Employers Will Require Naloxone Kits and Trained Staff in June 2023
This article has been updated to include a January 2023 MLITSD Update, which can be found on the button at the bottom.
Schedule 4 of Bill 88, An Act to Enact the Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act, 2022 and to amend various Acts contained amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act that require certain employers to have naloxone kits and workers trained in their use at their workplaces.
Bill 88 was passed into law, but the sections dealing with Naloxone kits were left to come into force at a later date. On December 14th, the Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, Monte McNaughton, announced that the Naloxone provisions will come into force on June 1, 2023. This gives construction employers lots of time to determine if they need naloxone kits at their workplaces and, if they do, to get workers trained in their use. Fortunately, the kits will be made available at no charge to qualifying employers, and the training in the use of the kits is fairly straightforward. Here’s what those provisions say:
Note: On June 1, 2023, the day named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, the Act is amended by adding the following section: (See: 2022, c. 7, Sched. 4, s. 1)
25.2 (1) Where an employer becomes aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, that there may be a risk of a worker having an opioid overdose at a workplace where that worker performs work for the employer, or where the prescribed circumstances exist, the employer shall,
(a) provide and maintain in good condition a naloxone kit in that workplace; and
(b) comply with any other prescribed requirements respecting the provision and maintenance of naloxone kits and the training referred to in subsection (3). 2022, c. 7, Sched. 4, s. 1.
Location of kit
(2) The employer shall 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 who has received the training described in subsection (3). 2022, c. 7, Sched. 4, s. 1.
(3) The training shall include training to recognize an opioid overdose, to administer naloxone and to acquaint the worker with any hazards related to the administration of naloxone, and shall meet such other requirements as may be prescribed. 2022, c. 7, Sched. 4, s. 1.
Limit on disclosure
(4) No employer shall disclose to any person more personal information than is reasonably necessary to comply with this section. 2022, c. 7, Sched. 4, s. 1.
(5) For greater certainty, the employer duties set out in section 25 apply, as appropriate, with respect to the administration of naloxone in the workplace. 2022, c. 7, Sched. 4, s. 1.
(6) In this section, “naloxone kit” means a kit that includes the prescribed contents. 2022, c. 7, Sched. 4, s. 1.
For a period of up to two years, Ontario will provide free:
- nasal spray naloxone kits to businesses at risk of opioid overdoses through the Workplace Naloxone Program; and
- free training needed to equip staff with the tools to respond to an opioid overdose.
Businesses can determine if they are eligible for the program and find additional information on accessing naloxone kits and training at Ontario.ca/workplacenaloxone.
Once the requirement is in effect, Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development’s inspectors will take an education-first approach to enforcement.