December 20, 2023

AIHA and Partners Call for Immediate Senate Action on WORK to Save Lives Act in Response to Soaring Workplace Overdose Rates

What: AIHA, along with the National Safety Council and more than 50 other organizations, signed a stakeholder letter (PDF), urging the U.S. House and Senate to hold an immediate hearing on the Workplace Overdose Reversal Kits (WORK) to Save Lives Act (H.R. 5420/S. 2948). The signees also encourage Members of Congress to include employers, health and safety professionals, workers, and other stakeholders in the conversation on how to save lives from opioid overdoses.

Why: Preliminary estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show over 109,000 individuals died from drug overdoses in 2022, with almost 80,000 of those deaths being from opioid overdoses. Since 2011, there has been a 536% increase in drug overdoses at work according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The WORK to Save Lives Act is vital legislation that would require opioid overdose reversal medication to be present in all Federal buildings and have Federal employees trained on its use. The legislation would also have the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) create non-mandatory guidance for private-sector employers on how to access opioid overdose reversal medication and train their employees on its use.

“We urge U.S. legislators to include the perspectives of employers, health and safety professionals, workers, and other stakeholders in this critical conversation,” said AIHA CEO Lawrence D. Sloan. “As professionals committed to preserving occupational and environmental health and safety, AIHA remains steadfast in supporting initiatives that address the urgent challenges posed by opioid overdoses.”

The WORK to Saves Lives Act was introduced in the House of Representatives on Sept. 13, 2023, with bipartisan support, and the Senate bill was introduced later the same month. Contact: For additional information, please contact Mark Ames, AIHA’s director of government relations.

Who: AIHA is the association for scientists and professionals committed to preserving and ensuring occupational and environmental health and safety in the workplace and community. Founded in 1939, AIHA supports its members with expertise, networks, comprehensive education programs, and other products and services that help them maintain the highest professional and competency standards. More than half of AIHA’s nearly 8,500 members are Certified Industrial Hygienists, and many hold other professional designations. AIHA serves as a resource for those employed across the public and private sectors, as well as for the communities in which they work.