Sewage cleanup near Santa Fe hospital sparks probe

New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Three wastewater workers say the city of Santa Fe failed to protect them from exposure to hazardous waste and needles during a sewer backup near a hospital.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the state Occupational Health and Safety Bureau has launched an investigation into the condition of the cleanup by Santa Fe Wastewater Management Division employees.

A complaint says city wastewater employees were assigned to clean up “effluent discharge from waste created” by Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center last month. Documents say the only protective gear they were given to clean the backup were steel-toe shoes, gloves and hard hats.

City Public Utilities Director Shannon Jones says the Wastewater Management Division and the City Manager’s Office are cooperating with state investigators.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.santafenewmexican.com

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