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From Cheese Factories to Breweries: Industry-Specific Injury Risks in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is renowned for its iconic industries, notably cheese production, brewing, dairy farming, and paper production. The state has nearly 100 cheese factories and several dairy farms and creameries open to the public. It also boasts a rich brewing history, with Molson Coors and New Glarus Brewing Company calling the state home.

Despite their economic success, these industries aren’t immune to workplace injuries. In 2022, Wisconsin workers experienced 58,900 nonfatal workspace injuries and illnesses, with an injury rate .03% higher than the national average. 32,900 of those injuries were severe enough to warrant days away from work, job restrictions, or job transfers. Goods-producing, including manufacturing and natural resources, had a rate of about 3.6 injuries per 100 workers.  

If you’re hurt on the job in Wisconsin, you have the right to workers’ compensation benefits to help pay for your recovery. Continue reading this blog to learn about industry-specific risks in Wisconsin and how a Green Bay workers’ compensation lawyer from Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers can help you get benefits in a workers’ compensation claim.

Common Workplace Risks in Wisconsin

Factories, breweries, farms, and paper mills all present unique employee risks. Here are some common dangers in these types of work environments that can lead to worker injury:

  • Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals: Workers may come into contact with harmful substances, such as the caustic cleaning agents like peracetic acid, used in Wisconsin’s breweries. This can cause burns, poisoning, or respiratory issues, leading to acute or chronic health conditions affecting their quality of life and ability to work.
  • Machinery Accidents: Operating heavy machinery can result in crush injuries, amputations, or fatalities. These can occur when operating milking machines on dairy farms or cutting and rolling equipment in paper mills. Victims may suffer from limited physical capabilities and long-term unemployment or career changes after an accident.
  • Slips, Trips, and Falls: Wet floors, uneven surfaces, and cluttered walkways can cause falls, a concern in factory settings, where spills and debris are common. These incidents can lead to severe injuries, such as fractures or head trauma, requiring lengthy recovery periods and resulting in chronic pain or mobility issues.
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries: Repeated motions can cause musculoskeletal disorders, resulting in temporary or permanent disability. For instance, workers in cheese factories may experience tendonitis due to repetitive tasks like cutting and packaging, causing prolonged pain and difficulty performing daily activities or job-related duties.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Wisconsin

If you’re hurt while performing job duties in Wisconsin, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits apply no matter who was at fault for the accident and should be provided as long as you are a direct employee (not a contracted worker).

Under Wisconsin law, workers’ compensation provides a range of benefits, including:

  • Coverage for medical treatment, including doctor visits, hospitalization, prescription medications, and rehabilitation services.
  • Vocational rehabilitation to help retrain or acquire new skills if you can’t resume previous work duties due to your injury.
  • Permanent disability compensation, such as wage replacement at the two-thirds rate, for permanent disability caused by the injury.

How We Can Help You Maximize Your Benefits

Suffering an injury when working can be disorienting and stressful. You may be worried about missing out on benefits but feel unsure of how to file a claim for workers’ compensation.

At Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers, we help injured workers get the benefits they’re entitled to under Wisconsin law. Here’s how we can maximize your claim to support you during recovery:

  • Accurate Claim Filing: We help you file your workers’ comp claim, detailing the incident, injury, and required medical treatment to prevent any delays or denials due to incomplete information.
  • Legal Support: If your claim is stalled or denied, we can fight for your right to fair compensation and appeal unfavorable decisions.
  • Medical Documentation Assistance: To substantiate your claim, we work with you to compile all necessary medical records and reports, highlighting the extent of your injuries and their impact on your work life.
  • Return-to-Work Advice: We advise how to approach returning to work, helping you adjust your work environment or duties and protect your health.

Get Help with Your Workers’ Comp Claim

You’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you suffer a workplace injury in Wisconsin. If you’re uncertain about how to proceed with your claim or require assistance with an appeal, consider contacting our knowledgeable team at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers.

We understand workers’ compensation requirements and timelines and can ensure you receive the benefits you’re owed. Contact us today for a free case review and to get started on your claim.

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