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Study Finds Construction Workers At High Risk For Opioid Deaths


      A study released by Massachusetts public health officials Wednesday shows the extent that on-the-job injuries play in the opioid crisis.  

   The report found construction workers, farmers, fishermen, and others in occupations where injury is common, and sick days are not, die from opioid overdoses at five-six times the average rate for all workers in the state.

   Jeff Newton, a spokesman with the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, said the study points to the need to improve workplace safety.

   "And we can also see paid time off as not something that could hurt business, but as something that could save lives," he said in an interview.

   The state health department said it would follow up with research to determine to what extent work-related injuries serve as an initiation to opioid pain treatment, and do educational outreach to high-risk worker groups.


The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.