December 24, 2014 Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH 0Comment

Chandler Warren’s work-related death could have been prevented. That’s how I see the findings of Tennessee OSHA in the agency’s citations against his employer Federal Express. The 19-year-old was working in July 2014 on the night shift at the company’s World Hub in Memphis, TN. News reports indicated that the equipment used to load containers onto an aircraft crashed down on him.

Inspectors with Tennessee OSHA conducted an inspection at FedEx’s Memphis World Hub following Warren’s death. The agency recently issued citations to the firm including for one serious violation with a proposed $4,000 penalty. The violation involved the company’s failure to provide a safe workplace (Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-3-105). Based on FedEx’s second quarter earnings, the company’s profit from just one minute of operations exceeded the TN-OSHA penalty.

When some local press initially reported Chandler Warren’s death, they called it an accident. An “accident” suggests the circumstances were unforeseen or could not have been avoided. Tennessee OSHA’s findings tell a different story. Call it cutting corners, call it poor management, call it breaking the law. Whatever you want to call it, Chandler Warren’s work-related death could have been prevented, it was no accident.

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