All patients who were admitted within one year to the Department of Traumatology of the Innsbruck University Hospital as a result of an accident were included in this epidemiological study: a total of 1611 patients. 18.9% (n = 304) of these patients were injured as a result of a work-related accident and the remaining 81.2% (n = 1307) were involved in accidents due to other causes. Within the group of patients involved in work-related accidents, alcohol consumption was more frequent in males (13.3%) than in females (1.8%) (p = 0.016) and clearly lower than in patients injured by accidents due to other causes. In work--related accidents we found a correlation between the educational standard of patients and the frequency of alcohol consumption. The mean blood alcohol concentration was lower in patients involved in work-related accidents (0.76 +/- 0.58 g/l) compared to other injuries (1.63 g/l +/- 0.74 g/l). No correlations were found concerning benzodiazepine use and demographic variables and all measured benzodiazepine plasma levels were within the therapeutic range.