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A 54-year-old man died on the job Tuesday at Chattanooga's Wrigley Manufacturing plant. This is the second employee death at this plant in the last 16 months.

Past TOSHA citations at Wrigley

* 2015: Investigation opened into the death of Wallace Scarbro
* 2013: Cited in general duty, machine guarding, flammable liquids, portable fire extinguishers, general requirements for machines, hand and portable equipment, general requirements, wiring methods and use of equipment — fined $8,575
* 2005: Cited for failing to provide adequate first aid training and anchoring fixed machinery — fined $400
Source: Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration

On Tuesday, Chattanooga's Wrigley Manufacturing plant cemented its status as the most dangerous candy factory of its type when a 54-year-old man died on the job -- the second employee death there within the last 16 months.

Wallace Scarbro died just after midnight Tuesday at the factory at 3002 Jersey Pike. No details about how he died have been released, but his death has been classified as an accident, police said.

While Scarbro is the second person to die at the plant that makes Altoids and Life Savers in less than two years, nationally it's rare for candy factory workers to die on the job.

There were 439 non-chocolate confectionery manufacturing facilities that employed about 19,000 people in the nation in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But between 2003 and 2013, only one person suffered a fatal injury while working in such a factory, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That death happened in 2013 when 34-year-old Mandie Rachael Creel Chitwood was killed while working in Chattanooga's Wrigley plant.

On Tuesday, reaction to Scarbro's death closely echoed the days after Chitwood died.

Family members and friends offered condolences on social media. Officials from the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation. Neither Wrigley nor TOSHA would release any details about exactly what happened.

Even the statement from Wrigley Tuesday was nearly identical to the statement issued in 2013, sentence for sentence.

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"We are deeply saddened to confirm that one of our associates was involved in a fatal accident onsite at our Chattanooga factory very early this morning," Tuesday's statement read. "We are in the process of working with appropriate authorities in the investigation. Right now, there is little we can say to make this easier, and out of respect for the family and our associates, we will not comment further at this time."

Scarbro had worked at the Chattanooga candymaker for about a year and a half, Wrigley spokeswoman Caroline Sherman said. She added that the factory is in full compliance with TOSHA and other third-party standards.

She declined to comment on the national rate of fatalities in factories like Wrigley.

"The incident in 2013 and the incident this week are horribly tragic, but they are unrelated," she said. "Safety is our top priority. It always has been and always will be."

The TOSHA investigation could take several months to conclude. Investigators will inspect any machinery that was involved and talk to witnesses, spokeswoman Jennifer Farrar said.

"At this point we don't know the cause of the death and whether there is any liability or not as far as the company is concerned," she said. "We're going to have to wait [until] after the investigation to see."

TOSHA investigators did find that Wrigley was at fault when Chitwood was fatally injured in October 2013. In that case, Chitwood was climbing a mobile ladder to clear a jam in the Life Saver Gummie department when a forklift operator ran the machine into the ladder and threw Chitwood into an 8-inch pipe.

Sherman said at the time that the company was instituting new safety procedures to avoid repeating a similar collision.

Wrigley operates three factories in the United States and employs about 275 full-time workers in Chattanooga.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or sbradbury@timesfreepress.com with tips or story ideas.

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