April 02, 2002
The presence of drugs or alcohol, or both, was revealed in 19 percent of all available toxicology reports on workers fatally injured in 1998.
Alcohol was the substance found most often in decedents with positive toxicology reports. Tetrahydrocannibol, the primary psychoactive agent in marijuana, was next most frequently found. Opiates and cocaine were third and fourth, with other substances less frequently reported.
About 1 in 6 of the positive toxicology reports found two or more substances in the fatally injured worker.
These data are from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Thirty-nine States made a total of 3,055 toxicology reports available for study; 593 showed the presence of alcohol or drugs in deceased workers. To find out more, see the article, "Work-related Fatal Injuries in 1998" (PDF 182K), by William Weber and Cherron Cox, in Compensation and Working Conditions, Spring 2001.