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Workers' compensation: Wisconsin workers ill from chemical spill

When a workplace uses chemicals, there is always a danger of a harmful spill. This happened recently in Wisconsin, when a chemical reaction at a plastics manufacturing plant sickened nine workers. They had to be transported to the hospital. As these workers recover from their illnesses, they may wish to investigate their options for workers' compensation benefits.

The incident occurred on a December morning at a Turtle Lake factory when three chemicals were accidentally mixed together, creating a hydrochloric acid cloud. Several first responders reported to the scene, including firefighters, law enforcement officers, medical response teams and HAZMAT crews. The plant employees and people in the surrounding area were evacuated for about three hours while the spill was being contained and cleaned up.

In the aftermath of the spill, five employees were transported to the hospital with respiratory issues. Some 60 workers were evacuated to a nearby elementary school, and four of the evacuated workers had to be taken to the hospital for treatment of respiratory symptoms. Additionally, seven firefighters were tested for contamination at a local hospital and then released.

Fortunately, none of the workers who were hospitalized were seriously sickened by the accident. However, they may still have medical bills and lost wages due to this workplace incident. Wisconsin workers who suffer illness or injury as a result of a work accident are likely eligible for workers' compensation, which can cover their medical expenses and a portion of lost income from missed work. Seeking guidance in the claims process may help individuals in need of workers' compensation get the most from their benefits.

Source: wqow.com, "Firefighters treated following chemical reaction inside area plant," Jerry Gallagher, Dec. 20, 2012

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