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OSHA finds no violations after 19 workers were sickened at Exeter Hospital

Union Leader Correspondent

January 12. 2018 12:21AM
Ambulances lined up outside Exeter Hospital's emergency department as medical personnel assisted workers who became ill in August. (Jason Schreiber/Correspondent)

EXETER — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has completed an inspection of Exeter Hospital and found no violations after 19 employees suddenly fell ill last August.

According to Ted Fitzgerald, regional director for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor, the hospital will face no citations or proposed penalties since no violations were identified during OSHA’s inspection that began on Aug. 11.

Inspectors were looking for any violations of workplace health or safety standards in connection with the incident.

Neither the hospital nor local fire officials have released a cause for the mysterious illness.

Authorities responded to the hospital on the morning of Aug. 11 after several employees in the operating room department began feeling dizzy and nauseous.

As many as 19 workers became sick — 12 of whom were transported to other hospitals for treatment.

The incident prompted the hospital to evacuate the emergency and operating room departments while fire officials tried to pinpoint the cause.

After an extensive investigation by the fire department and other agencies, officials were unable to determine a cause at the time.

The hospital conducted its own investigation, but the results are not yet known.

Hospital spokesman Debra Vasapolli said Thursday that the hospital was still finishing up its review and that a statement would likely be released later next week.

The hospital has said that it partnered with “external experts” to conduct an epidemiological review and thorough investigation, but acknowledged that it might not be possible to determine the source.

Health Public Safety Exeter

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