‘High-risk’ businesses in Ontario must have opioid antidote kits and training by June 2023

Ontario employers will be required to have Naloxone kits onsite if their workplace is considered “high risk” for opioid overdoses, or if an employer is aware that a worker is at personal risk of having an opioid overdose while at work. If it is determined that you should have a Naloxone kit on site, there must be at least one staff member trained on how to recognize an opioid overdose and how to administer the antidote.

This requirement is one of the final elements of the Ford government’s Bill 88 – the so-called Working for Workers Act— and requires employers who become aware (or who ought to be aware) of opioid use in their workplace to put these measures in place. Note that this only applies to workplaces where an employee might be at risk, and does not apply to clients, customers, visitors, or contractors. While we don’t foresee any immediate needs in existing client workplaces for the implementation of these measures, please feel free to contact us if you believe this new regulation applies to you (ie. you have employees using opioids in your workplace – prescribed or not — such as fentanyl, oxycodone, heroin or other lethal street drugs).

Though well-intentioned, this regulation will be of limited application in most workplaces, though clearly important in some. We can also foresee workers potentially expressing an unwillingness to perform paramedical procedures on at-risk individuals, even with training. For further information or to order free naloxone kits for your workplace, please visit the following link, https://www.ontario.ca/page/naloxone-workplace#how-employers

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