National Safety Council releases new opioid prevention initiatives

Online course, workplace wellness hub, nasal spray available to employers, workers

National Safety Council releases new opioid prevention initiatives

Thanks to the National Safety Council (NSC), employers now have more resources that can help them address the issue of opioid misuse in the workplace.

The nonprofit has launched several new initiatives to combat overdose in the workplace.

"Workplace overdose deaths are occurring at devastating rates, and we know more can be done to save lives,” said Lorraine Martin, president and CEO of the NSC. “By providing essential tools, resources, and education, we can empower workplaces to be prepared, resilient, and ultimately save lives. We implore employers to join NSC in stocking these medications at all worksites."

Free online course on the use of naloxone

NSC is offering its Naloxone for Suspected Opioid Overdose eLearning for free.

The course will help employers prepare to use naloxone for a suspected opioid overdose in the workplace. It discusses the following topics: 

  • the impacts of opioid overdoses in the workplace
  • signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose
  • how to administer naloxone in the case of a suspected opioid overdose, including an introduction to hands only CPR
  • how to incorporate naloxone into the workplace safety plan, including storage, workplace policies and legal considerations.

NSC Workplace Wellbeing Hub

NSC has also launched its Workplace Wellbeing Hub to provide employers with tools to address wellbeing-related risk factors for impairment, injuries and fatalities.

The hub will help employers comprehensively support worker safety, health and wellbeing and reduce hazards. It will ensure that employers’ workplaces:

  • has a robust safety management system 
  • maintains psychological and physical safety
  • adopts recovery-supportive workplace practices
  • establishes an opioid overdose response program, including naloxone
  • supports worker mental health
  • designs workplace systems that reduce fatigue, stress and burnout
  • provides benefits and policies that ensure total worker health, safety and wellbeing
  • collects and uses data to inform workplace practices
  • embraces diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility as a critical component of health, safety and wellbeing

Bulk order of Emergent BioSolutions nasal spray

NSC – in partnership with Emergent BioSolutions – is also helping employers with the bulk purchase of NARCAN Nasal Spray for their workplaces.

A total of 3,970 apparent opioid toxicity deaths occurred in Canada between January and June 2023 – equivalent to 22 deaths per day, according to the federal government. That was five per cent higher than the data recorded the same time the previous year.

And a total of 3,036 opioid-related poisoning hospitalizations occurred between January and June 2023, equivalent to 17 hospitalizations per day.