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University of Wisconsin employee crushed; dies in work accident

Fatal work accidents often affect the community at large, but there's no doubt that it's especially tragic for the family members left behind to mourn a loved one's loss. Few expect that a routine day on the job will result in a person's death. Unfortunately, this recently became the case for a University of Wisconsin employee who suffered a fatal work accident while attempting to repair a lift at a loading dock.

Initial reports indicate that the 62-year-old man was working just outside the Art Lofts building at the time. In an attempt to repair the loading dock lift, he had maneuvered underneath the mechanism. Officials indicate that the lift unexpectedly released and came down on top of the worker. The man suffered severe crush injuries in the incident. At least one other individual was reportedly present at the time, but it appears as if that person was not injured.

A call for help was made and emergency personnel responded to the scene, including University of Wisconsin police and the Madison Fire Department. Fire Department workers were able to extricate the injured man using heavy equipment before rushing him to the UW Hospital. The man succumbed to his injuries soon after arriving, however. Officials are now investigating exactly why the lift released and whether any extenuating circumstances could have contributed to this fatality.

After a fatal work accident like this, such an investigation is common as both community members and surviving relatives seek answers to how such a tragedy could occur. Wisconsin workers' compensation law provides certain relatives the opportunity to file for death benefits to help alleviate their financial suffering after an unexpected death. While it won't return a loved one, it can at least take away one measure of strain from a grieving family.

Source: The Badger Herald, "UW staffer dies on job site," Julia Skulstad, April 17, 2013

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