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August 20, 2018

Workplace Drug Overdoses Drive Need for Action

Latest posts by Atlantic Research Team (see all)

In 2016, 90% of Kentucky overdose deaths involved opioids.

As the substance abuse rates rise due to increased opioid use, preventing workplace overdose fatalities is increasingly becoming a reality for employers.

The Kentucky Fatality Assessment & Control Evaluation (FACE) Program has issued a hazard alert after 2017 data showed five employees overdosed in the workplace, or 7.4% of the state’s 68 workplace fatalities.

The organization, which is tasked with researching and preventing occupational fatalities, highlighted the following three fatalities in its bulletin:

Case 1: At 8:50 am, a mason working on a construction project left the worksite and entered his personal vehicle located in a temporary employee parking lot. When coworkers searched for him, he was found in his vehicle with his head leaning against the driver side window. The employee was transported to the local hospital where he died. The cause of death was a combined (Fentanyl/Methadone) drug overdose. (2017)

Case 2: An ironworker did not return from a scheduled break that ran from 8:30-8:50 am. At approximately 11:00 am, coworkers found the employee unresponsive in a break room and he was transported to the hospital where he died. The cause of death was an acute methamphetamine overdose. (2017)

Case 3: A residential construction worker was found unresponsive by a coworker in a worksite bathroom. The employee was found with a needle and a spoon near his body. He was transported to the local hospital where he died. The cause of death was a combined (Fentanyl/Heroin) drug overdose. (2017)

Drug use is contributing to an increase in worker turnover, reduced productivity, and increased injury and death rates. The most frequent industries affected as a result of drug overdoses in Kentucky include construction, restaurants/food service and manufacturing, according to Kentucky FACE.

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Related Training DVDs:

Drug and Alcohol Abuse for Employees Training Video on DVD

Workplace Drug Discuss the hazards of substance abuse, how employees can avoid them and what they can do to help keep their workplace drug and alcohol-free. View Product

Drug and Alcohol Abuse for Managers and Supervisors Video & DVD

Workplace Drug Discuss drug and alcohol abuse, the damage it causes to workers and the businesses that employ them. View Product

Drug and Alcohol Abuse for Employees in Construction

Workplace Drug Covers: Substances that are often abused, alcohol, marijuana and other depressants, stimulants and narcotics, how people get “hooked”, drug dependency. View Product

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