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Charlotte construction work is rough on the body

Charlotte construction workers know better than anyone how rough work can be on the body. Some experts say construction workers might not realize how those aches, pains and injuries can add up and make them more vulnerable to opioid addiction, however.

A recent news article said that 20 percent of the money spent on construction-related workers' compensation claims is for opioid prescriptions, according to insurer CNA. That figure is double the percentage of all other industries.

The company says that workers injured in the manufacturing industry also often receive opioid prescriptions as part of pain treatments.

The physical labor required in construction and manufacturing can lead to a wide variety of damage to the body, including injuries to the back, neck, knees, elbows and hands, as well as head trauma.

When workers sustain the injuries and are then prescribed opioids, the "likelihood of becoming addicted is pretty high," said a human resources director for a construction company.

If they return to work with an addiction, it is very possible that more injuries will result.

"One person who's incapacitated and not functioning at their full abilities because they are impaired by drugs . . . could kill someone," the HR director said.

Efforts to reduce the risk of opioid addiction while still effectively managing the pain of injured employees are underway in North Carolina and other states.

Workers injured on the job are usually entitled to North Carolina workers' comp benefits. Denied claims can be appealed with the help of a qualified attorney.

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