Is Eight Enough?

How much is too much?

You may be familiar with the theory that we should drink 8 glasses of water a day (or about 2 litres).

The origin of this rule is not known and the actual quantity is questionable, because other drinks and food contribute to our daily intake of water.

What is not in doubt are the health benefits of drinking enough water to stay adequately hydrated – these include better physical performance and reducing your appetite which may assist with weight management or loss.

Hydration and construction workers

Water is the ideal fluid for keeping the body hydrated, especially if your working for a prolonged period of time, in hot conditions (indoors or outdoors) or doing physically demanding work.

You should also avoid thirst as reminder to drink as this may not result in you drinking frequently enough or the right amount of water to keep you adequately hydrated.

Construction Managers should ensure that free, clean and ideally cool water can be readily accessed by workers –  and taking a drink should not be just limited to breaks.

In addition useful tools like a Urine Chart can help workers assess how hydrated they are.

The knock off drink or a few beers as a reward for a hard days work is something we hear a lot when we talk to workers from the construction and building industry.

However, drinking too much alcohol (and too quickly) can cause you to become even more dehydrated – and trying to drink water to balance out your alcohol consumption is not an effective strategy either.

Working on a construction site in many ways is the same as an athlete playing sport, and therefore what you eat and drink during and after work can directly relate to you overall performance and wellbeing.


Staying hydrated can even help with concentration and decision making as even a loss of 2-3% in body water can cause fatigue and headache related symptoms.


Construction worker measuring gaps


So what about alcohol?

The variety of types of alcoholic drinks and their concentration can make it hard to know or estimate how much you are consuming.

Here are some simple tips to help you keep your drinking in check:

1. Plan your RDO’s so you are having consecutive alcohol free days.

2. Take our RDO Drinking Quiz

3. If you do drink try and keep it 2-3 standard drinks and alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

4. Have a conversation with your ‘drinking buddies’ about why and when you drink and encourage them to take their own RDO Challenge.


Pouring water glass                         

Want to be healthy, wealthy and wise? – take an rdo

Count Me In recommends unlimited RDO’s for construction workers.

Taking an RDO or Rostered Drink Off definitely has its benefits – and these can be even more significant when you take consecutive RDO’s.

No matter your motivation however, it seems that reducing the frequency and amount of alcohol you drink can help you feel more productive at home and work, save some money or even lose weight.


I am feeling physically and mentally better, and I have gone down a notch in my belt as well. Looking forward to continuing into November.


Here’s what we know about taking a few alcohol free days based on feedback from our RDO Challenge participants.


1. Nearly all participants saved money with over half saying they saved more than $50.

2. Almost 40% said they were more productive.

3. 80% of participants had a conversation about alcohol.


Great initiative, we have had a bit of banter but also have healthy discussion around drinking too.


If you would like to find out how to implement a policy of unlimited RDO’s at your company you can contact us HERE at Count Me In.


Ever experienced Beer Group Pressure?

During our first ever RDO Challenge 4 out of 5 participants had conversations about alcohol with almost half of them reporting that they had felt pressure to drink during the month long initiative.

Pressure to drink, or feeling that you need to drink to be accepted by workmates are strong social norms among construction workers. A culture that encourages workmates to drink in shouts can be explained as fostering a sense of unity, but it can also lead to the risk of heavy drinking.


Count Me In aims to create positive alcohol cultures that reduce the instances of risky drinking amongst middle aged men working in the construction industry.


So what can you do if you are feeling ‘beer group pressure’?

1. Tell your workmates in advance you are having an RDO.

2. If you are in a shout ask for a non-alcoholic drink.

3. Let people know you are driving and don’t want to drink.

4. Set a goal – i.e. “I will only have one drink and then I have to leave to go home.”

5. Tell workmates you’re trying to be healthy and would love their support by helping them to not drink.

6. Book a Count Me In presentation as part of your next OHS, Wellbeing or Safety Stand Down meeting.


Are two RDO’s Better than one

There was an ‘official’ RDO in the Victorian construction industry this week.

The rostered day off is a chance to spend time with family and friends, and take time out from the demands and stressors of work.

Count Me In recognises the importance of the RDO – so much so that we recommend construction workers consider taking at least two or more consecutive RDO’s as often as they can.


Count Me In created the RDO Challenge to support and encourage middle aged men working in the construction industry to take an unlimited number of alcohol free days or Rostered Drink’s Off.


Taking consecutive RDO’s or alcohol free days can be a manageable and achievable way to drink less. The benefits of taking this approach include improved sleep, reduced calorie consumption and the chance for your liver to have a break. Back to back to back RDO’s can be a first step towards changing your relationship with alcohol and reducing the chance of you drinking at risky levels.


So – we encourage middle aged men working in the construction industry to use the time, money and energy saved by taking an RDO to spend it with family and friends or to do something that doesn’t involve or create the expectation to drink alcohol to a risky level.


All this talk about drinking is making me thirsty

When, why and how we drink is what we call alcohol culture, and it has been great to develop effective strategies with managers and workers in the construction industry to develop positive workplace cultures where you do not have to drink to fit in and there is not the pressure to drink when you socialise with workmates.


Over the last few months we have had more than 70 conversations about when, how and why we drink and Count Me In is looking forward to visiting more Reece Group workplaces to talk about alcohol culture and The RDO Challenge.


Count Me In with the support of the  Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth Alcohol Culture Change Initiative is offering the construction industry Unlimited RDO’s this October and encourages construction workers to Sign Up and Ease Up.


Top Tips for Managers – Creating a positive alcohol culture at work

Count Me In is all about making positive changes to the alcohol culture in the construction industry, and  while alcohol culture change can be difficult and take time, there are a few small things that a Manager can easily implement in their own workplace.


“I started having a few breakfast meetings [instead of dinners] – I felt fresh and I knew there was no risk of anyone drinking.”

Over the last year Count Me In has had over 100 conversations with Senior Managers in the construction industry about alcohol culture and how we can change it. Based on those conversations, here is a few things that Managers have said they have found useful:


1. Schedule business meetings over breakfast or a coffee instead of lunch or dinner.

2. Drive to events or functions and let your colleagues know in advance you’re having a Rostered Drink Off.

3. Discuss alcohol culture and the Count Me In project with your professional peers.

4. Think about alternative ways to using alcohol as a gift when recognising and reward staff and customers.

5. Register your team for The RDO Challenge




Count Me In with the support of the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation  launched our alcohol-culture change initiative last year and we are looking forward to conducting our second  RDO Challenge this October.

Changing the way middle aged men in the Victorian construction industry use and drink alcohol is the aim of Count Me In’s alcohol culture change initiative and one purpose of the RDO Challenge to is create positive conversations about when and why we drink.


The RDO Challenge enables us to take the time to reflect on how often and how much we drink and then set a personal goal in the form of a number of alcohol free days i.e. (Rostered Drink Off).

In 2018 more than 15 Reece Group sites participated in the inaugural RDO Challenge with more more than 100 participants taking 1,800 RDO’s during the month long initiative with almost 40% saying they felt more productive as result of reducing their alcohol intake.

80% of participants also reported having a conversation about alcohol and 53% said they saved more than $50 during the month long challenge. 

Take The RDO Challenge here – SIGN UP. EASE UP.




It took an RDO for Gerard to find his STOP button.

A 30 year veteran of the building and construction industry Gerard Webb took on the inaugural Rostered Drink Off Challenge with an open mind.

When it was over Gerard reflected on his journey and while he didn’t lose weight he did find his stop button, felt more productive and experienced first hand the pressure to drink alcohol. 

Count Me In calls for unlimited RDO’s for middle aged men working in the Victorian Construction Industry.

The RDO Challenge is a part of Count Me In, which aims to support the health and wellbeing of middle aged men in the Victorian Construction Industry.

Count Me In with the support of the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) launched its alcohol-culture change initiative last year with Reece Group and is looking forward to conducting the RDO Challenge again this October.



Count Me In Connects with SAFETY Connect 2018

Adrian Panozzo was invited to speak about Count Me In at SAFETY Connect 2018.

SAFETY Connect 2018 featured a range of presentations, research papers and exhibition of services, products and technology solutions across the construction, infrastructure, transport, construction, education, manufacturing, mining, utilities and government.

The opportunity to share Count Me In with a range of senior workplace health and safety professionals proved to be invaluable and will assist with the further development and growth of the project.

You can find out more about the SAFETY Connect 2018 program here:

SAFETY Connect 2018

Counting on the Reece Group

Adrian Panozzo and Count Me In ambassador Gavin Crosisca recently sat down with Phil Healy from the Reece Group to discuss their involvement in Count Me In. Phil shared his insights and observations of the alcohol culture within the building and construction industry based on his 40+ year career working with Reece.

You can listen to their discussion here: