Safety practices questioned after 3rd FedEx employee accidentally killed

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - There are new questions about safety at the FedEx Memphis hub after a worker was killed during the busy holiday shipping season.

State regulators are investigating this latest death at the hub, along with Memphis police.

Local attorney Jeff Rosenblum who has dealt with cases like this in the past says it's time to look at safety protocol.

In just three and a half years, three FedEx workers have been killed while working at the Memphis International Airport Hub.

This time, police say a female worker was found dead under a motorized mobile conveyer belt system.

In 2015, 39-year-old Christopher Higginbottom was reportedly crushed by a dolly, and in 2014, 19-year-old Chandler Warren was reportedly crushed by a giant lift.

Rosenblum represented the Higginbottom and Warren families in wrongful death cases.

He says under Tennessee law, families can file workman compensation cases against a company in a wrongful death case, but it's uncommon for a family to sue for negligence or punitive damages.

"If there are inherent dangers to the pieces of equipment you have to design those out if you can, if you can't design those out you have to guard against potential injuries," Rosenblum said.

Right now, the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration is heading up an investigation at the FedEx Hub.

TOSHA proposed to fine FedEx $4,000 in connection with the death of Higginbottom, but a TOSHA representative says FedEx Corporation filed an appeal.

Rosenblum says a closer look at the safety of equipment must be done by FedEx Corporation and the equipment vendors.

"We have to look beyond what the minimum requirements are and we have to be proactive as a community," Rosenblum said.

Officials have not identified the worker killed in Thursday's accident.

We reached out to a FedEx Corporation representative and asked if any safety protocols were violated during this most recent incident. We have not heard back.

We will continue to follow the latest developments in this case.

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