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IOSHA conducting safety inspection at FedEx facility where mass shooting happened

Report could take several months
Posted at 5:45 PM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 17:47:57-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) has opened a safety-compliance inspection at the FedEx warehouse where eight people were shot and killed by a gunman Thursday night.

The victims were all FedEx employees—Matthew R. Alexander, 32; Samaria Blackwell, 19; Amarjeet Johal, 66; Jaswinder Kaur, 64; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Amarjit Sekhon, 48; Karli Smith, 19; and John Weisert, 74.

Witnesses said the gunman, a former employee, opened fire in the parking lot before entering the facility and continuing to shoot inside, leaving victims both inside and outside the building.

FedEx reported the workplace deaths to IOSHA as required by state and federal regulations.

“With a safety-compliance inspection, IOSHA conducts a review of the employer’s facility operations, and determines if those operations are compliant with state IOSHA and federal OSHA regulations,” Stephanie McFarland, a spokesperson for IOSHA said. “A safety-compliance inspection in general will gather information from the employer on what occurred and the operations in place associated with the incident in question, and consider what OSHA/IOSHA regulations are applicable.”

Safety compliance inspections can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days, McFarland said.

According to OSHA’s fact sheet on workplace violence, employers who do not take steps to prevent or abate a recognized violence hazard in the workplace can be cited.

FedEx has not yet responded to inquiries from WRTV about its security set up at the FedEx facility where the shooting happened.

The OSHA fact sheet lists the following as steps employers should take to protect employees:

■ Secure the workplace. Where appropriate to the business, install video surveillance, extra lighting, and alarm systems and minimize access by outsiders through identification badges, electronic keys, and guards.

■ Instruct employees not to enter any location where they feel unsafe. Introduce a “buddy system” or provide an escort service or police assistance in potentially dangerous situations or at night

■ Provide drop safes to limit the amount of cash on hand. Keep a minimal amount of cash in registers during evenings and late night hours.

■ Equip field staff with cellular phones and hand-held alarms or noise devices, and require them to prepare a daily work plan and keep a contact person informed of their location throughout the day. Keep employer provided vehicles properly maintained.

OSHA said companies can do the following an incident of workplace violence:

■ Encourage employees to report and log all incidents and threats of workplace violence.

■ Provide prompt medical evaluation and treatment after the incident.

■ Report violent incidents to the local police promptly.

■ Inform victims of their legal right to prosecute perpetrators.

■ Discuss the circumstances of the incident with staff members. Encourage employees to share information about ways to avoid similar situations in the future.

■ Offer stress debriefing sessions and post traumatic counseling services to help workers recover from a violent incident.

■ Investigate all violent incidents and threats, monitor trends in violent incidents by type or circumstance, and institute corrective actions.

■ Discuss changes in the program during regular employee meetings.