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The opioid-related death rate for those employed in construction and extraction occupations was six times the average rate for all Massachusetts workers, according to a report released Wednesday by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The study links opioid-related deaths to industries and occupations, finding that those who work in high-risk fields tend to be at higher risk for opioid dependence. Construction and extraction workers accounted for more than 24% of all opioid-related deaths among the working population — 4,302 total worker deaths between 2011 and 2015.
Information from Massachusetts death certificates was used in studying opioid-related overdose deaths over the four-year period by industry and occupation, according to the study, which also relied on findings from several national surveys to explore factors that may potentially contribute to differences in the rates of fatal opioid overdose among workers in different industries and occupations. It found that overall, 25.1 workers died for every 100,000, the statewide average rate.
The study found that construction and extraction workers had both a high rate, at 150.6 deaths per 100,000 workers; and a high number of opioid-related overdose deaths, at 1,096 over the study’s four-year term.
Other findings from the Massachusetts study include:
There were a record number of overdose deaths from opioids and heroin in the United States in 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.