October 3, 2019

New “Toolkits” Available for Opioids, Illicit Drugs

The National Safety Council and NIOSH recently released resources related to opioid and illicit drugs in the workplace.

The NSC Opioids at Work Employer Toolkit includes sample policies, fact sheets, presentations, safety talks, posters, white papers, reports, and videos intended to explain how employers can implement a workplace program on opioids. According to NSC, the materials will help employers understand how opioids impact the workplace, recognize signs of impairment, educate employees on the risks of opioid use, develop drug-related HR policies, and support employees who are struggling with opioid misuse. For more information, visit the NSC website.

The new resources from NIOSH are intended to help protect first responders when they arrive at a location where illicit drugs, including fentanyl, are present or suspected to be present. The resources include videos, infographics, and shareable “postcards” that summarize safe work practices. The infographics present simplified guidance for first responders regarding safety measures, the selection of personal protective equipment, and decontamination. One of the videos is footage from a law enforcement officer’s body camera that depicts the results of exposure to fentanyl and recommends ways that first responders can avoid exposure. The second video explains proper donning and doffing techniques for PPE.

Visit the NIOSH website to access the agency’s “Illicit Drug Tool-Kit for First Responders.” Additional information about preventing occupational exposure to fentanyl is also available.

Related: Two recent Synergist articles have addressed occupational exposures to illicit drugs, including “The Opioid Abuse Epidemic” in the November 2017 issue and “Protection in an Uncontrolled Environment” in the December 2017 issue. An exchange of letters about these articles appeared in the March 2018 issue.