Exploring the impact of alcohol abuse on construction sites in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Kenneth Lawani, Billy Hare, Iain Cameron, Laura Maria Ibert Soto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The construction industry in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic grapples with problems of unregulated and harmful alcohol consumption by workers and this directly have an impact on workplace safety. This study fills the gap in literature
related to the harmful consumption of alcohol by construction workers and the need for policies to be implemented that could regulate harmful alcohol consumption amongst construction workers in Santo Domingo. A qualitative approach using purposeful sampling was adopted to evaluate the perception of workers in the construction sector. A total of 12 in-depth semi-structured, open-ended interviews with workers undertaking different roles were conducted until saturation. The initial findings suggest that alcohol is used as a coping mechanism by workers to deal with situations related to financial, emotional and personal difficulties. It also indicated that heavy drinking is not considered as an addiction, but as part of the cultural norms, habits and way of living. Although instances of harmful alcohol use link with incidences within the workplace; there are no formal regulations in place to encourage, mitigate and educate workers within the industry. Rather, offenders are casually dismissed off site only for them to get back on to the project next day. To achieve meaningful change, adopting formal policies and procedures, involving stakeholder collaboration, education and raising the awareness and the impact of harmful alcohol consumption should be considered. The limitation of this study was the lack of access to a more diverse participant base due to the sensitive nature of the topic. This initial study is a precursor for further in-depth investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 36th Annual ARCOM Conference
EditorsLloyd Scott, Christopher J. Neilson
PublisherARCOM
Pages585-594
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780995546332
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2020

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