Workforce alcohol consumption patterns in two Pilbara mining-related worksites

Richard Midford, A Marsden, M Phillips, J Lake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A cross-sectional survey of alcohol consumption patterns was carried out at two mining related worksites in the Pilbara region of Western Australia as part of a voluntary health screening program. The alcohol use section of the questionnaire was designed to allow comparison with the national household survey conducted by the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NCADA) in 1993. Approximately 50% of the workforce in each location participated in the survey (Ns of 552 and 415). Age standardised comparisons were made between the sample responses and the national household survey. The frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption at both mining related worksites was greater than that nationally, but the proportion of workers drinking in the top risk categories was similar. Binge drinking was more prevalent at one of the worksites and this may be associated with different shift cycles. Respondents at this worksite were also more likely to drink away from home. Although the prevalence of uncontrolled drinking did not differ between the mining related workers and the national sample, there is evidence to suggest that norms for acceptable consumption were higher for this workforce. This information has provided the basis for community feedback on local risks of alcohol related harm and can contribute to planning relevant harm reduction strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages9
JournalOccupational Health and Industrial Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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