australian Banking and Finance Insurance Awards