Qualified Remodeler Magazine

MAY 2019

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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in 2000, the panel did not screen for opioids, McCall notes. As the group became more aware of the issue, however, they were eventually incor- ĥĤħĖĩĚęĞģĩĤĩĝĚĩĚĨĩĨţďĝĚŽħĨĩĮĚĖħĬĚęĞęŽģę a fair amount of people who were indeed positive; ėĪĩėĮĮĚĖħĩĝħĚĚĬĚĬĚħĚŽģęĞģĜěĚĬĚħĖģęěĚĬĚħ "We contribute that to not only a deterrent of testing, but also to the education that was a part of the process," he says. "We've actually gotten calls from family members who said, 'Thank you' for putting him or her through this—and for getting ĩĝĚĢĨĩĖħĩĚęĤŻĞģĩĝĚħĞĜĝĩęĞħĚĘĩĞĤģĖĜĖĞģŤ "Everybody, including your coworkers, manag- ers and supervisors, needs to know what's going to happen [if somebody tests positive]," Cooper adds. "Because otherwise people aren't going to report incidents. If something happens and you don't want ĨĤĢĚėĤęĮĩĤĜĚĩŽħĚęĮĤĪšħĚğĪĨĩģĤĩĜĤĞģĜĩĤĩĚġġ That's just what people do—they try and protect those who matter to them." Time to Invest þĤĢĥĖĨĨĞĤģÉĖĥĞĩĮĖģęĘĤģĘĚħģěĤħĩĝĚĨĪŻĚħ- ing or misfortune of others—should play a cen- tral role in any approach to the opioid epidemic. People need to be in an environment where they feel comfortable talking with their superiors about ĨĪėĨĩĖģĘĚĪĨĚĖģęĚĢĥġĤĮĚĚĨĢĪĨĩėĚĘĤģŽęĚģĩ in alerting management if they repeatedly observe any warning signs of opioid abuse in a coworker. ĀĢĥġĤĮĚĚ ĖĨĨĞĨĩĖģĘĚ ĥħĤĜħĖĢĨ ĬĝĞĘĝ ĤŻĚħ counseling and referral services to workers strug- gling with personal or job problems, can provide an opportunity for resolution. "But it has to actu- ĖġġĮėĚĘĤģŽęĚģĩĞĖġĖģęĥĚĤĥġĚĝĖīĚĩĤĠģĤĬĩĝĖĩ ĞĩšĨĘĤģŽęĚģĩĞĖġŤþĤĤĥĚħģĤĩĚĨţĄĬĤĪġęėĚīĚħĮ hesitant to go talk to someone who my workplace recommended if I wasn't 100 percent positive that ĞĩĬĖĨĜĤĞģĜĩĤħĚĢĖĞģĘĤģŽęĚģĩĞĖġĚĨĥĚĘĞĖġġĮĞěĄ had some sort of [substance abuse] issue." ĀŻĚĘĩĞīĚĘĤĢĢĪģĞĘĖĩĞĤģĖėĤĪĩĨĩĖƄģĜĖģęğĤė- site layout decreases the odds of an injury, which reduces the likelihood of a worker being prescribed ĤĥĞĤĞęĨĞģĩĝĚŽħĨĩĥġĖĘĚĂĖĩĝĚħĞģĜěĚĚęėĖĘĠěħĤĢ employees on how to prevent injuries by mitigating or even eliminating workplace hazards, and collab- orating with healthcare providers and insurance companies if an injury does occur will necessitate ĖĘĤġġĚĘĩĞīĚĚŻĤħĩţďĝĚĢĤħĚĥħĤĖĘĩĞīĚĮĤĪĖħĚĤģ it, the better it goes," Cooper says. "That's the bigger picture," Heinlein adds. "How are we making sure it doesn't happen? And if it does, how are we pointing [workers] in the right direction? Because these aren't just disposable peo- ple we put back on the street. They're still part of our communities. If we can get them back on the right path, they may be the best employees we've ever had. We've got to invest the time." disseminate [it]. We try to make it available in the hope that it'll be helpful and useful to people." Right Direction Construction will always entail physical labor and dangerous situations; as a result, injuries could occur at any time in spite of abundant caution and proper training. Some workers, moreover, will be prescribed opioids to manage an injury. A number of states have enacted laws that re- strict the prescribing or dispensing of opioids, and the majority of them instituted seven-day supply limits for naïve patients. But drug testing ensures workers are sober once they come back. "That's the proof in the pudding," Gauthier says. "If you're not doing it, then you're subjectively trying to rely on your diagnostic skills. [Because] there are a lot of reasons why somebody might be ėĚĝĖīĞģĜĖġĞĩĩġĚĤŻĩĤęĖĮĖģęĮĤĪęĤģšĩĬĖģĩĩĤ get into that. Your job as an employer is to mea- sure performance and recognize and reward it—or provide consequences if you don't see it." Many companies, nevertheless, rely too much on a drug testing program to identify workers who might have a substance use disorder. Employers must understand why they want to conduct drug testing and, subsequently, what they should be screening for when vetting prospective employ- ees and checking on current personnel—whether through a random test or following an injury report. "There's a lot of confusion about what works and what doesn't work," says Cooper, who notes a number of standard drug-testing panels do not even screen for common prescription opioids such as oxycodone, which includes painkillers like OxyContin and Percocet. "It's something that can be tough for employers to navigate, and the cost factor is certainly prohibitive for a lot of them." When the Master Builders' Association of Western Pennsylvania began drug testing members Ways to Combat the Opioid Epidemic Educate employees and subcontractors about responsible prescrip- tion opioid use. Provide health insurance that covers substance abuse and mental health treatment. Update policies to include regular drug testing but do not re people immediately. Encourage physical therapy and anti-in- ammatory medication for chronic injuries. Reward workers with at least two weeks of paid sick leave so they can heal safely. "EVERYBODY, INCLUDING YOUR COWORKERS, MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS, NEEDS TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IF SOMEBODY TESTS POSITIVE." Rachael Cooper, National Safety Council QualifiedRemodeler.com May 2019 39

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