Hidden Cam Catches Workers Drinking on the Job
If you are en employer with many people working under you, it is imperative that you make sure your employees are sharp and focused. That way, there are no distractions and all the work can be completed in a timely manner. If you don’t know or aren’t sure that your employees are concentrating on their jobs, there are things you can do to find out for sure.
A recent hidden camera investigation revealed some highly disturbing news: several employees have been drinking on the job of their construction company, including during transactions with customers and even while constructing. Drinking on the job is highly illegal and dangerous, and the boss may never have known about it if not for the use of hidden cameras.
“People drink pretty heavily, I mean, it’s all over the place,” said a customer at the company. She went to the location every day over a two-month period and saw employees drinking beer every day that she went.
“Every day,” she said. “On Monday through Thursday, some people have one, two, three. On Friday, it’s a six-pack.”
And this isn’t just any old business where this is happening: this is at a construction company headquarters. This construction company is responsible for the 520 Bridge replacement, a $586 million contract, in Bellevue, Washington.
“You would think that somebody, some supervisor, somebody would say, ‘Hey we can’t do this. This isn’t allowed,” said the witness. And she is absolutely right. According to Washington state law, drinking while on the job is strictly prohibited.
“Anything that clouds your judgment is going to be a problem,” says Hector Castro, spokesman with the state Department of Labor & Industries. “State rules are very clear: Alcohol and drugs are prohibited from the workplace.”
KGM, a joint venture firm of Kiewit, General and Manson contractors won the bid to design and build the 520 floating bridge. It’s a complex and complicated project. All the design work and project oversight happens at the Bellevue project office on 112th Avenue NE. Both KGM and state Department of Transportation – WSDOT – employees work there in what’s called a “co-located” office.
We went to the project office at 3 p.m. on Friday looking for the boss. While we were waiting — to our amazement — we saw two workers walk in the front door, each carrying a 12-pack of beer. Neither man would talk to us, nor would a third who was identified only as a manager. When we told this third individual we’d seen numerous people drinking on the job, some while working on their computers, and asked how common that practice is, he would only say, “I’m not commenting on any of that.”
KGM’s corporate spokesperson would not comment on camera, but emailed a statement saying, “We take these matters extremely seriously. We have initiated a full investigation and will take appropriate corrective action.”
After reviewing our video, WSDOT Project Director Mike Cotten told me he doesn’t believe it shows any state workers drinking but he is concerned.
“I’ve been with WSDOT 28 years now, I have never seen alcohol on the job site before,” he said. When we asked if he was then surprised to see the drinking on our video he answered, “Yeah, I was a little surprised to see that there was alcohol.”