Injury rates, severity, and drug testing programs in small construction companies

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16 Scopus citations


Problem Construction work is hazardous and workers consistently rank in the top of all occupations and industries for illicit drug and heavy alcohol use. Methods Drug-testing programs were classified into three categories: no program, pre-employment/post-accident, and pre-employment/post-accident/random/ suspicion. We analyzed workers' compensation claims from 1,360 construction companies over a six-year period to assess the possible association of testing program with injury rate. Results Compared to no program, results respectively were RR = 0.85 (CI = 0.72 - 1.0) and RR = 0.97 (CI = 0.86 - 1.10) for all injuries, and RR = 0.78 (CI = 0.60 - 1.03) and RR = 1.01 (CI = 0.86 - 1.19) for lost-time injuries. Variability of results was exhibited across trade and union status, among other categories. Summary Drug-testing programs may be associated with lower, non-significant, injury rates in this population. Impact on Industry Drug-testing programs may be associated with lower injury rates, but care should be exercised to ensure accurate injury reporting, characterize underlying safety practices of a company, and to determine quality and consistency of testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a traineeship from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , through the Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety Education and Research Center, University of Minnesota ( T42OH008434 ) and by the CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training through NIOSH cooperative agreement OH009762 . The content of this work is solely the responsibilities of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIOSH, CPWR, or TBG. The authors acknowledge The Builders Group for access and continued use of their data.


  • construction
  • drug testing
  • injury
  • occupation
  • workers' compensation


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