The impact of drug use on workplace safety has been an increasingly difficult challenge for employers. This week, two congressional subcommittees will explore the issue.

On Thursday, February 15th at 10:00am Eastern, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions and the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections will hold a joint hearing on “The Opioids Epidemic: Implications for America’s Workplaces.”

You can watch the hearing live or on-demand at this link.

Husch Blackwell partners Brian Hendrix and Stephen Cockerham presented a related webinar recently: “Creating Safe, Drug-free Workplaces That Comply With OSHA’s Latest Guidance.” You can view the webinar on demand by clicking here.

Concern by OSHA

In December, OSHA indicated that it is concerned with the effect of drug abuse, and particularly opioids, on workplace safety after 2016 job fatality numbers showed overdose-related workplace fatalities increasing by 32 percent. At the time, OSHA issued a statement commenting,

As President Trump recognized by declaring opioid abuse a Nationwide Public Health Emergency, the nation’s opioid crisis is impacting Americans every day at home and, as this data demonstrates, increasingly on the job. The Department of Labor will work with public and private stakeholders to help eradicate the opioid crisis as a deadly and growing workplace issue.

It remains to be seen exactly what steps OSHA will take to further these goals.