Prescription painkillers, especially opioid prescription painkillers, can prove hazardous to workers.
Many workers use prescription painkillers for their injuries. While these are legal and are given with a valid prescription, opioid prescription painkillers can prove hazardous to workers. Prescription painkillers are addictive and according to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 45 people die every day due to drug overdose. Prescription painkillers can cause impairment leading to disastrous workplace accidents, injuring the drug user as well as others. The NSC has made certain observations that highlight the dangers of opioid prescription drug use at the workplace. (Learn more – Opioid Use Among Injured Workers)
Key Findings About Prescription Painkillers
- Impairment caused by opioid painkillers can cause a worker to make critical errors at work. These errors endanger other workers and expose them to serious injury, especially for workers handling heavy machinery and for vehicle drivers.
- While prescription painkillers relieve an individual from pain, they can cause more harm to the user. They can delay recovery, reduce the ability to return to work, or increase the recovery time.
- Every employee taking prescription painkillers should ensure that the employee is fit to return to work to ensure safety for the employee as well as others around.
- Workers’ compensation claims for prescription painkiller users is higher than for non-prescription painkiller users. The compensation amount for an employee using prescribed painkillers for a work-related injury can be four times more compared to other workers.
- The NSC reported that injured workers receiving more than one-week of painkiller prescription drugs shortly after the injury have twice the risk of sustaining an injury. This in turn leads to the likelihood of an increase in disability claims for opioid prescription drug users.
Workers using prescribed opioid painkillers are in danger of becoming addicted to them. It becomes difficult for addicted employees to resume a normal course of life, at times leading to devastating consequences. It is often seen that addicts tend to consider rehabilitation advice from employers rather than friends and family.
St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workers’ compensation benefits are available for workers injured at the workplace. Consult a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer for legal assistance. Call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 for a case evaluation.