April 11, 2024


The State Senate will soon take up legislation protecting health care workers, inspired after the deaths of two home care nurses in Connecticut in recent months.

Senate Bill 1, approved by the Public Health Committee, seeks to improve the health and safety of Connecticut residents. Its biggest priority in doing this is protecting health care workers, who face some of the highest risks of on-the-job violence and abuse; they are crucial to our health care systems. Nearly half of nurses have experienced increases in workplace violence, according to a 2022 survey, and federal data says they represent up to 73% of non-fatal injuries from workplace violence in pre-pandemic data.

Senate Bill 1’s provisions include providing workers with information about the patients they care for, especially those with potential histories of violence or histories of criminal behavior. This transparency, in addition to risk assessments of homes’ safety, family members and areas of travel, can help care workers better protect themselves when performing their work.

The legislation was inspired by the deaths of Joyce Grayson, a Connecticut nurse killed in Willimantic in October 2023 upon visiting a patient in a halfway home, and of Otolegile Morulane, who died in January 2024 when a house fire in East Lyme destroyed the home of his patient, who also died in the fire.

Senate Bill 1 also seeks to provide more comprehensive training for workers who find themselves in unsafe situations, as well as new technology including alert buttons to inform authorities if they are in an unsafe situation.

State Senators Saud Anwar and Martha Marx, Senate Chair and Vice Chair of the Public Health Committee, are both health care workers and reinforced the need for this legislation through their own personal experiences.

Posted by Joe O’Leary