OSHA investigates suburban Atlanta hospital after nurse's death

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of a nurse who worked at Stockbridge, Ga.-based Piedmont Henry Hospital and may have contracted COVID-19 while caring for patients, according to a report by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The investigation is looking into allegations of an unsafe work environment at the hospital that may have exposed the nurse to COVID-19.

OSHA did not release any details about the investigation, but a hospital spokesperson told Becker's via email that the nurse was "a traveling nurse employed by a staffing agency, [and] she may have worked at numerous healthcare facilities, including Piedmont Henry."

There is an unconfirmed report that the nurse had been tested for the new coronavirus.

“We are not aware of whether a test for COVID was taken, nor are we aware of the results,” the hospital spokesperson said.

"Regardless of the circumstances, we are deeply saddened for the friends and families … during this difficult time," the spokesperson said.

The hospital said its supply of personal protective equipment has remained stable through the pandemic.

OSHA told the Journal-Constitution that it has received more than 2,680 complaints about workplace safety issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The investigation at Piedmont Henry Hospital is one among dozens of complaints involving healthcare worker deaths.

According to workplace safety experts, most healthcare worker-related complaints involve a failure on the part of employers to provide adequate protective gear, the Journal-Constitution reports.

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