NSC Introduces Program Addressing Workplace Overdose Epidemic

NSC Introduces Program Addressing Workplace Overdose Epidemic

The "Respond Ready Workplace" program addresses workplace overdose deaths.

The National Safety Council (NSC) has announced its latest initiative, “Respond Ready Workplace,” in response to the escalating workplace overdose deaths across the U.S.

According to a release dated Sept. 18, this new program aims to emphasize the necessity of the life-saving drug naloxone in professional settings and ensure workers are educated on its use. Its introduction comes amid an increasing number of workplace overdose deaths, a figure which rose 536 percent since 2011 and now accounts for 9 percent of all on-the-job deaths.

"The Respond Ready Workplace program is a pivotal step forward in reducing overdose deaths and protecting workers everywhere,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine Martin said in a statement. “The opioid crisis has reached every corner of society, affecting workers in all industries and occupations. By equipping workplaces with naloxone and the knowledge to use it, we can make a tangible difference in saving lives from the workplace to anyplace.”

NSC plans to share educational materials to boost employers' understanding of the opioid crisis's impact on workplaces and naloxone’s role in remedying it. The organization will also provide workers with hands-on training on administering naloxone so that they may act quickly in an emergency. Finally, the NSC will guide employers on how to best integrate naloxone into workplace medical kits and other easy-to-reach locations.

In addition, NSC has been vocal about policies promoting workplace naloxone availability and workplace overdose prevention, such as the WORK To Save Lives Act. For more on the Respond Ready Workplace program is available on the NSC’s webpage for the initiative.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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