Hidden Economics of Drugs in the Workplace (Infographic)

Though the health effects of drugs are devastating, the economic impact of drugs can also prove harmful.

Setting aside the emotional and physical tolls that drugs have on a user, the abuse of drugs–both legal and illicit–have serious financial repercussions in business. Costs associated with drugs–usually related to crime, loss of productivity, absenteeism, and health care–account for about $700 billion annually, according to results from the National Survey on Drug Use & Health.

We’ve created an infographic that highlights the overall costs of substance abuse in the workplace, breaking it down into costs associated with alcohol ($224 billion/year), tobacco ($295 billion/year), and illicit drugs ($193 billion/year).

Additionally, the infographic depicts the industries that see the highest rates of substance use and abuse, including general construction, mining, general manufacturing, transportation and warehouses, and hospitality and food service.

Check out the National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance website for more information and statistics regarding the impact of drugs in the workplace.

To talk to an Occupational Safety and Health expert about crafting a Drug Free Program or Policy for your workplace, contact SCT at 1-800-204-1729, or contact us via the electronic form below.








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SCT Recognizes National Drug-Free Work Week

This week marks the 11th annual recognition of National Drug-Free Work Week.

Started by the U.S. Department of Labor as a way to improve safety and health in the construction industry, National Drug-Free Work Week now highlights the importance of keeping substances out of all workplaces and encourages workers with a drug or alcohol problem to seek help.

According to the latest statistics from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which uses data from 2008 to 2012,  an annual average of 8.7% of full-time workers aged 18 to 64 used alcohol heavily in the past month, 8.6% used illicit drugs in the past month, and 9.5% were dependent on or abused alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year.

Mining (17.5 percent)  and construction (16.5 percent) saw the highest rates of past month heavy alcohol use, while the food services industry had the highest past month rate of illicit drug use.

In Ohio, home to our headquarters in Middleburg Heights,  the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation offers premium discounts to companies that participate in its Drug Free Safety Program.

At SCT, our Occupational Health experts have decades of experience in guiding companies through the requirements of the Ohio BWC’s drug free program. The deadline for companies to complete all drug testing, training and reporting is approaching at the end of March. The final application is due at the end of May.

Having a Drug Free Safety Program brings many additional benefits to a business, including fewer workplace accidents and injuries, reduced absenteeism and employee turnover, and increased productivity.

Watch our video below to learn more about how we can help your company can encourage employees to live healthy lives while also improving your bottom line.

To get your Drug Free Safety Program started, contact SCT today online or call us at 440-449-6000. Our experts are ready to help you reach all of your safety goals.

And did we mention that flu shots are in stock? Learn more by clicking here. 

Ohio BWC Drug Free Safety Program Offers Premium Rebates

If your company is located in Ohio, the state’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has a program that could both save you money and help you decrease workplace accidents.

Watch our video above to learn all you need to know about the Ohio BWC Drug Free Safety Program, which offers a four to seven percent discount on workers’ compensation premiums.

At SCT, we can guide you through all the requirements, deadlines, and paperwork to make the process as easy as possible. Our Occupational Health experts, led by SCT President Gail Grueser, guide dozens of companies through the program each year and teach you and your employees the skills to keep your DFSP running smoothly for years to come.

Don’t hesitate: the March 30th deadline for private employers will be here before you know it. Contact SCT today online or give us a call at 440-449-6000.

Prevent Employee Hearing Loss with Simple Solutions

Occupational hearing loss is the most common workplace injury, with most cases occurring in the manufacturing sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Do you know how to keep yourself and your employees safe? Watch the second video in our Protecting Workers with Occupational Health series that’s all about protecting those ears. You will learn a number of strategies to ensure that your employees will work safely without damaging their hearing.

Miss any of our videos? Want to be alerted as soon as we post a new one? Subscribe to our YouTube channel or Like us on Facebook! 

Protect Your Workers with Flu Vaccines from SCT

It’s that time of year yet again! Flu season is right around the corner, and getting your employees vaccinated is the best way to prevent the flu from taking over your workplace.

Each year, the flu causes 111 million missed days of work and about $7 billion in lost productivity, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Watch our video below to find out the importance of the flu vaccinations and learn some other habits that can go a long way in keeping your workplace free of sickness.

Want to get your employees vaccinated or avoid the long lines at the pharmacy? At SCT, we have flu shots available with no insurance needed. We can also bring our services directly to you with our mobile medical unit, so your employees won’t even have to leave the office. Contact us today online or call 1-800-204-1729.

NIOSH updates ergonomics guide

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has updated its 20-year-old guide to ergonomics to reflect a stronger emphasis on the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs).

Though the 1997 primer “Elements of Ergonomic Program” remains an active document/reference guide for NIOSH, a new partner webpage increases the focus on WMSDs and the necessary steps employers and workers should take to prevent them and other injuries related to ergonomics.

In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 31 percent, or 356,910 cases, of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses were caused by musculoskeletal disorders. Of those WMSDs, the median time away from work was 12 days for each affected employee. When compared to the median time away from work from other work-related injuries, which is recorded as 8 days, it is clear that poor ergonomics training and WMSDs cost businesses more than other injuries.

NIOSH’s strengthened ergonomics webpage offers a six-step program designed to help employers identify, implement, evaluate, and maintain ways to better protect workers against WMSDs.

In our July video series, “Safety Hurdles in Health Care,” one of the episodes focused on strains, sprains and other WMSDs often suffered by health care workers. Given the physicality involved in their jobs, workers in hospitals, assisted living facilities and other health care workplaces often face a greater risk of WMSDs. Check out our safety video below.

Ergonomics also comes into play with office workers. Here’s a Safety Minute Update video on 5 tips for better ergonomic posture at the office! Don’t forget to get up, stretch, and walk around during the day. Don’t sit behind a desk for 8 hours straight!

For ergonomics training and all other occupational safety and health needs, contact the safety experts at SCT at 1-800-204-1729.

CDC Report Gives Insight into Young Silicosis Deaths

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that most of the young people who died from silicosis worked in jobs where exposure to silica is common. As silicosis is often a disease that affects older people after years of exposure, the CDC wanted to learn more about the disease in younger people.

Between 1999 and 2015, 55 people aged 15 to 44 had pneumoconiosis (lung disease) “due to other dust containing silica” listed on their death certificates as either the underlying or contributing cause of death. Of those, 38 (69%) were assigned pneumoconiosis due to other dust containing silica. Thirty of the 38 people worked in the manufacturing and construction industries, which have high levels of silica exposure.

Seventeen of the 55 people (31%) had pneumoconiosis due to talc dust, which is a specific type of silica. Only 13 of the 17 deaths had occupation data available, and none of those 13 worked jobs that are associated with talc exposure. They also had drug use or overdose as a contributing cause of death, which suggests their deaths were not related to their occupations, according to the CDC.

The CDC concluded that the study shows more research is needed to discern how to best combat silica exposure in the workplace. The organization still suggests following the hierarchy of controls as the best way to face the issue.

Silica dust exposure has been a long-running occupational health concern with a new OSHA rule going into effect in June 2016. However, the effective date has been delayed and is now scheduled for Sept. 23, 2017. About 2.3 million U.S. workers are exposed to silica dust. Check out our infographic below for more important information about the dangers of respirable crystalline silica.

Is your business prepared for the new silica standard? OSHA’s enforcement date is less than two months away! Contact us today online or call 1-800-204-1729 to make sure your employees don’t get left in the dust.

 

 

Healthcare Workers at High Risk for Sprains and Strains

Today we’re finishing up our Safety Hurdles in Healthcare video series with a look at one of the most common workplace injuries: sprains and strains.

Handling and moving patients is by far the biggest cause of musculoskeletal disorders in the healthcare field. Back injuries alone cost the healthcare industry about $20 billion each year. Take a look at our new video below for some great ways to avoid these costly injuries.

Remember, you can keep up with our videos by following us on our various social media pages: Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Twitter.

If you’re ready to dive in and get the best workplace safety experts on your team, contact us today online or give us a call at 1-800-204-1729.

 

NSC releases State of Safety report

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The National Safety Council has graded each state in the U.S. in its “The State of Safety” report, and no state received an A grade. Twenty-six states — including Ohio — did not receive a passing grade.

The results are sobering for safety professionals, but the report itself takes a look at three broad areas in which states could improve safety measures to reduce the instances of preventable deaths.

“Preventable deaths in the United States are at an all-time high. There are 40.6 million serious, preventable injuries and over 146,000 fatalities each year, with more than half occurring at home,” according to the report.

The three areas NSC studied include Road Safety, Home and Community Safety, and Workplace Safety. See the table below for a full topic breakdown of each section’s evaluation points.

Topic Weighted Score Breakdown

Road Safety Issues
Alcohol Impaired Driving 16%
Child Passengers 16%
Distracted Driving 20%
Older Drivers 8%
Seat Belts 13%
Speeding 9%
Teen Drivers 12%
Vulnerable Road Users 6%
Total 100%

Home and Community Safety Issues
Drownings 14%
Firearms 20%
Home Fires 17%
Older Adults Falls 16%
Poisonings 19%
Youth Sports-Related Concussions 14%
Total 100%

Workplace Safety Issues
Prevention, Preparedness and Enforcement 50%
Workers’ Compensation 25%
Worker Health and Wellbeing 25%
Total 100%

Here at SCT we put our focus on Workplace Safety and protecting workers on the job. Though still not ideal, our home state of Ohio had Workplace Safety Issues as its highest-rated section in the State of Safety report. Ohio placed 19th out of 51 in Workplace Safety Issues. The 51 is comprised of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

The state of Illinois, home of our Chicago-area location, came in at 2nd overall and was the highest-ranked state in workplace safety.

Read the complete report here.

View State-by-State results here.

How did your state rank in the NSC’s State of Safety report? Do any findings surprise you?

For all your occupational safety and health needs, contact the experts at SCT at 800-204-1729 or via our website contact form.

Bloodborne Pathogens a Constant Healthcare Hazard

Nearly 6 million workers in healthcare and related fields are at risk for exposure to bloodborne pathogens, which can cause a host of serious diseases including hepatitis and HIV.

In our third video focusing on Safety Hurdles in Healthcare, find out what OSHA requires to properly protect your employees from exposure to this potentially deadly occupational hazard.

Missed an earlier video in the series? We’ve got them all right here. And while you’re at our YouTube Channel, be sure to check out the rest of our safety videos covering topics including ladder safety and outdoor working hazards.

For all of your occupational health and safety needs, contact the experts at SCT. Want to learn more about our team? Click here!