BOSTON (CBS) — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Friday that accidental opioid overdoses were the leading cause of workplace deaths in the state from 2016 to 2017.
A new report found that of the 220 workplace deaths that occurred during these years, a fourth were from accidental opioid overdoses. These deaths happened most frequently in the accommodation, food service, construction and real estate industries. The average age of the victims was 39, the report said.
The report noted that Massachusetts is experiencing an epidemic of opioid-related overdoses and deaths, and that the number of opioid overdose deaths in the state tripled between 2011 and 2016.
After opioid overdoses, the report found that fatal falls, car crashes, workplace suicides and workers hit by a car were the most common causes. Of all the victims, 90% were male, and 78% were non-Hispanic whites.
The report also found that rate of workplace deaths in the state has increased over the last several years, from 1.9 per 100,000 full-time workers in 2013 to 3.3 per 100,000 full-time workers in 2017, according to the report.