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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 are industries is business services. Employers who provide general business services should be aware that alcohol and drug use can be contributing factors in the type and frequency of on-the-job accidents.

The business services industry had the third highest number of claims in New Mexico in 2001. This group is primarily vulnerable to back injuries (65) from overexertion, lifting objects as well as other types of overexertion including pushing or pulling objects with a total of 40. Major types of accidents involve falls, both on the same level (58) and from elevation (50), being struck by objects (68), bodily reaction (49) and motor vehicle accidents with 23 claims. In addition to the back, parts of body involved include multiple body parts (from falls and motor vehicle accidents), knees (35), legs (34), ankles (32), The trunk (30), unspecified upper extremity injuries (23), feet (19), fingers (18), shoulders and wrists with 16 each and hand injuries (12). It is important to note that Janitors and Cleaners are number one on the list of Occupations with the Twenty Highest Newly Reported Indemnity Claims in New Mexico for 2001 (290). Truck Drivers were number two with 278 claims. Driver-Sales Workers were eighth with 140 claims and Maids and Housemen were eleventh with 110 claims. Guards and Police in this industry had 73 claims.

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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