Alcohol abuse and job hazards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Do hazardous working conditions encourage heavy drinking and/or does heavy drinking contribute to job-related injuries and deaths? Simultaneous equations probit and least squares models are constructed to answer these questions. Samples of employed persons are drawn from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey II (NHANES II; n = 8,477), and the Quality of Employment Survey (QES; n = 1,393). Heavy total alcohol use is alternatively defined as drinking any alcoholic beverage at least once a day, or frequently drinking three or more drinks at a time. In the QES, heavy use is also defined as drinking on-the-job. Heavy beer, wine, or liquor use is separately defined in the NHANES II as drinking four or more times per week. The endogenous variables reflecting job hazards include subjects' evaluations of the hazardous nature of the job and fatality rates within occupations and industries. Exogenous variables include age, gender, race, marital status, wages or family income, rural residence, Southern residence, years of schooling, union membership, percent of industry unionized, minimum legal drinking age for beer, religion variables, smoking status, and beer tax. Only one robust alcohol finding emerged: Heavy beer use was found to be strongly correlated with the fatality rates within occupations and industries. In a related finding, a disproportionately high number of smokers were found employed in dangerous jobs. Separate analyses of beer, wine, and liquor (spirits) appeared essential to explaining correlations between dangerous jobs and heavy alcohol use. Evidence for a simultaneous relationship between beer abuse and job-related deaths suggests that prior estimates of the effect of alcohol abuse on job-related accidental deaths have been exaggerated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-32
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Health and Safety
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Law
  • Safety Research
  • Transportation


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