MRO Magazine

Substance abuse high in Canada’s manufacturing sector

Toronto, ON -- March 13, 2003 -- Employees in Canada's manufacturing sector are showing alcohol and drug addiction...


March 13, 2003
By MRO Magazine

Toronto, ON — March 13, 2003 — Employees in Canada’s manufacturing sector are showing alcohol and drug addiction rates that are close to twice the national norm, says a report released last week by Warren Shepell Consultants Corp., a provider of employee assistance programs (EAP) and related organizational health and wellness services.

Along with a higher incidence of substance abuse, the firm’s report, 2003 Organizational Health & Wellness Trends in Manufacturing, also found levels of anxiety and anger in employees of this sector are both rising significantly.

The report, which reviewed three years of data — the last of which represented a sample size of 136 companies and 54,050 employees — warns that since addiction in the workplace is typically under-reported, these figures are just the tip of the iceberg.

“The good news is that these numbers also indicate that twice as many people in manufacturing are approaching EAP for help,” says Rod Phillips, president and CEO of Toronto-based Warren Shepell.


Given the high level of addiction and anger issues uncovered, Phillips warns that in a male-dominated sector such as manufacturing, “employers should expect domestic and workplace violence to increase”.

“Unions have been highly progressive in their approach to health and wellness issues,” Phillips says, “but it is the responsibility of manufacturing employers to address these anger and addiction problems by implementing awareness, education and screening programs.”

To view the report, visit