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Thu December 07 2023

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USA sees rise in workplace overdoses

19 Dec 19 An annual US report into fatal occupational injuries has found that the overall rate has remained unchanged but that suicide and unintentional overdoses at work increased.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Report found that unintentional overdoses at work increased by 12% - the sixth year of increases, reflecting a broader opioid crisis. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has teamed with the National Safety Council on the release of a toolkit to help employers address opioid abuse in their workplaces and support workers in recovery.

Suicide at work increased by 11% in 2018. OSHA created a new webpage with free and confidential resources to help identify the warning signs of suicide and to help users know who and how to call for help.

The report also showed a 14% decline in work-related fatal falls from heights, the lowest total since 2013. Enforcement efforts helped abate more than 7,000 fall-related hazards in the construction industry.

“OSHA will continue to use BLS data for enforcement targeting within its jurisdiction to help prevent tragedies,” said principal deputy assistant secretary of occupational safety and health Loren Sweatt. “Inspections for OSHA were up, and we will work with state plans so employers and workers can find compliance assistance tools in many forms or call the agency to report unsafe working conditions. Any fatality is one too many.”

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