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General Merchandise Stores

Alcohol & Your Bottom Line

On-the-job accidents and injuries related to alcohol or drug use can be a significant source of revenue loss to employers. In New Mexico, the Workers Compensation Act states that compensenation claims filed for on-the-job injuries resulting from accidents in which drugs and alcohol are involved will not be paid. As a result, many on-the-job accidents related to alcohol are likely to be unreported or uninvestigated, and statistical information on the exact cost to employers of alcohol and drug-related accidents is unavailable.

However, several studies have shown that employees in certain specific industries are at a higher risk for on-the-job alcohol and drug use than others. Among these industries are general merchandise stores. Employers who own general merchandise stores should be aware that alcohol and drug use can be contributing factors in the type and frequency of on-the-job accidents.

Back injuries from overexertion, lifting objects are a major problem for workers in this industry. 70 of the 254 claims were of this type with a corresponding number of 61back injuries. There were 57 falls, both on the same level and from elevation. The category of being struck by or against objects is also an area of concern. Other than the back, body parts most involved were knees, wrists, multiple, upper extremities, the trunk, legs and feet. Although not industry-specific, it is important to note that Truck Drivers were number two on the List of Occupations with the Twenty Highest Newly Reported Indemnity Claims in New Mexico for 2001 with 278 claims. Driver-Sales Workers, Cashiers and Freight, Stock and Material Handlers also appear on this list. Young workers/new employees also need attention and assistance with accident prevention.

The complete 2001 workers' compensation claims analysis for general merchandise stores can be found below, in addition to other laws, rules and regulations relating to drugs and alcohol in the workplace. If you have any questions about this material, please call us at (505) 881.1084 and a member of our staff will be happy to assist you.

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