NSC Expands Efforts to Combat Overdoses in the Workplace

New initiatives will help increase worker health, safety and wellbeing.

March 25, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Overdoses remain the leading cause of unintentional death in the United States and account for nearly 10% of all workplace fatalities. To help positively impact the opioid epidemic in the U.S., the National Safety Council is ramping up its commitment to combatting overdoses in the workplace through the launch of several new initiatives. Aimed at raising awareness and supporting access to lifesaving resources, the new initiatives include a free opioid overdose e-learning, an online workplace wellbeing hub, and the availability of bulk online purchasing of NARCAN® Nasal Spray for employers nationwide.

Designed to equip employees with the knowledge and skills needed to respond to a suspected opioid overdose, the newly released free e-learning course covers the impacts of opioid overdoses in the workplace, signs and symptoms of an overdose, administration of opioid overdose reversal medication, and incorporation of these medications into workplace safety plans. Participants also receive an introduction to hands-only CPR. This initiative underscores the Council’s dedication to ensuring workplaces are prepared to respond to emergencies effectively.

In addition to the e-learning, NSC is launching the online Workplace Wellbeing Hub. The Hub is an interactive and innovative resource designed to provide workplaces with educational, implementable and actionable tools to address critical wellbeing-related causes of impairment, injuries and fatalities, starting with substance use. The Hub has four sections: Policies, Benefits, Employee Training, and Data Collection and Analysis. The Hub includes customizable policies, guides for collecting and using data, a benefits checklist to evaluate what services a workplace provides and more.

NSC is also proud to announce a partnership with Emergent BioSolutions, the makers of NARCAN® Nasal Spray, to increase access to this lifesaving overdose reversal medication by supporting external distribution opportunities. Employers can now purchase the medication on nsc.org and have it delivered directly to their workplace. By making opioid overdose reversal medications more accessible, NSC and Emergent are working together to save lives and help prevent tragedies in the workplace.

"Workplace overdose deaths are occurring at devastating rates, and we know more can be done to save lives,” said Lorraine Martin, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “By providing essential tools, resources and education, we can empower workplaces to be prepared, resilient and ultimately save lives. We implore employers to join NSC in stocking these medications at all worksites."

NSC encourages employers, government agencies and other stakeholders across public and private sectors to join in its efforts to incorporate opioid overdose reversal medications into workplace emergency preparedness programs and commit to the White House Challenge of increasing training on and access to these lifesaving measures.

For more information about the Council’s new initiatives, visit nsc.org/respondready.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for 110 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace and roadways. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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