Toronto, ON — New legislation has been introduced in Ontario that will require workplaces classified as at-risk have naloxone kits in case of a worker overdosing due to opioids.
If passed, the Working for Workers Act, 2022 would implement fines for companies that fail to follow workplace health and safety laws. Officers and directors of businesses could face fines of up to $1.5 million under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) if convicted. Charges for other individuals would increase to up to $500,000.
“Everyone in our province knows someone who has been impacted by the opioid epidemic. These are brothers, sisters, mothers and daughters, and we need to do everything in our power to save lives. That is why our government is bringing life-saving naloxone kits to high-risk settings such as construction sites, bars and nightclubs,” said Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development.
Between March 2020 and January 2021, it was reported that approximately 2,500 people died from opioid-related causes, with 30 per cent of the victims employed in the construction sector. Naloxone is a medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and allow time for medical help to arrive.