Construction jobsites can be high-risk environments where accidents and emergencies, including opioid overdoses, can occur. To prioritize the mental health and wellbeing of workers, it is crucial to implement proactive measures that can potentially save lives. One effective intervention is having Narcan, a medication used to reverse opioid overdoses, readily available on construction jobsites. By implementing Narcan programs, employers can promote a culture of safety, alleviate workers’ anxiety and distress, and provide a sense of security in the workplace.
Training and education: Conduct comprehensive training sessions to educate workers about the signs of opioid overdose, proper administration of Narcan, and emergency response protocols. This training can be provided by certified instructors or in partnership with healthcare professionals and addiction specialists.
Distribution of Narcan kits: Ensure that Narcan kits, including the medication and necessary administration equipment, are readily accessible on all construction jobsites. These kits should be stored in easily identifiable locations and regularly checked for expiration dates to maintain their effectiveness.
Collaboration with local resources: Establish partnerships with local healthcare providers, emergency medical services, or community organizations that can provide ongoing support, training, and resources related to Narcan administration and overdose prevention.
Behavioral Science Principles:
Bystander intervention: By promoting the availability and use of Narcan, employers can tap into the behavioral science principle of bystander intervention. Encouraging workers to take an active role in identifying and responding to potential opioid overdoses can empower them to make a positive impact on the wellbeing of their colleagues.
Social norms theory: Emphasize that the presence of Narcan on jobsites is a standard and socially responsible practice within the construction industry. By establishing this social norm, employers can influence workers’ behavior and encourage their active engagement with the Narcan program.
Reduce stigma: Create a supportive and non-judgmental environment that fosters open discussions about substance use and mental health. By reducing stigma surrounding opioid addiction and overdose, workers may feel more comfortable seeking help, fostering a positive and empathetic workplace culture.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Understanding the Epidemic. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html
National Safety Council. (2021). Opioids at Work Employer Toolkit. Retrieved from https://www.nsc.org/topics/drugs-substance-abuse/opioids-at-work
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021). Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit. Retrieved from https://store.samhsa.gov/product/Opioid-Overdose-Prevention-Toolkit/SMA18-4742
U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (2021). Opioid Crisis and Worker Safety and Health. Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/opioids
World Health Organization. (2014). Community Management of Opioid Overdose. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789241548816