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Fatal work injury inspires workplace safety review

Safety in the Wisconsin workplace is an absolute necessity and should be implemented and supported by employers. In environments where heavy machinery or dangerous tools are used, additional caution may be required but in depth training is essential. A fatal work injury has inspired a workplace safety review at a local university and a thorough evaluation of what needs to be resolved.

The Wisconsin school is in the process of reviewing its safety standards and safety methods in response to a fatal work injury that occurred not just once, but twice. The Facilities, Planning and Management Department of the University of Wisconsin is conducting the analysis because safety procedures and precautions on campus may have lead to the death of two employees in recent years. The instigating work accident was a tragedy involving a plant employee who was crushed to death when a loading dock fell on him. The investigation reported that a required safety method was not used to block the life in the accident, nor was adequate safety training provided to the employee who lost his life.

There was another fatality two years ago, as well, though the safety review by the department did not divulge details of that work accident that may have impacted the review. In situations where an employee loses their life while on company property, workers compensation most often provides medical expense and funerary cost support to the surviving loved ones of the victim. The university did not release details on benefits awarded in either work injury, or if a third party was involved in either tragedy. Workers' compensation death benefits are typically provided to a Wisconsin employee's surviving family when a worker is killed in an on-the-job accident.

The report of the Facilities, Planning and Management department is clearly an important document. Outlined in the report are intended changes that include safety observations, job hazard analysis to be completed before a job begins and additional safety training. The university stated that safety is its number one priority as it actively tries to eradicate fatal work injury.

Source: The Badger Herald, FPM re-emphasizes safety procedures, Aliya Iftikhar, Sept. 27, 2013

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