Naloxone (pronounced na-LOX-own) is a drug that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Opioids are drugs that are prescribed by a medical practitioner to treat pain. While opioids can be an effective part of pain management for medically supervised patients, opioid addiction and overdose are a significant challenge in Ontario.
Why this affects employers
As of June 1, 2023, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) will require that naloxone be available in most workplaces. The requirements do not change how an employer may choose to manage worker impairment from drugs or alcohol that may pose a risk to workplace safety.
The legislation states that an employer must provide a naloxone kit when an employer becomes aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, that a worker is at risk of an opioid overdose. Through reading through the legislation, and understanding the widespread usage (medically, as well as recreationally) of opioids within our communities, it is our personal and professional opinion that all employers ought to expect that opioid overdoses may represent a risk to workplace safety.
More information on Ontario’s changes can be found here.
Free training and free Naloxone
Naloxone training and kits are free to members of the public through local pharmacies. We also discuss Opioid poisonings and treatments in our First Aid and CPR courses.
There are also incredible resources available through local health units, and the government. You can access the Red Cross’s FREE online course here.
Did you know about this new legislation?
If not, we might be able to help. 13 First Aid offers workplace safety audits. If you are an employer and want more information about your workplace first aid and safety responsibilities, 13 First Aid can help! We also offer first aid kit sales and replenishment services. Contact us today to learn more!