Opioid Management Guidelines for the Construction Trades

Opioids are a significant problem in the U.S.  Opioids are the leading cause of unintentional overdose deaths.  The construction industry has high rates of pain and musculoskeletal injuries among workers.  Some workers, including young workers, seek medical treatment and are commonly prescribed opioids to relieve their pain.  Having limited to no sick leave for recovery and poor job security can lead to workers coming to work when in pain and possibly under the influence of painkillers.  Long-term use of opioids can lead to addiction and may eventually lead to job loss.

The Workplace Guidelines to Prevent Opioid and Substance Abuse for the Construction Trades is now available to help organizations improve their prevention program for opioids and substance abuse. 

For organizations who do not have much of a program to address opioid and substance abuse, the document called Starting a Prevention Program for Opioid Abuse in Construction is an easy way to get started.

For more information, please contact Dr. Ann Marie Dale at amdale@wustl.edu

“Construction worker” icon by SBTS, “Back Pain” icon by Adrien Coquet, “Medicine” icon by Blaise Sewell, “Poor” icon by Kamin Ginkaew, “Spasm” icon by Gan Khoon, “Skid Steer” icon by Alex Fuller, from thenounproject.com.

Construction workers are 6-7 times more likely to die of an overdose than workers in other professions
Dong, X.S., R.D. Brooks, and C.T. Cain
1 in 3 construction workers have musculoskeletal disorders (MSD); Prescription opioid use is 3x higher among construction workers with a MSD
Dong, X.S., R.D. Brooks, and S. Brown
1 in 5 construction workers have a substance use disorder
National Opinion Research Center and National Safety Council