Starting June 1, 2023, employers must provide naloxone in the workplace if certain circumstances described in the Occupational Health and Safety Act apply. For a limited time, those employers can get free naloxone training and nasal spray naloxone kits through Ontario’s Workplace Naloxone Program.
Free naloxone training and kits
For a limited time, starting December 2022, Ontario’s Workplace Naloxone Program will provide initial support to employers who are required to comply with the naloxone requirements in the Occupational Health and Safety Act by providing free naloxone training for up to two workers per workplace and/or one free nasal spray naloxone kit per workplace.
Employers can visit the following participating program providers for more information on how to access free naloxone training and kits:
How employers can determine if they need to provide naloxone in the workplace?
Employers must provide a naloxone kit when an employer becomes aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, of the following scenarios:
- There is a risk of a worker opioid overdose.
- There is a risk that the worker overdoses while in a workplace where they perform work for the employer.
- The risk is posed by a worker who performs work for the employer.
If all of these scenarios are present, the employer must comply with the OHSA requirements to provide naloxone in the workplace.
If any one of these scenarios are not present, an employer does not need to comply with the OHSA requirements to provide naloxone in the workplace.
Naloxone kit location and worker training
If an employer is required to provide a naloxone kit in the workplace, they must also ensure that, at any time there are workers in the workplace, the naloxone kit is in the charge of a worker who works in the vicinity of the kit and has received the required training.
The OHSA does not specify the number of workers who must receive the required training. Every workplace has different hours of operation (such as multiple shifts, etc.). If an employer is required to provide a naloxone kit in the workplace, they must determine how to ensure that at any time when there are workers in the workplace, there is a worker present who has been trained and works in the vicinity of the naloxone kit.
Employers who are required to provide naloxone kits in their workplaces must ensure that the worker who is responsible for the naloxone kit has received training. The employer must ensure the training meets all the required elements. This includes training that allows the worker to recognize an opioid overdose, administer naloxone, and be acquainted with any hazards related to the administration of naloxone.
Employers are not required to use a specific training provider to comply with the training requirements. An employer could either provide the training itself or use an external training provider.