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New naloxone kit requirement: 7 things you need to know now

7 things to know ahead of the new naloxone kit requirement

With opioid-related deaths skyrocketing across Canada, the Ontario government has made an amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Act requiring at-risk employers to ensure their workplaces have a naloxone kit on hand and workers trained on how to use them, effective June 1, 2023. Naloxone is a medication that temporarily reverses the effects of an opioid overdose and allows time for medical help to arrive.

WSPS Consultant Pamela Patry calls the new requirement a positive move: "It gives us another way to save someone's life." She notes that overdoses don't just occur off the job, and it's not only recreational users who are at risk. Anyone who takes opioid medication for pain management could experience an overdose.

Adding a naloxone kit to your emergency response plan will boost your ability to meet your legal obligation to protect the health and safety of workers, says Pamela. "It could also benefit customers, clients and others visiting the workplace."

Here are seven things you need to know.

1. What are the new legal requirements?

The amendment requires an employer to provide a naloxone kit in the workplace "where an employer becomes aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, there may be a risk of a worker having an opioid overdose at the workplace." To protect employee privacy, it also sets out limits on disclosure.

2. What's in a naloxone kit?

"The kit contains two doses of naloxone - in case the first doesn't work - plus a CPR mask, and instructions for use," explains Pamela. "The naloxone may be injectable but most kits now contain a nasal spray, which is easier to use and less hazardous to the person administering the naloxone."

3. Where can you get a naloxone kit?

Visit to get the most up to date information on where to get a naloxone kit .

4. What kind of training is needed?

The amendment says training should cover "how to recognize an opioid overdose, how to administer naloxone, and hazards related to administering naloxone." Depending on the form in which it is administered, there may be physical hazards (contact with sharps and strains), chemical hazards (inhalation or contact with drugs and products), biological hazards (contact with blood and body fluids) and psychological hazards (stress and violence).

5. Who should receive training?

"It makes sense to train people who are your first aiders," says Pamela. "But make sure you have trained people available if your first aider is off on vacation, sick, or working remotely."

6. Where should workplaces store naloxone kits?

The kit must be in close proximity to the person who will administer it, and easily accessible. The logical place to store the naloxone kit is in your first aid kit or close to your automated external defibrillator (AED).

7. How do you incorporate naloxone kits into your emergency response planning?

"Follow the process you use for other first aid emergencies," says Pamela. For example, set down in writing

  • where kits are stored
  • what training is required
  • who will administer the naloxone
  • procedures to follow when administering naloxone
  • who to contact externally and internally
  • controls you have put in place to control identified hazards
  • which personal protective equipment must be worn
  • how you will support first aiders and other employees affected by the incident.

How WSPS can help

Resources and webinars


The information in this article is accurate as of its publication date.