The home building industry has been deeply affected by the national epidemic of opioid overprescribing, addiction, and fatal overdose. The nature of the construction industry leads many home building workers to rely on opioid pain relievers to get back to work quickly after an injury or accident. This can lead to dependence, misuse, and addiction to prescription painkillers or replacement drugs, such as heroin.
But there are steps supervisors and business owners can take, as outlined in this toolkit, to help prevent misuse of opioids. Prevention of opioid misuse starts before anyone sets foot on the worksite and there are many touchpoints where you can help prevent opioid misuse and addiction among your workers and subcontractors.
The materials consist of a comprehensive downloadable guide (PDF) and a podcast featuring best practices and legal issues arising from the development of a return to work policy (embedded below).
Strategies for prevention of opioid misuse include:
- Prioritizing worksite safety to reduce injuries and accidents
- Providing employee education on prescription opioids and alternatives for pain relief to reduce misuse of prescribed medications
- Working with your workers’ compensation carrier to support injured workers through policies and programs, such as light duty return-to-work after an injury or through a flexible paid time off plan
- Providing an employee assistance program (EAP) to help workers address their concerns before they turn into much more complex problems
- Setting up a worksite overdose response program that can save a life in the case of accidental overdose.
This toolkit touches on topics including:
- Ensuring a Safe Worksite to Reduce Injuries and Accidents
- Alternatives to Opioids for Pain and Injuries
- Employee Education: Know the Facts About Taking Opioid Medications
- Working with Your Workers’ Compensation Insurance Carrier to Prevent Opioid Misuse
- How Post-Accident/Post-Injury Light Duty Work Can Prevent Opioid Misuse
- How Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) Help to Address Opioid Misuse
- Setting Up a Worksite Overdose Response (Naloxone) Program