What If My Co-Worker’s Drug Use Leads to Me Suffering an On-the-Job Injury?
In early August, Builder, a home-building industry information and news magazine, published an article about how companies are dealing with employee drug use. The article focused on the role employer drug testing policies play in ensuring that their employees do not suffer workplace injury due to a co-worker’s drug use.
Could My Employer’s Drug Testing Policy Lead to Me Suffering an On-the-Job Injury?
As more and more states legalize recreational marijuana and the opioid painkiller epidemic continues to sweep the nation, employer’s drug policies are becoming vitally important. For example, in an industry such as construction, having a worker or contractor who is using marijuana or addicted to prescription painkillers could lead to an accident that causes severe injuries or even death. Therefore, many employers are electing to go with a no drugs policy to ensure their employees’ safety.
Still, what if an employer chooses to forego a drug policy or drug testing and one of their employees causes an on-the-job accident that injures or kills others? According to the Builder article, Labor Department statistics show that on average 40 percent of workplace deaths are drug-related. Serious injuries and deaths can result in injured workers and the families of workers who are killed on the job having injury and wrongful death claims against employers as well as the individual who caused the accident.
In some cases, injured workers and their families will receive workers’ compensation as a result of the incident. In others, they may pursue a personal injury claim, wrongful death lawsuit or third party claim against the employer, co-worker or a third party, such as a contractor or subcontractor.
The Columbus workers’ compensation lawyers at Larrimer & Larrimer have been successfully fighting for the rights of injured workers and their families since 1929.