New Opioid Toolkit for Worker Safety

The National Safety Council (NSC) has unveiled a worker opioid kit to help employers and workers cope with the opioid crisis that has gripped the nation.

The toolkit resources address many facets of the opioid epidemic as it appears in the workplace setting.

Surveys have shown that employers are ill-prepared to help their employees with opioid abuse, as drug overdose deaths continue to increase in the United States.

From 1999 to 2017, more than 702,000 people have died from a drug overdose. In 2017, more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses, making it a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. Of those deaths, almost 68% involved a prescription or illicit opioid.

Data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that opioid overdose deaths increased from 2016 to 2017.

The NSC sees this toolkit as an immediate workplace necessity.

The purpose of the kit is to:

  • Understand opioids and how they impact the workplace;
  • Learn about opioid misuse and opioid use disorder;
  • Recognize signs of impairment;
  • Educate employees on the risks of opioid use;
  • Incorporate the right elements into drug-related HR policies and procedures; and
  • Support employees who are struggling with opioid misuse or opioid use disorder.

The NSC has partnered with Stericycle to fund and design the kit, and the focus is on safety, information, and resources for four groups found in a typical workplace setting: supervisors, human resource (HR) professionals, safety professionals, and employees.