Every year thousands of people die in tragic accidents at home, on the roads and in the workplace. A key contributing factor to many of these accidents is alcohol consumption.
As service or bar staff you cannot prevent all of these accidents but there are things you can do to limit the risks. This all starts with the responsible service of alcohol.
Under the Intoxicating Liquor Act, 2003, it is an offence for a licensee to:
supply intoxicating liquor to a drunken person or to any person for consumption by a drunken person;Permit a drunken person to consume intoxicating liquor;
Permit drunkenness to take place in the bar; or Admit any drunken person to the bar.
This act is in place to help reduce the risk to drinkers and those around them. In Ireland drink driving accounts for an estimated 33% of road fatalities. In the UK Alcohol is the single biggest cause of accidents in the home. Around 4,000 fatal accidents that happen in homes every year, 400 of these are alcohol-related. Alcohol is also a factor in up to one in four workplace accidents and can account for up to a third of accidental fire deaths.
In England alone, around 21,700 people are admitted to hospital each year with alcohol poisoning, A very high proportion of these are young people, many being underage. It is important that alcohol is not served to any person under the legal age limit and that ID is checked and verified before service.
It is not just the irresponsible consumption which can cause harm. Bars are trusted by the public to provide a safe and controlled environment. Earlier this year a British teen had to have her stomach removed after ingesting a liquid nitrogen shot in a popular wine bar. According to Doctor John Ashton, director of public health for Cumbria “This girl is the victim of an irresponsible alcohol industry that’s now competing on gimmicks.
“Alcohol itself is a very dangerous thing if improperly handled and liquid nitrogen is [as well]. It destroys human tissue.” BBC
Not only is the irresponsible service of alcohol dangerous for the public but it also puts service staff, bar staff and your business at risk. Drunk customers are more difficult to deal with causing disorder and issues which may escalate into aggression and violence. Drunken people are far more likely to cause damage to premises and property which can cost your business significantly. Mess such as spillages, breakages etc. can increase the likelihood of further accidents such as slips, trips and falls.
To deal with disorderly conduct your business will need to increase staff numbers and can suffer from high staff turnover. This can also give a premises a bad reputation that in turn attracts more disorderly people and deters other customers. Extra visits from the police can also put your license at risk.