Life-saving kits required by June 1, 2023
The Ontario government is launching a program to make free naloxone kits and free training available at workplaces where there is a risk of staff witnessing or experiencing an opioid overdose.
In 2021, 2,819 people died from opioid-related causes in Ontario – the highest number on record and up from 366 in 2003. Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose, restore breathing within two to five minutes, and allow time for medical help to arrive.
Of the workers who died from opioid-related causes last year, 30 per cent were employed in construction – by far the most affected industry. Bars and nightclubs have also seen increased opioid usage and accidental overdoses, often because of recreational drugs laced with deadly opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil.
For up to two years, Ontario will provide free nasal spray naloxone kits to businesses at risk of opioid overdoses through the Workplace Naloxone Program and free training needed to equip staff with the tools to respond to an opioid overdose.
Businesses can determine if they are eligible for the program and find additional information on accessing naloxone kits and training at Ontario.ca/workplacenaloxone.
- On June 1, 2023, at-risk employers will be required by legislation to ensure their workplaces have life-saving naloxone kits and workers are trained on how to use them.
- This includes employers who become aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, that there may be a risk of an opioid overdose in their workplace, i.e., if a worker discloses an opioid use issue, if needles or other opioid paraphernalia are found at the workplace, or if they are otherwise given information that would lead them to reasonably conclude there is a risk of an overdose in the workplace.
- Businesses with questions about their responsibilities under the legislation can visit Ontario.ca/workplacenaloxone.
- For up to two years, the Workplace Naloxone Program provides at-risk employers with access to free training for up to two workers and one nasal spray naloxone kit for each eligible workplace.
- Separately, individuals can also contact their local pharmacy to receive a naloxone kit.
For more information, contact your local WSN Health and Safety Specialist.
Ontario Workplace Naloxone Program
Workplace Mental Health Resources
Workplace Mental Health Training