Energy drinks and the impact on workers
Are you relying more and more on energy drinks to increase your stamina levels or put that extra bounce into your workday?
Workers who over-indulge in energy drinks are risking health impacts which can affect their ability to safely perform physical tasks, safely operate plant and machinery,and increase the risks fromother work hazards.
According to research, energy drink use has risen significantly in recent years, particularly in male-dominated industries such as construction, transport, agriculture, mining and resources.
Data collected in 2017 during a research project with six construction sites in Queensland indicated energy drinks were consumed widely and regularly with the driver for consumption seen to be the pace, timing and intensity of the work.
Those whose jobs include shift work, high physical demands, long hours or repetitive tasks, or people who work more than one job, are more likely to consume energy drinks to stay alert. Many have also looked at energy drinks, sports drinks and soft drinks as a substitute for water.
Energy drinks may be favoured because of their high sugar content, ability to be consumed quickly and cooling effect in hot environments. However, they have been found to cause dehydration, heart palpitations, headaches, anxiety and insomnia.
There are many opportunities within the workplace to reduce or minimise the consumption of, or take one's mind off craving for, energy drinks. Some examples include:
- ensure fresh water
- promotion of good hydration and general health
- allow adequate breaks
- create a healthy and safe work culture
- limit energy drinks in the workplace.
More information on energy drinks is in our Energy drinks and worker health (PDF, 0.27 MB) factsheet. For information on work health and wellbeing programs, check out worksafe.qld.gov.au/health-wellbeing
1. Dennison K, Rogers B, Randolph SA. Energy drinks and worker health risks. Workplace Health and Safety 2013; 61(10):468.