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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Third worker burn injury in eight months reported at Wisconsin mill

Wisconsin employers are required to comply with federal safety standards or face financial penalties, depending on the severity of violations and history of repeat offenses. Injured workers may receive workers' compensation benefits. Spouses and children of employees killed by workplace accidents receive death benefits.

A major employer in a small Wisconsin town near Tomahawk is being investigated by U.S. work safety regulators. A nine-year veteran employee of Packaging Corp. of America (PCA) suffered severe burns at the Bradley mill. Burn injuries killed two other workers at the same mill less than a year ago.

The mill is familiar to investigators at the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. PCA had been written up for 90 safety violation citations during the decade ending in 2010. The new investigation could take up to six months to complete.

The 29- and 47-year-old men who died in the July workplace accident were not dressed in protective gear when a coal byproduct seared their skin. A company related to PCA was issued a $2,800 fine in January. Inland System was charged with failing to train and provide clothing protection for the men who were burned to death.

Reports did not say whether the latest burn victim was properly dressed for the job. The 53-year-old worker was performing routine boiler maintenance when he suffered critical injuries.

The mill has over 400 employees. Five employees have died at PCA due to at-work accidents since 2008.

A severe burn injury can cause death, disfigurement or permanent disability. The long-time employee may no longer have the ability to work and earn income. Workers' compensation attorneys understand how irreplaceable benefits and sound legal advice are to victims and their families' quality of life.

A legal representative ensures claims for workers' compensation are filed properly. An attorney can address disputes within the benefits' system while victims and their loved ones concentrate on physical and emotional recovery.

Source: wausaudailyherald.com, "Update: Man burned in Tomahawk-area mill accident identified, in critical condition," Amanda Seitz, March 6, 2013

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