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Wisconsin workers' compensation: Man dies in grain bin accident

A 27-year-old man who recently perished in a Wisconsin work accident at a grain bin leaves behind a wife and 2-year-old son to mourn his passing. Under Wisconsin law, the man's surviving relatives may be able to file for workers' compensation death benefits to help them financially cope with his death. While this will not help with the emotional grief, it could assist them as they handle his final expenses and the loss of his income.

The fatal accident took place while the man was working alone in a lower level of the grain bin. Reports indicate that he may have been attempting to free up a jam that was preventing corn from properly feeding onto a conveyor belt. For reasons that are currently unclear, a significant amount of grain broke free from the edges of the bin and then crushed the man beneath the corn.

Emergency workers from both Wisconsin and Illinois reported to the scene and made desperate attempts to save the man. Unfortunately, though, he died due to asphyxia from having his chest compressed before he could be extricated from the bin. Now, investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are looking into whether proper safety protocols were followed at the time that the man was fatally injured.

A work accident such as the one this man suffered can be devastating for surviving family members. The loss of one person's income in addition to unexpected funeral costs can cause further blows to such families. This is one reason that Wisconsin law may allow such relatives the chance to file for workers' compensation death benefits to help alleviate the financial stress.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal, "OSHA investigates grain bin death of Milton man," George Hesselberg, April 24, 2013

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