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Opioids are a powerful class of drug and usage has proven to result in debilitating addictions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug overdose-related deaths are up and six out of 10 of the fatalities involve an opioid. Since 1999, the amount of prescription opioids sold in the United States has essentially quadrupled while there has not been a change in the amount of pain being reported.
The CDC has characterized the situation as an epidemic, and this crisis is particularly concerning for employers. You have a duty to maintain a working environment that is “free from recognizable hazards … causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employee” under the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s (OSHA) general duty clause. Opioid use among your workers could have a serious impact on that environment.
Consider, too, that if an employee is injured on the job, he or she may be prescribed a powerful opioid to manage the pain. The longer the employee is on that medication, the greater the risk of addition. What can your organization do to minimize the risk of addiction when employees are taking prescribed drugs to manage chronic or acute pain?
Also, employers need to be clear on what they can and can’t do to enforce drug-free workplace policies where medical and/or recreational marijuana usage is permitted under state law.
Plus, what are the steps you should take enforce your drug-use policy without violating the ADA or other federal laws, such as HIPAA?
Use this comprehensive on-demand webinar on these issues and more. Tess Benham, a National Safety Council’s (NSC) expert on developing, implementing, and evaluating programs to prevent prescription drug overdose and Patricia S. Eyres, a skilled ADA attorney, will explain practical—and legal—steps you must take to manage the impact of the opioid epidemic and the growing legalization of medical and recreational marijuana.
If you ordered an on-demand webinar, your access instructions with link to download all materials will be sent to you via email within 24 hours