Workplace violence isn’t just for the U.S. Postal Service anymore. Connecticut health care employers will now be required by law to protect their employees from office aggression.

Signed into law July 13 by Governor Dan Malloy, all health care employers with 50 or more part- or full-time employees must develop and implement plans, policies and training programs intended to inhibit and respond to workplace violence. Public Act No, 11-175 also mandates that by October 1, employers must set up and begin an ongoing workplace safety committee, comprised of a minimum of 50 percent non-management employees, and conduct an annual work violence risk assessment.

Additionally, health care employers must work with the safety committee to develop and implement a written workplace violence prevention and response plan based on the finding of the risk assessment on or before Jan. 1, 2012. Employers also must—to the extent practicable—adjust patient care assignments if requested by an employee as a result of patients who have threatened or abused the employee.

New records-keeping and reporting regulations also are included in the law. Effective October 1, the law mandates health care employers to maintain detailed records on workplace violence incidents, and produce them upon request to the Department of Public Health. Additionally, employers must report certain violent incidents against an employee to local law enforcement within 24 hours after the event.