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Ontario set to require naloxone at construction sites, bars, settings where workers at risk of overdose

Legislation would also require workers to be trained on how to use naloxone kits.

PHOTO: Flora Pan/CBC

Cases for naloxone injection kits are pictured in the foreground. The province says that about 2,500 people died in Ontario from opioid-related causes between March 2020 and January 2021 and of the victims who were employed, 30 per cent were construction workers.

Ontario is set to require some workplaces to have naloxone kits on hand to prevent opioid overdoses.

That requirement is one part of a labour bill introduced by the government this week and would apply to workplaces where there may be a risk of a worker having an opioid overdose

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton says examples of those include construction sites, bars and nightclubs.

The province says that about 2,500 people died in Ontario from opioid-related causes between March 2020 and January 2021 and of the victims who were employed, 30 per cent were construction workers.

Naloxone can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

The legislation would also require training for workers to ensure they know how to use the naloxone kits, which could be used for workers, clients, customers or anyone else in case of emergency.

The bill also proposes to increase fines for convictions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act – from $100,000 to $1.5 million for directors or officers of corporations and up to $500,000 for other individuals.

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