Many construction workers are diagnosed with chronic muscle and joint injuries and are frequently prescribed opioid painkillers. In fact, many who suffer from workplace back, shoulder and wrist injuries that are not readily fixed, turn to medication to manage pain so they can return to work quickly.
Unfortunately, widespread use of opioids in the construction industry puts workers at risk; construction workers have the highest death rate due to opioid overdose of any occupation in the U.S.. Every year, nearly 50 percent of construction workers are diagnosed with a musculoskeletal disorder and one fourth are prescribed opioids to manage the pain. So many are being prescribed opioids to treat long term pain that few are able to stop.
Over prescribing opioids and associated misuse is not new to the construction industry, but people are starting to take it more seriously given the risk it poses to workers. Not only are doctors less likely to prescribe opioids for long term use, but those who have been in the industry longer make a point to discourage younger workers from their use, urging them to take the time off they need to get well instead.
Nonetheless, not everyone one has caught on to the dangers of opioid medication for the treatment of pain from injuries sustained on the job. It is important to raise awareness not only regarding proper treatment for work injuries, but also improving work practices and eliminating hazards on the job to prevent injuries from happening in the first place.
If you or a family member has been injured on the job, workers’ compensation is there to cover medical bills and lost wages as you recover. Third party personal injury claims may provide more compensation. It is important to work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you get all of the benefits you are entitled to. Contact the Davenport workers’ compensation lawyers of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for immediate assistance at 563-355-6478.