In 1911 Wisconsin became the first state in the nation to put a broad, constitutionally valid workers compensation system into operation. The idea of workers compensation has its origins in Germany in the early 1800s. The industrial revolution brought dangerous new workplaces into existence such as railroads, factories and mines with accompanying increases in injuries, deaths and new work-related diseases. Social and political sympathy for the common worker grew and led to the enactment of early workers’ compensation legislation. Workers compensation laws protect people who are injured on the job. They are designed to ensure that employees who are injured or disabled on the job are provided with fixed monetary awards, eliminating the need for litigation. These laws also provide benefits for dependents of those workers who are killed because of work-related accidents or illnesses.