When you think of workplace health and safety, potential drug and alcohol abuse by employees may not be the first thing on a contractor’s mind. As construction industry professionals, it’s easier to focus on the task at hand and how a project needs to be handled rather than what employees may be doing in their personal time. However, if substance abuse problems carryover from the employee’s personal life into your workplace it may result in more accidents, project delays, and your need for a Michigan OSHA defense attorney.
In this four-part article, we will first discuss the concerning recent statistics pertaining to substance abuse in the workplace. In the second and third section, we will discuss ways the construction industry is impacted by substance abuse. In the final section, we will discuss preventive measures contractors can take to ensure their workplace is drug-free.
Substance Abuse By the Numbers
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), nearly 70 percent of all illegal drug users are employed and active in the workplace. In addition, studies show that over 25 percent of employees are aware of the sale of illegal drugs in their workplace. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, over the last decade, 15 percent of construction workers have admitted to illegal drug use and 18 percent have admitted to heavy consumption of alcohol.
Substance Abuse Reaches Staggering Total in Workplace Deaths
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most rapidly emerging fatal occupational injury pertains to workplace substance-related deaths from drugs and alcohol. Since 2012, the number of fatalities at the workplace involving substance abuse has increased by at least 25 percent each year. Because of this troubling trend, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is committed to preventing substance-related accidents in the workplace and strongly urges contractors to educate themselves on ways to monitor and prevent substance abusers from working on their project and seeking the treatment they need to get better.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.