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Certain Employers in Ontario Are Now Required to Have Naloxone Kits At Their Workplace

New changes to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) require employers to provide naloxone kits at their workplaces under certain circumstances. Naloxone is a drug that temporarily reverses the symptoms of an opioid overdose.

Starting June 1, 2023, certain Ontario employers must provide at least one naloxone kit in good condition at their workplace. Guidance from the Ontario government indicates that an employer must comply with the naloxone kit requirements when the employer becomes aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, of the following scenarios:

  • there is a risk of a worker opioid overdose;
  • there is a risk that the worker overdoses while in a workplace where they perform work for the employer; and
  • the risk is posed by a worker who performs work for the employer.

Any time there are workers in such a workplace, the naloxone kit must be in the charge of a worker who works near the kit and who has undergone specific training on how to recognize an opioid overdose, how to administer naloxone, and to be acquainted with any hazards associated with administering naloxone. An employer is not permitted to disclose more personal information of its workers to those in charge of the kit than is reasonably necessary to comply with the naloxone requirements. In addition to the requirement that the worker in charge of the kit must work in the vicinity of the kit, employers must post the names and workplace locations of the worker(s) in charge in a conspicuous place in the vicinity of the kit where that information is most likely to come to the attention of other workers.

While the new rules do not explicitly require an employer to provide more than one kit in each workplace where there is a risk of a worker having an opioid overdose, employers are required to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect their workers. Accordingly, some employers may determine that they are obligated to provide multiple naloxone kits in addition to taking other precautions.

The required contents for naloxone kits are set out in Ontario Regulation 559/22. Additionally, employers must ensure that their naloxone kits are:

  • used, stored, and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;
  • kept in a hard case;
  • single use and promptly replaced after use; and
  • not expired.

Given that the new law requires employers to determine whether it applies to them and then sets forth a fairly open-ended standard to utilize in making that determination, employers are well-advised to contact counsel on this new law.

©1994-2023 Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 156

About this Author

Mitch Frazer Attorney Pensions and Labor
Managing Partner, Toronto Office

Mitch is a leading authority on pension law in Canada and a trusted advisor to some of Canada’s largest corporations on all aspects of pensions, benefits, and employment matters. Clients also seek his counsel on pension issues associated with business-critical mergers and acquisitions.

Along with advising corporate clients, Mitch is frequently consulted by pension regulators on best practices. He has also served as an expert witness before Canadian federal and provincial legislative committees, including the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance and the Legislative...

Patrick Denroche Canadian employment law Mintz

Pat focuses his practice on Canadian employment law and pension matters. He advises on federal and provincial employment and labour matters, including hiring and terminations, executive compensation, labour relations, human rights, pay equity, employment standards, workplace policies, and occupational health and safety.

Pat provides guidance to clients on Canadian and international pension investments, as well as plan governance and the treatment of pensions and benefits in mergers and acquisitions.

Pat advises clients on lobbying activity compliance at the federal and...


Brad’s practice encompasses all aspects of employment, benefits, and pensions law, including matters arising in mergers and acquisitions and initial public offerings. He has extensive experience counseling both executives and public and private institutions across multiple industries – including private equity, life sciences, and telecommunications.

Brad has handled a broad range of sophisticated compensation matters, including:

  • Representation in mergers and acquisitions, venture capital investments, private equity financing, and other transactional contexts
  • ...