Alcohol consumption among immigrant construction workers and its correlates, a need for action

Rajeshkannan S., Parthiban P., Murali Mohan Reddy G.


Background: In developing countries, although the construction industry is making rapid strides, the health of the migrant construction workers is almost neglected. Among the major industries, construction workers have one of the highest alcohol abuse rates. Their working patterns, lack of recreational activities, lack of education, misconceptions and taboos make construction workers indulge in Alcohol abuse.

Methods: A cross-sectional community-based study was done in old Mahabalipuram road of Chennai on 300 immigrant construction workers working in the construction field at least for the past one year using WHO recommended AUDIT (alcohol use disorders identification test) questionnaire to estimate the prevalence of alcohol use and associated factors.

Results: The prevalence of alcohol consumption was 55.7%. The majority (56%) of alcoholics consumed alcohol once or less in a month. 81% of alcoholics had AUDIT scores below 8, 17% between 8 to 15. None scored more than 20. There was no statistically significant difference between the educational qualification, age with regards to prevalence of alcohol consumption. Male gender (p<0.001) influenced substance use.

Conclusions: The prevalence of alcohol use (55.7%) among construction workers was very high compared to the general population. Specific intervention programs are warranted to reduce the future burden of alcohol use related morbidity among these workers.


AUDIT, Alcohol use, Abuse, Construction workers

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