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Wisconsin workers' compensation: mill worker seriously burned

Factory accidents can change the lives of workers in an instant, often causing severe injuries that lead to significant recovery periods or, in the worst-case scenarios, death. Many workers who suffer on-the-job injuries are able to file for workers' compensation benefits in order to have their medical and related expenses covered. In addition to covering medical costs, workers' compensation can also help those who suffer factory accidents make ends meet while they are unable to perform the normal duties of their jobs.

One factory worker recently became the third to suffer severe burn injuries at a particular Wisconsin packaging mill in less than a year. Tragically, the two other men who were burned in a prior factory accident both succumbed to the wounds they suffered after being burned and killed by a byproduct created by burning coal. The man in the more recent incident was injured severely enough that he ultimately had to be flown to the University of Wisconsin Madison Hospital for treatment.

His injuries came about while he was working at the mill on an early Tuesday morning. Emergency personnel responded to the mill and first took the man to Ministry Sacred Heart Hospital before later air-lifting him to the University of Wisconsin Madison Hospital. Police officials were unable to release specific details concerning the incident leading up to the man's injuries. An Occupational Safety and Health Administration spokesperson did reveal that the organization was investigating the accident, but also said that it could be as long as six months before they are able to release any of their official findings.

Regardless of the specifics, there is little doubt that this man's life will be altered by the repercussions of this serious work accident. Burn injuries can be particularly painful and lead to a long period of recovery for accident victims. This is one reason why Wisconsin law requires most employers to carry workers' compensation insurance to assist those workers who are injured while performing the normal course of their duties. Workers who suffer such on-the-job injuries may wish to look into whether workers' compensation would be appropriate in their own cases.

Source: Stevens Point Journal, "Employee suffers burns at Tomahawk-area mill," Amanda Seitz, March 5, 2013

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