As of June 1, 2023, Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act requires certain workplaces to have a Naloxone kit in the workplace.
What is Naloxone?
Naloxone is a drug that can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose. When someone overdoses on opioids, their breathing either slows or stops completely. If used right away, Naloxone can help them breathe normally and regain consciousness. Naloxone can either be injected or given as a nasal spray.
Which workplaces must have a naloxone kit?
Workplaces where the employer is aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, there may be a risk of a worker having an opioid overdose at work while performing work for the employer.
An employer may be aware of the risk of an overdose because:
- A worker opioid overdose may have already occurred in the workplace.
- A worker who uses opioids may voluntarily disclose this risk to their employer.
- The employer may observe opioid use among workers in their workplace or discover that opioid use is occurring in their workplace during a workplace investigation.
- An employer finds discarded opioid paraphernalia, such as used needles, in their workplace.
- The Joint Health and Safety Committee, health and safety representative, a union representative, human resources staff, and/or someone else in the workplace has brought this risk to the employer’s attention.
The risk of an employee overdosing when not at work does not mean that there is a workplace Naloxone requirement. Nor does the requirement apply to a customer, client or member of the public at risk of opioid overdose in the workplace. For support determining if your workplace requires a Naloxone kit- see the PSHSA Naloxone Decision Guide.
Requirements for employers
If a workplace is required to have a naloxone kit,the Naloxone kit must be:
- kept within the workplace (the employer will be responsible for determining the specific location).
- in charge of a worker who works in the vicinity of the kit and who has received the required training.
- used, stored, and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.