Substance Use and Substance Use Disorder by Industry

Substance use negatively affects U.S. industry through lost productivity, workplace accidents and injuries, employee absenteeism, low morale, and increased illness. U.S. companies lose billions of dollars a year because of employees’ alcohol and drug use and related problems.1 Research shows that the rate of substance use varies by occupation and industry.2 The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) gathers information about substance use and dependence or abuse. NSDUH defines illicit drugs as marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), inhalants, hallucinogens, heroin, or prescription-type drugs used nonmedically.3 Heavy alcohol use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on 5 or more days in the past 30 days. NSDUH also includes a series of questions to assess symptoms of dependence on or abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs during the past year. These questions are used to classify persons as dependent on or abusing substances based on criteria in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).4 In this report, dependence on or abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs is referred to as a “substance use disorder.” (Read more: source:

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Safety Leadership: Applying behavior-based safety to serious and fatal injury prevention

21 Feb 2015 Safety

Sometimes the best tool for a complex problem can be right in front of us. But does that principle apply in the case of something as complex and urgent as a serious injury or fatality (SIF)? For years, organizations have sought to understand the growing gap between incident rates that have steadily declined across industry and fatality rates that have not. The answers have challenged the conventional wisdom on accident causation.

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Keeping linemen safe

21 Dec 2014 Safety

As Lyndsi Guillien ate breakfast with a friend before a recent speech in New Orleans, a steady stream of utility linemen and their spouses filled a hotel ballroom. Guillien’s sadness returned. Then again, it never really left. Not since her husband, Nick, died Oct. 6, 2013, as a result of injuries he sustained after a vehicle rollover incident while on the job.

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