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November 28, 2018

Survey: HR pros not equipped to address opioids in the workplace

PHOTO | Steve Heap,

A new survey says only a small percentage of U.S. human resource professionals feel confident about addressing employees who are suffering from an opioid addiction, despite the majority being faced with the epidemic.

The national survey by property and casualty insurer The Hartford, which drew from 2,000 U.S. workers and 500 HR leaders, found 67 percent of companies are impacted by opioid use today or will be in the future. In addition, 65 percent of HR professionals said opioid addiction is having a financial impact on their company today.

However, an adequate response for workers abusing opioids is not in place at most companies, the survey found.

A total of 76 percent of employees and 64 percent of HR workers said they are not trained to help their colleagues who have an addiction. Just under 25 percent of HR workers and 18 percent of employees say they feel “very/extremely confident” that they could identify signs of opioid addiction.

Christopher Swift, The Hartford’s CEO and chairman, called on the business community to “join in a united effort advancing addiction prevention, treatment and recovery.”

That’s why The Hartford has partnered with nonprofit Shatterproof, an online education program aimed at providing information and resources for family, friends and colleagues of individuals suffering from opioid addiction.

The partnership continues the property and casualty insurer’s push to curb the opioid crisis. The Hartford says it has reduced the use of opioids among injured workers it insures by 43 percent since 2015.

Read more

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