On Sept. 12, bipartisan legislation was introduced in the House that would direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to create employer guidance about acquiring opioid overdose reversal medication and training workers regarding its use, according to Safety+Health magazine.
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) introduced the Workplace Overdose Reversal Kits to Save Lives Act, which has 16 co-sponsors. Under the bill, OSHA would have nine months after the legislation is enacted to publish the nonmandatory guidance.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found overdose deaths involving opioids increased from an estimated 70,029 in 2020 to 80,816 in 2021. Studies in Massachusetts and Ohio show construction workers are seven times more likely to die from opioid-related overdoses than the average worker.
In a press release, Watson Coleman said the legislation “will finally give workplaces the tools to save workers who are struggling with opioid addiction. Getting these overdose reversal medications—and training in their use—to as many employers as possible has the potential to save countless lives.”
In July, the Food and Drug Administration approved ReVive, an over-the-counter naloxone nasal spray for emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose. That followed the FDA’s approval of Narcan in March.