Overdose fatalities at worksites and opioid use in the construction industry
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Overdose fatalities at worksites and opioid use in the construction industry

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    "Construction workers are among the segments of the U.S. population opioids have hit hardest. Recent state-level studies of opioid overdose deaths show that construction workers are six to seven times more likely to die of an overdose than workers in other professions. The impact of opioids to our field led us to make it the focus of this Quarterly Data Report. Section 1 examines a small subset of construction workers who died of an overdose: those who died on a worksite. These are figures for which we have national data, but there is not equivalent national data yet about how many of the 130 Americans who die each day from an opioid overdose work in construction. This report also reveals other gaps in our understanding of the impact of opioids on construction workers. For example, Section 2 contains the surprising finding that the percentage of construction workers who used prescribed opioids, on average, is slightly lower than workers in all industries combined. Our assumption before conducting this analysis was the reverse, given that construction has one of the highest injury rates of all industries, particularly musculoskeletal disorders that often result in chronic pain and long-term pain management. One possible explanation for this counter-intuitive finding: construction workers are less likely to have health insurance than workers in other major industry sectors, and so they may be less likely to receive a prescription for opioids than workers in other sectors. While the impact of opioids on the construction industry and its workers is becoming clearer, there remains much we need to learn to understand and respond to the damage they are causing. We look forward to receiving your feedback on this important report and working collectively to minimize the impact opioids are having on workers, their families, the industry, and society overall." - NIOSHTIC-2

    NIOSHTIC no. 20058558

    The CPWR Data Center is part of CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.CPWR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and training institution created by North America’s Building Trades Unions, and serves as its research arm. CPWR has focused on construction safety and health research since 1990. The Quarterly Data Reports – a series of publications analyzing construction-related data, is part of our ongoing surveillance project funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

    CPWR is the research and training arm of NABTU. Production of this document was supported by cooperative agreement OH 009762 from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIOSH.


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