New Hampshire enacts law to protect healthcare workers in wake of guard's death

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill July 22 requiring healthcare facilities to implement and maintain workplace violence prevention programs, according to the Foster's Daily Democrat

The bill also establishes the state's healthcare workplace safety commission; the legislation is set to take effect July 1 2023, although some facilities have until July 1, 2024 to comply. 

"We applaud Governor Sununu for signing into law SB 459, legislation spearheaded by [New Hampshire] Sen. Jim Gray which addresses the increasing incidents of workplace violence and supports the need to protect our healthcare workforce," the state hospital association said in a statement. "Violent acts against healthcare workers continue to increase in number and severity, and this important legislation establishes the Workplace Violence Prevention Program and the New Hampshire Health Care Workplace Safety Commission, both of which aim to enhance workplace violence prevention through data collection, risk assessments, sharing of best practices and annual reporting."

Mr. Sununu signed the bill outside of Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.H., where security guard Richard Semo, 64, was assaulted in December 2020 outside the hospital's emergency room entrance, the newspaper reported. Mr. Semo died days later.

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