NSC Calls for Comprehensive Workplace Policies on Painkiller Use

A National Safety Council report shows the negative impact of opioid painkiller use on employees' safety.

The National Safety Council is calling on employers to develop workplace policies around the use of opioid prescription painkillers after reviewing research and court cases showing the negative impacts of these medicines on employee safety and workers' compensation costs.

According to the research, many workers who have taken opioid painkillers following on-the-job injuries have become addicted. As a result, courts have ordered employers and workers' compensation insurance carriers to pay for detoxification, medication-assisted treatment, and death benefits to surviving family members.

"Employers have a moral and legal responsibility to protect their employees," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "Addressing the use and abuse of prescription painkillers is as important as identifying drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace."

The council has given the following recommendations to help protect workers and mitigate liability: Educate workers about the risks of opioid painkillers; work with insurance carriers to identify inappropriate opioid painkiller prescribing and adopt procedures to manage workers' opioid use; ensure medical providers follow prescribing guidelines and use state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, which track prescribing history; provide supervisor education focused on identifying impaired employees; expand drug testing programs that include testing for all common opioids; and evaluate employee assistance programs and make sure they include access to treatment.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • EHS Management Software Buyer's Guide

    Download this buyer's guide to make more informed decisions as you're looking for an EHS management software system for your organization.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Levels of a Risk Matrix

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe
Bulwark FR Quiz

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - March 2021

    March 2021

    Featuring:

    • EMPLOYEE TESTING
      The Impact of COVID-19 on Drug Testing
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      Preparing for Unpredictable Spring Weather
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Building a Comprehensive Floor Safety Strategy
    • GAS DETECTION
      Gas Hazards and the COVID-19 Vaccine
    View This Issue