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Colorado prison incident leads to workplace injury and death

In law enforcement, police officers working the beat are often the ones that are considered at the highest risk of sustaining injury. However, a recent report in our state has shown that those working on the inside, in positions not commonly thought to be dangerous, can suffer a workplace injury. Two employees at a Colorado prison were working in the kitchen preparing breakfast when an incident occurred with an inmate. The resulting altercation led to injuries to one worker, and death to another.

According to reports, an inmate began assaulting the women, causing serious injury before he was subdued. One worker was killed and another was critically injured in the attack. Their identities and the nature of their injuries were not immediately disclosed.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Office of the Inspector General are reviewing the incident and investigating to determine exactly what happened. The Governor visited the facility to provide support for the victims' families. Food was also delivered to the facility from other locations.

When a workplace injury or death occurs, the victims retain the right to seek benefits through workers' compensation claims. The woman who survived the attack may choose to seek benefits to help her cover her medical expenses and provide income as she recovers. In addition, the family of the woman who was killed is likely entitled to workers' compensation death benefits to provide them with money to cover funeral expenses, and to make up for lost income. While no monetary amount can make up for the horror of suffering an injury such as these Colorado workers did, addressing financial burdens can allow families the opportunity to focus on grieving and coming to terms with the tragedy.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "1 staffer killed, another wounded in Colo. prison," Sept. 25, 2012

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