Safety officials are investigating the death of a 16-year-old boy injured at Wisconsin sawmill

Jul 6, 2023, 9:06 AM

FLORENCE, Wis. (AP) — Workplace safety officials are investigating the death of a 16-year-old boy from injuries he received last week at a Wisconsin sawmill.

Michael Schuls died Saturday at a pediatric hospital in Milwaukee, two days after officers responded to a call about an unresponsive teenager at Florence Hardwoods, Florence County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Teresa Chrisman said Thursday.

His death comes as lawmakers in several states, including Wisconsin, are hazardous occupations, for more hours on school nights and in expanded roles, including serving alcohol in bars and restaurants as young as 14.

A news release from the sheriff’s office said the teen died after an “industrial accident” but Chrisman said Thursday that Schuls’ cause of death and details of his injuries were not being released because of the ongoing investigation.

Florence County Coroner Jeff Rickaby said an autopsy was performed Thursday morning but it will likely be weeks before Schuls’ cause of death is determined because laboratory results and other information are still pending.

A GoFundMe account set up online for Schuls’ family said he was “working at Florence Hardwoods when horrible tragedy struck.” The teen was on life support before he died, according to the account’s creators.

“Our small community is in absolute shock,” the post says.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating and has made a referral to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division for possible child labor violations concerning hazardous occupations, the Labor Department’s regional director for public affairs, Scott Allen, told Wisconsin Public Radio.

Florence Hardwoods has no comment on the boy’s death while it is under investigation, company office manager Jordan Davis said Thursday. The company is located in the town of Florence, near the border with Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, about 110 miles (177 kilometers) north of Green Bay.

In Wisconsin, minors are prohibited from working in all logging-related occupations, including jobs involving the operation of sawmills, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

The state’s labor standards prohibit children under 18 from entering a sawmill building and also bar them from felling trees, cutting up fallen trees, collecting or moving logs and using a chainsaw, among other tasks.

United States News

Demonstrators protest the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House dur...

Associated Press

Gaza war protesters hold a ‘die-in’ near the White House as Netanyahu meets with Biden, Harris

WASHINGTON (AP) — Protesters against the Gaza war held a “die-in” across from Lafayette Park and the White House on Thursday as President Joe Biden met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The protesters poured red liquid onto the street, saying it symbolized the blood of those killed in Gaza. They chanted, “Arrest Netanyahu,” and […]

7 minutes ago

FILE - A 9mm "ghost gun" pistol build kit with a commercial slide and barrel with a polymer frame i...

Associated Press

Massachusetts governor signs bill cracking down on hard-to-trace ‘ghost guns’

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey signed a sweeping gun bill Thursday that supporters say builds on the state’s existing gun laws, including a crackdown on hard to trace “ghost guns,” while safeguarding the rights of gun owners. The law is part of an effort by the state to respond to a 2022 U.S. […]

19 minutes ago

FILE - Misy Sifre, 17, and others protest for transgender rights at the Capitol in Salt Lake City, ...

Associated Press

Days before a Biden rule against anti-LGBTQ+ bias takes effect, judges are narrowing its reach

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — New federal court rulings are narrowing the Biden administration’s enforcement of a rule for protecting LGBTQ+ students from discrimination and allowing critics to limit it even further school by school. A federal judge in Missouri blocked enforcement of the rule in six additional states, bringing the total to 21. The decision […]

38 minutes ago

Assembly line worker Sheila Buckley tries to keep cool while on the picket line as members of Unite...

Associated Press

Workers at GM seat supplier in Missouri each tentative agreement, end strike

The union representing workers a Lear Corp. plant in Missouri that makes seats for General Motors vehicles said Thursday it reached a tentative agreement with the company, ending a strike that was in its fourth day. About 480 workers at Lear Corp. in Wentzville who walked out at midnight Sunday are back at work. They […]

50 minutes ago

Associated Press

Daughter of Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley on trial, accused of abandoning newborn in cold

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The trial began Thursday for the daughter of baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley, who is accused of abandoning her baby after giving birth in the woods in subfreezing temperatures on Christmas night in 2022. Attorneys for Alexandra Eckersley, 27, said she didn’t know she was pregnant, thought the child […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Chicken wings advertised as ‘boneless’ can have bones, Ohio Supreme Court decides

Consumers cannot expect boneless chicken wings to actually be free of bones, a divided Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday, rejecting claims by a restaurant patron who suffered serious medical complications from getting a bone stuck in his throat. Michael Berkheimer was dining with his wife and friends at a wing joint in Hamilton, Ohio, and […]

1 hour ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

Safety officials are investigating the death of a 16-year-old boy injured at Wisconsin sawmill