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Workers in contracting trades lead in opioid use: NCCI

Posted On: Jun. 17, 2020 11:12 AM CST


Workers compensation claims in the contracting industry have relatively higher opioid usage and almost double the costs when compared with the other industry groups, which researchers say is caused in part by the occurrence of more severe claims, according to a report released this month by the National Council on Compensation Insurance.

Twenty percent of workers compensation claims in the contracting industry, which includes such trades as construction and roofing, receive an opioid, compared with 14% of other industry groups such as manufacturing and clerical, according to the report by the Boca Raton, Florida-based ratings agency that examined data from claims between 2012 and 2017.

The report also showed that opioid prescriptions for those working in contracting are 20% stronger when looking at morphine-equivalent strength. The report also found that the average cost per claim in construction stood at $12,760, versus $5,608 in all other industry segments. 

Meanwhile, overall opioid usage has experienced decreases in recent years, including among the contracting industry, the report highlights. Despite large decreases, the contracting industry group remains higher relative to the other groups. Between 2012 and 2017, overall per-claim opioid usage fell by 49% in the contracting industry group.