Opioids — including heroin and fentanyl — killed nearly 1,000 construction workers in the Midwest at a cost of more than $5 billion to the region’s construction industry in 2015, according to estimates in a new report by the Midwest Economic Policy Institute.
The report confirms a trend identified by Dayton Daily News data analysis in December that showed all types of laborers — particularly those in construction — are more likely to die from opioid overdoses than Ohioans in other professions.
READ FULL STORY: Construction workers, laborers among most likely to die from drug ODs
The report highlights a range of policy recommendations — from limiting opioid dosage, updating drug testing policies, and promoting treatment in health insurance plans, to educating employees about responsible pain management, temporarily putting injured workers in low-risk positions, and guaranteeing two weeks of paid sick leave — to help employers and policymakers combat the crisis.
“Untreated substance abuse can cost contractors thousands of dollars each year in health care, absenteeism, and turnover costs, while preventing abuse or getting an employee into recovery can ultimately save thousands of dollars,” Manzo added. “Taking tangible steps to combat this crisis is a moral and economic imperative for both industry leaders and elected officials.”
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