MADISON – Three out of four workplaces in America have been impacted by opioid usage according to a new survey from the National Safety Council (NSC). During National Poison Prevention Week – March 17-23 – Wisconsin Safety Council is working with NSC to bring attention to the opioid epidemic, which kills someone every 12 minutes.
The nationwide survey found 38 percent of employers have experienced absenteeism or impaired worker performance due to opioids and 31 percent have experienced a near miss/injury, overdose or an arrest.
While such a large percentage of employers have experienced the effects of opioid usage, only 17 percent feel confident in dealing with the issue.
“Nearly every person in Wisconsin and across the country has been impacted by opioids, and this new data shows our workplaces are no different,” said Katie Yeutter, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) President of Insurance & Safety Services. “We will continue to educate employers on how to best deal with this wide-spread ailment while working with employees to ensure they can spot the warning signs of opioid misuse.”
In an effort to fight back against the rise in opioid use, Wisconsin Safety Council – a program of WMC – will feature an educational session at its upcoming Annual Conference about the impact of opioids in the workplace. Additionally, the conference will focus on numerous other ways to keep workers safe on the job.
“The number of deaths directly resulting from opioids is on the rise, and we need to educate each other on the impacts it is having on families, workplaces, friends and our loved ones,” added Yeutter. “We will continue to share ways for everyone to address this epidemic and reduce the use of opioids.”
During Poison Prevention Week specifically, Wisconsin Safety Council will be focusing on actionable items for individuals to implement at home, work and on the go throughout the week.
- Employers who want more information about managing prescription drug use in the workplace should click here for a free employer kit.
- Watch this video to learn the key signs of an opioid overdose.
- Break down the costs of the opioid epidemic in the workplace with this Substance Use Cost Calculator for employers by clicking here.
- Watch this video to see the stories of employers, families and individuals who are affected by opioids.
The full NSC survey results are available by clicking here.