When the Census Bureau released its annual report on occupation fatalities, it showed that workplace fatalities due to overdoses increased 25% in 2017, the fifth consecutive year that overdose deaths have increased by at least that rate.
[Related: A risky business—Examining suicide in construction]
“The scourge of opioid addiction unfortunately continues to take its toll on workers across the country, demonstrating the importance of this Administration’s efforts to tackle this crisis,” Loren Sweatt, acting assistant secretary for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said in a statement following the release of the report.
The National Association of Home Builders is working to reverse the trend of overdose deaths. The association published new resources on Monday to help home builders address opioid use among their workforce.
NAHB notes that construction workers are “significantly more likely to become addicted to opioids, like prescription painkillers, than other workers in the general population and are six times more likely to die as a result of overdose.”
NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde pointed out that the crisis is certainly not limited to our industry.
“Opioid addiction is our nation’s leading public health crisis, and it affects people across all socioeconomic classes, races, genders and jobs, and the home building industry is no exception,” he said in a statement.
NAHB has been working with Advocates for Human Potential Inc. on the materials, with funding from a grant through the Job-Site Safety Institute.
- An executive training package, including a webinar and downloadable materials
- A supervisor training package regarding interventions
- Information on alternatives for pain management
- Downloadable fact sheets that can be shared with workers
- A state-by-state guide to organizations that can provide additional resources regarding opioid use
NAHB is making these resources available to members and nonmembers. Visit nahb.org/opioids to learn more and access the materials.