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Drug-Free Work Week (October 10 to 13): Why it’s a Big Deal on Construction Sites

F Marie Athey OHST

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F Marie Athey OHST | October 6, 2014 | Comments Off on Drug-Free Work Week (October 10 to 13): Why it’s a Big Deal on Construction Sites

Drug-Free Work WeekNo One’s Business

No one who works for a minimum of 40 hours a week wants to be told what to do with his free time. No one who wants to cool off after a hard day’s work is going to feel the need to hear a lecture from anyone. We’ve earned our peace.

Truth of the Matter

But at the end of the day, it’s hard to turn a blind eye at the stats and numbers:

  • Almost 1 in 10 employees drink during the workday (1).
  • 3% of employees use illicit drugs before going to work or during work—and that’s a conservative estimate (2).
  • A study of 182 death-causing truck accidents found that 12.8% of the drivers were under the influence of marijuana and 12.5% were under the influence of alcohol (3).

Dangerous Work

Of all the on-the-job deaths in 2012, 20% were in the construction industry. That is more than any other industry—including law enforcement and military. In 2012, there were 806 US construction workers who died on the job (4).

  • 34% died from falls
  • 10% were struck by objects
  • 8% were electrocutions
  • 6% were smashed or crushed

Looking Out for Ourselves

Drinking responsibly; using legal recreational drugs; taking our medication… We all have a right—and maybe even a need—to do so. But we also have a pretty good idea of how dangerous it is to have heavy equipment swinging over our heads; an idea about the consequences of falling from more than 10 or 12 feet; and the most likely result of a cave in. So we need to think twice.

Most of us work safely, pay attention, and take care of the men and women around us. Unfortunately, some of us take bigger chances than we should.

Sources:

(1) http://www.ndwa.org/pdf/Substance%20Abuse%20in%20the%20Workplace%20Fact%20Sheet%20082114.pdf

(2) http://www.corr.us/substance-use-and-abuse-in-america-today/

(3) http://www.ndwa.org/pdf/Marijuana%20Fact%20Sheet%20111913.pdf

(4) http://robertoflackchronicles.com/the-fatal-four-every-construction-worker-should-know

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