New push to get overdose prevention drug into work first aid kits

Naloxone at work
Posted at 3:12 PM, Mar 08, 2024

There are new efforts to get the overdose prevention drug naloxone included in more first aid kits in workplaces.

A lawmaker in California recently proposed a first-in-the-nation law to require naloxone to be in all first-aid kits in workplaces in the state.

If it passes, it could have a larger impact.

"The workplaces are places where we can have an impact, not only for what might happen at the workplace if that emergency's going to happen during those work hours on your work premise but also because we can train workers to know and understand this issue," said Lorraine Martin, president of the National Safety Council.

Martin said California tends to take the lead on workplace-related safety issues and she could see other states following if this bill moves forward.

It could convince businesses to make the change outside of California as well.

"It's hard to, you know have a multi-state organization and try to follow what everybody's asking you to do, and it might be a little different and it's often great just to say, well, if this is good practice and this state's requiring it, I'm gonna do it for all my employees," said Martin.

On the federal level, a bill in Congress would require federal buildings to have naloxone as part of their first aid kit and would also recommend it for businesses.

The General Services Administration also recently put out guidance asking for all federal buildings to have naloxone on hand.

Another thing we're tracking is the effort to get naloxone on the list of recommended things to include in first aid kits.

There's a standards group that makes this recommendation and they've been considering this issue.

This comes as there's a growing need to address unintentional overdose deaths at work.

They're up 536% since 2011, according to government tracking.