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Work accident at Wisconsin mill leaves 1 dead and 1 critical

Many factory workers in Wisconsin understand that there are inherent dangers in doing their jobs. All companies are required to take as many precautions as possible to ensure the safety of their workers. However, even the most stringent safety procedures and policies can't always prevent a work accident.

The morning of July 17 started out like any other at the Packaging Corp. of America mill in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. But that all changed when two men working as contractors at the mill were seriously burned by fly ash, which is a by-product of coal combustion. According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department, both men were taken to UW Hospital in Madison. Despite the efforts of medical personnel, one man succumbed to his injuries and died at the hospital. The other man is listed in critical condition in the University of Wisconsin-Madison burn center.

Representatives of the Packing Corp. of America said they do not yet know what caused the accident. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has been called in to investigate. According to official records, this is not the first time workers have lost their lives in a work accident at the mill. Three workers were killed in 2008 when flammable gas in a storage tank was ignited by sparks.

All Wisconsin workers, including industrial workers, have a right to a safe work environment. There are numerous laws and regulations regarding safety equipment, procedures, and policies that companies are required to follow and make available to everyone who works at the company. Even though no amount of preparation and precaution can completely guarantee a safe work environment, avoiding a work accident should be the first priority of any company and anyone working for that company. For those who are injured in a work-related injury, a workers' compensation claim can help ease some of the financial burden that follows.

Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette, "1 dead, 1 critically hurt in Tomahawk mill accident," July 18, 2012

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