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Should energy drinks be banned on site?

Australian studies suggest multiple health risks associated with the popular 'refreshments'


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April 13, 2016 by John Bleasby

Early morning starts, pressures to meet deadlines, long commutes to job sites, and the false perception that energy drinks are a magic elixir have led to an alarming increase in energy drink consumption on construction sites, and lately to numerous contractors to banning the drinks at work.

With summer coming on (at least in some parts of the country) hydration becomes an important health and safety issue on construction sites

With summer coming on (at least in some parts of the country) hydration becomes an important health and safety issue on construction sites

A 2015 study conducted by Griffith University in Australia revealed that almost 40 percent of construction workers consume sugar and caffeine enriched energy drinks in large quantities, leading to a host of health and work problems, not to mention obesity. Several workers reportedly use energy drinks as a substitute for breakfast, with many collapsing from dehydration after drinking them. Lead researcher Dr. Rebecca Loudoun said that the combination of energy drinks, poor diets, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking result in a very unhealthy lifestyle. She suggested that site managers lead by example by not only banning the drinks on site but by promoting healthier diets among their workers.

Numerous risks to health cited in Aussie study
With summer approaching in Canada, workers in high heat situations are very vulnerable. Consuming an energy drink instead of water can lead to severe dehydration despite promises of higher performance. However, the issues don’t end there. The long list of health-related risks associated with the consumption of energy drinks include; cardiac arrest, headaches and migraines, increased anxiety and nervousness, insomnia, risky behavior, vomiting, high blood pressure and even risked of Type 2 diabetes.

In fact, the British publication Medial News Today writes that a recent government survey in that country indicates that visits to hospital and health facility ER departments in Britain related to energy drink consumption nearly doubled from 2007 to 2011.

Think you're a super-hero construction worker and that health warnings don't apply to you? Think again!

Think you’re a super-hero construction worker and that health warnings don’t apply to you? Think again!

Tradespeople feel immune to risks
Dr. Loudoun further observed that many construction workers feel the somewhat sparse health warnings on product labels aren’t applicable to them anyway but to office workers, believing that the physicality of construction work made them somehow immune to the risks.

Observation and study of this issue by authorities strongly suggest that energy drinks need to be consumed with caution and in moderation, and should in no way act as a substitute for good dietary habits and proper hydration while on the job.

 

What’s your view?
Have you considered banning energy drinks from your work site?

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