OSHA TRADE RELEASE: INCREASE IN WORKPLACE DRUG OVERDOSES CONTINUES

According to a December 19, 2017 Trade Release from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, drug overdoses in the workplace continue to rise. Citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of 2016 Fatal Occupational Injuries reports, OSHA notes that "the number of overdoses on the job increase 32 percent in 2016, and the number of fatalities has increased by at 25 percent annually since 2012."

The OSHA release highlights a troubling trend. As opioid addiction grows nationwide, the workplace is likewise affected. Employers must take aggressive action to combat addiction in the workplace. Addiction remains a significant public health issue, and effective employment policies are a must in today's workplace. Drug testing and employee assistance programs are two tools which can be used to both assist and protect employees.

Employers are urged to consult with legal counsel and review their employment policies to limit the impact of this ongoing crisis on the job.

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