Almost 40 per cent of construction workers drink large quantities of energy drinks, with the products now banned on some sites.

The traditional tradie lunch of cigarettes, pies and soft drinks has been traded in for energy drinks and supermarket takeaways, according to research by Griffith University.

The researchers found the odds were stacked against tradies because of early starts, a high-pressure work environment and long commutes.

They found that 69 per cent of workers were overweight or obese, with many having an energy drink instead of breakfast.

Lead researcher Rebecca Loudoun said the drinks were being consumed in ­construction at an alarming rate, despite the emerging health risks associated with excessive consumption.

“The workers really thought because they work in a very physical job that the health guidelines didn’t fit for them, that they were for office workers,” she said.

Some subcontractors said they had banned energy drinks among their workers, with several concreters collapsing because of dehydration after drinking them.

Steel-fixer Damian Klaassen, 38, avoids energy drinks, favouring a strict sugar-free diet, but he has seen energy-drink companies hand out free drinks at worksites.

Fellow steel-fixer Michael Johnston, 21, has one energy drink a week.

“Some people go through one or two drinks a day. That much caffeine can’t be good for you,” he said.

Side effects of energy drinks include cardiac and neurological toxicity, palpitations, tremors, seizures, hallucinations and arrhythmias.

  • I guess there is merit in this if it genuinely does help to promote safety, though it may breed resentment if workers – who are adults and should be treated as such – feel they are being 'told' what to do.

    Arguably the better approach would be to educate people about the health effects of these kinds of drinks on site and about the effects of things such as hydration. Practical steps such as providing workers with bottles of cold water might help as might the site manager taking the lead himself/herself and setting a positive example by eating healthy lunches and drinking adequate volumes of water.

  • This is the nanny state taken to its most ridiculous extreme as well as an instance of gross class prejudice – no one bans bankers or lawyers from drinking long blacks.

Position Partner – 300x 600 (construction – expire July 31 2018)