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Workers' compensation: Tennessee father dies at FedEx facility

As the holiday season kicks into full gear, more and more people will be making online purchases and mailing gifts to loved ones. This keeps shipping companies and their workers extremely busy. However, being busy is no reason for companies to overlook obvious threats to worker safety. While workers' compensation can address the financial side of a worker's death, it would certainly be better if employers provided safe working environments.

A 23-year-old man had only been working at a Tennessee FedEx facility for about a month when he was fatally injured. FedEx has not said anything on the matter other than to extend its sympathies in a recent statement. His family is still not sure about what happened, but a co-worker reportedly told the victim's father that he was trapped by a shipping container that weighed about 7,000 pounds. He left behind two young children, and the man's cousin told a local news outlet that he died on the same day as his son's sixth birthday.

Although certainly tragic, this young man's death is not necessarily unique. Since 2014, workplace accidents have killed four workers at the same facility, the most recent death before this one being in 2017. In that accident, a 60-year-old man was dragged behind a motorized cargo lift, and FedEx issued a similar statement expressing its condolences. The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration -- TOSHA -- investigated that particular incident, citing the company for a safety violation that caused a death. FedEx only had to pay $7,000 in fines.

Tennessee workers should be able to clock in with the expectation that they will return home to their families. Unfortunately, there are still many employers that prioritize their bottom lines over the health and safety of workers. What some people might not realize is that when an on-the-job injury leads to a worker's death, his or her family can choose to file for temporary death benefits through the workers' compensation system.

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Logan-Thompson, P.C., Attorneys at Law
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