Opioid abuse blamed for increase in worker injuries, business losses

Insurance giant CNA says concerns are increasing in the construction industry.

July 09, 2015 |
Opioid abuse blamed for increase in worker injuries, business losses

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Two new reports by insurance company CNA highlight the risk from employee abuse of opioid drugs, with the construction industry named as one of two industries at high risk.

An estimated 15.1% of construction workers and 6.5% of manufacturing workers have engaged in illicit drug use, CNA says. CNA used claim data to analyze industry averages against potential opioid abusers and post-accident spending.

"The opioid abuse epidemic is taking a toll on many aspects of the U.S. economy, including businesses' workers' compensation losses," said Bill Boyd, senior vice president, Risk Control, CNA. "The delay of returning injured employees to work can affect operations and, therefore, negatively impact a company's bottom line. Opioid abuse is a real and emerging risk for businesses to consider, and through these Risk Outlooks, I hope our customers will learn solutions to avoid return-to-work pitfalls."

"By partnering with leading construction and manufacturing associations, we have seen increased concern about prescription opioid abuse, as well as how it increases worker injuries and businesses' losses," said John Tatum, senior vice president, Middle Market, CNA. "Many of these associations are developing programs to educate their members about the issue in order to provide the tools, training, and resources they need to address opioid abuse in their own workplaces."

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