Legal Alert: Naloxone in the Workplace: 5 Key Considerations for Employers

OGC Solutions® is committed to helping our clients maintain a safe and healthy workplace. The opioid crisis continues to be a pressing issue in the United States, with opioid overdoses affecting individuals from all walks of life. Employers can play a crucial role in addressing this crisis by making Naloxone, a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose, available in the workplace. In this article, we will discuss five important considerations that employers should keep in mind when implementing a Naloxone program in their workplace, with insights from OGC Solutions® partner Christopher M. Santomassimo.

  1. Adopt a Written Policy.  Implementing a Naloxone program in the workplace starts with establishing a clear, written policy. According to Christopher M. Santomassimo, “A written policy sets the foundation for the program by outlining the procedures for storing, administering, and disposing of Naloxone. It also designates specific employees responsible for administering the medication in case of an emergency.”  Further, “Having a written policy is crucial to ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands the company’s expectations,” says Santomassimo.  A well-drafted policy should also address potential employee concerns about privacy and the handling of sensitive medical information.
  2. Train Employees on Naloxone Administration.  Ensuring that employees are well-trained in the proper administration of Naloxone is crucial for a successful workplace program. “Providing comprehensive training on the safe and effective use of Naloxone not only increases the chances of saving a life during an overdose emergency but also helps employees feel more confident and prepared to take action in such situations,” says Santomassimo.  Training should cover the signs of an opioid overdose, the correct administration method for Naloxone, and the appropriate steps to take after administering the medication.
  3. Understand Good Samaritan Laws.  Good Samaritan laws are designed to protect individuals who voluntarily provide emergency assistance to someone in need from potential liability. These laws vary by state, so it is essential for employers to review the specific laws in their jurisdiction. Santomassimo advises, “Understanding the Good Samaritan laws in your state is critical to ensure that your company and employees are protected from potential lawsuits when administering Naloxone in the workplace.”
  4. Consult Legal Counsel.  Given the legal complexities surrounding Naloxone and the opioid crisis, it is essential to consult with legal counsel when implementing a workplace program. “A knowledgeable attorney can help navigate the legal landscape, ensuring that your company’s policy complies with state and federal regulations while minimizing potential liabilities,” explains Santomassimo.
  5. Continuously Review and Update the Policy.  Like any workplace policy, your Naloxone program should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that it remains effective and compliant with current laws and regulations. “As the legal landscape and our understanding of the opioid crisis continue to evolve, it is important for employers to stay informed and make necessary adjustments to their Naloxone program as needed,” recommends Santomassimo.

Making Naloxone available in the workplace can be a life-saving initiative, but it is vital for employers to carefully consider these five factors before implementing a program. By adopting a written policy, providing employee training, understanding Good Samaritan laws, consulting legal counsel to ensure legal and regulatory compliance, and regularly reviewing the policy, employers can confidently contribute to addressing the opioid crisis while ensuring a safer work environment for all.

To review your plans to implement a Naloxone program, please visit OGCSolutions.com.

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