Coalition Letter to Support Hearing on Opioid Overdoses at Work

December 06, 2023 | Washington, D.C.


For a printer-friendly copy

The Honorable Bernard Sanders
U.S. Senate
Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Virginia Foxx
U.S. House of Representatives
Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable William Cassidy, M.D.
U.S. Senate
Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Robert C. Scott
U.S. House of Representatives
Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

Dear Chair Sanders, Ranking Member Cassidy, Chair Foxx, and Ranking Member Scott: 

The United States is at a crossroads with our response to the opioid overdose epidemic. Preliminary estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show over 109,000 individuals died from drug overdoses in 2022, with almost 80,000 of those deaths being from opioid overdoses. These numbers are staggering. Equally staggering is the increase of workplace fatalities due to drug overdose. Since 2011, there has been a 536% increase in drug overdoses at work according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Congress has the responsibility to implement proven solutions in a bipartisan manner to save lives. The WORK (Workplace Overdose Reversal Kits) to Save Lives Act (H.R. 5420/S. 2948) would do that.

The WORK to Save Lives Act is vital legislation that would require opioid overdose reversal medication to be present in all Federal buildings and have Federal employees trained on its use. The legislation would also have the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) create non-mandatory guidance for private sector employers on how to access opioid overdose reversal medication and train their employees on its use. Congress is already leading here. The Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force sponsors a yearly naloxone training for Congressional members and staff—the second one was in September. This training should be the standard, not the exception, in all workplaces. Opioid overdose reversal medication saves lives and needs to be in workplaces. Further, training and education gained from workplace settings has the potential to positively impact community outcomes.

The WORK to Saves Lives Act was introduced in the House of Representatives on Sept. 13, 2023, with bipartisan support, and the Senate bill was introduced later the same month. Opioid overdoses are not unique to a specific group of people or geography, and these medications are proven effective at reversing an opioid overdose without causing harm. The epidemic is pervasive and unfortunately all members of Congress have sadly seen its impact throughout their districts and states. With the legislation being referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) and House Education and Workforce Committees, you are critically important to saving potentially countless lives due to opioid overdose. Opioid overdose reversal medication saves lives and needs to be in workplaces.

The undersigned individuals and organizations encourage you to hold a hearing immediately on innovative strategies to solve the growing problem of overdoses at work, including the WORK to Save Lives Act. The time is now to include employers, safety and health professionals, workers, and other stakeholders in the conversation on how to save lives from opioid overdoses.


American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 
American Industrial Hygiene Association
Anna Copeland, Safety Professional, Moline, IL 
Betty Sanisidro, Executive Director, Marion, MA 
Big Cities Health Coalition
Board of Certified Safety Professionals
Brad Rosenthal, Risk Program Manager, Woodbine, NJ 
Colleen Gemmill, Owner, Red Lion, PA 
Chesapeake Region Safety Council 
EHS Compliance Services, Inc.
Faces and Voices of Recovery 
Genfoot America, LLC
Iowa – Illinois Safety Council
Juan Viaña, Independent Consultant, Albany, NY 
Karen Meistas, Safety Manager, Roseville, CA 
Law Office of Adele L. Abrams PC
Laborers’ International Union of North America
Michael Wahl, Director, Safety and Health North American Supply Chain, Greensboro, NC 
Minnesota Safety Council
Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse Action
National Association of County and City Health Officials 
National Association of State EMS Officials
National Athletic Trainers’ Association
National Behavioral Health Association Providers 
National Council for Mental Wellbeing
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Maryland Chapter 
National Environmental Health Association
National Health Care for the Homeless Council 
National Safety Council
National Safety Council – Arizona Chapter 
National Safety Council – Nebraska Chapter 
National Safety Council – New England Chapter 
National Safety Council – Ohio Chapter 
National Safety Council – Southeastern Chapter 
North Dakota Safety Council
Oklahoma Safety Council 
Overdose Prevention Initiative
Pat Ashworth, Co-Owner, Cheyenne, WY 
SAFE Project
Safe States Alliance
Safe “T” Services
Safety and Health Council of North Carolina 
Safety Council of New York
South Dakota Safety Council 
The Chemours Company
The Health and Safety Council 
Utah Safety Council
Utility Workers Union of America
Wisconsin Safety Council 
Wyoming Montana Safety Council 
Young People in Recovery

CC The Office of Representative Watson Coleman 
CC The Office of Representative Rutherford
CC The Office of Representative Trone 
CC The Office of Representative Mace
CC The Office of Representative Pettersen 
CC The Office of Senator Merkley

Shopping Cart

There are no items in your cart