OSHA updates guidelines on violence in healthcare and social services

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently revised the guidelines that aim to protect healthcare and social services workers from work-related violence, according to a report by the Business Insurance on April 2.

With high hopes of reducing the risk of workplace violence among social services and healthcare workers, OSHA has recently updated its “Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers,” which was previously revised over a decade ago. According to the publication, a successful violence prevention program in the workplace is possible if workers and employers both cooperate to determine the risks of workplace violence.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said workers in the healthcare and social services industries are four times more at risk of injury caused by work-related violence. If you have been hurt while on duty in Des Moines, learn whether you are entitled to file for workers’ compensation by speaking with our team of workers’ comp lawyers at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C. Call us at 877-327-2600 for a free case consultation today.



CUTS: acronym to prevent scaffold-related accidents

Scaffolding accidents are among the most common causes of debilitating injuries and death among construction industry workers not just in the state, but also in the whole country. Among the most common hazards associated with scaffold use are impalement caused by falling work materials, scaffold collapse, and falls.

As a worker, you can prevent scaffold-related incidents from happening by minimizing your risks. You can do this by considering these steps, symbolized by the acronym CUTS, when using scaffolding:

  • Check if the scaffold is in safe working condition before use
  • Use the scaffold and any associated equipment strictly the way they are meant to be used; do not improvise
  • Take note of the manufacturer’s guidelines on safe working load capacity
  • Set foot in and out of the scaffold in a manner that is conventional and safe

In some instances, however, a scaffold-related injury could be a result of contractors who either want to speed up the project or use substandard scaffolding materials to cut costs. To file for a workers’ compensation claim in Des Moines, a lawyer at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., might be able to help. Call us at 877-327-2600 today for a free assessment of your case.



Complaints filed against McDonald’s over workplace safety issues

Complaints have been filed in troves against the world’s largest fast food restaurant chain McDonald’s over unsafe working conditions and low minimum pay, the Chicago Business Journal reported on March 16.

In hopes of compelling the fast food giant to increase their minimum pay and improve workplace safety, 28 complaints from 19 different cities in the U.S. were filed against McDonald’s since the start of this month. The complaints were organized by a campaign called Fight for $15, which was coordinated by the Service Employees International Union.

Among the complaints filed was a case in which an insufficiently trained worker was burned after working with grease. Another worker stated that a slippery floor caused her to fall and burn her arm on a hot surface, causing burn injuries.

Last year, a survey revealed that four in five workers in fast food restaurants received burns while on the job. If you have been injured while performing your duties in Des Moines, a lawyer at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., might be able to help you file for workers’ compensation. Call us at 877-327-2600 to learn more about how to make a claim.



Workplace incidents could be at the highest during daylight saving time change

Lost sleep caused by the daylight saving time (DST) change may put employees at a higher risk of workplace injuries, an article published by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) stated on Friday, March 6.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, losing even just an hour of sleep while adjusting to the new DST schedule may increase the risk of a workplace incident. In a study that examined the U.S. Department of Labor and Mine Safety and Health Administration’s data from 1983 to 2006, a 5.7% increase in injuries occurred on that day. Additionally, more severe injuries were reported.

SHRM said one way employers can reduce the risk of workplace incident during DST change is to schedule highly-dangerous tasks at the end of the week to ensure that everyone has adjusted to the time shift.

A workplace injury could affect your ability to earn an income for you and your family.  To learn more about how to file for a workers’ compensation claim after being hurt in Des Moines, speak with an attorney at LaMarca Law Group, P.C. by calling 877-327-2600 today.



Nurses and nursing aides most vulnerable to hospital hazards

Hospital workers face the everyday challenge of taking care of patients. This noble task exposes them to several unique hazards, such as exposure to highly contagious, sometimes life-threatening diseases, trips and falls when lifting and moving patients, and physical injuries caused by patient violence.

Nurses and nursing aides are at the forefront of these hazards. In 2011, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimated that there were 1,556,930 registered nurses, 136,190 licensed practical nurses, and 384,100 nursing aides currently employed in hospitals across the country. Every day, they are exposed to these injury catalysts:

  • Overexertion and bodily reaction
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Contact with objects or equipment
  • Violence
  • Hazardous substances
  • Transportation accidents

Most hospital injuries are highly preventable, especially if the management considers the safety of its workers its highest priority. If you suffered a work-related injury in Des Moines, our team of workers’ compensation attorneys at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., might be able to help you seek the compensation you believe you deserve. Call us at 877-327-2600 and learn more about your options today.



Ashley Furniture faces nearly $1.8 million in fines from OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) penalized Ashley Furniture, the country’s biggest furniture retailer, for 12 wilful violations, 12 repeated violations, and 14 safety violations it committed at a plant in Wisconsin, according to a report by CBS on February 2.

The furniture chain giant faces $1.76 million in federal fines after investigators found violations that put their 4,500 workers in danger. The OSHA also included the company on its “Severe Violator Enforcement Program.” According to the OSHA, the company cared more about its profit rather than the safety of its workers, which resulted in more than 1,000 reports of work-related injuries over the past three and a half years.

The company plans to reject OSHA’s accusations, saying that the OSHA’s claims are repulsively inappropriate.

Major and large-scale manufacturers are not the only workplaces where safety violations are committed. Minor, small-scale facilities could also be guilty of this kind of negligence. If your safety has been compromised while on duty in Des Moines, our team of workers’ compensation attorneys at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., might be able to help you seek the compensation you believe you deserve. Call us at 877-327-2600 to get legal help today.



Industrial accident in Creston kills one man

An investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is underway after a blast in a fertilizer plant in Creston that killed a 71-year-old worker and injured several others, whotv.com reported.

Although the chemical plant produces fertilizer, carbon dioxide and dry ice, the explosion allegedly was not caused by a chemical catalyst. Instead, the culprit of the industrial blast at the Green Valley Chemical Plant was a four-inch pipe. Creston Fire Chief Todd Jackson said workers were adjusting valves in an attempt to increase heat in the building. The pipe burst due to highly pressurized air. Tragically, this accident claimed the life of Eldon Ray Jr., who worked at the plant for 15 years. The incident also injured two other people.

Authorities said the explosion was so powerful, it reverberated throughout the town and damaged a six inch safety grade window.

The attorneys at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., extend heartfelt condolences to those affected by this tragic incident.



Laser hazard a workplace safety concern

As part of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) effort to reduce the risk of laser injuries in the workplace, the agency announced its collaboration with Laser Institute of America to create training programs and guidance that will educate workers and employers about laser safety, The Hill reported on January 5.

The OSHA said laser safety training materials will be presented at different industry safety shows and conventions. Exposure to lasers may lead to debilitating injuries, such as eye and skin injuries, blindness and tissue damage. Employees working in the industrial, construction, research and medical sectors are at an increased risk of laser injuries.

Incidents involving lasers are highly preventable. Unfortunately, many employers and contractors fail to enact safety measures in order to cut costs and speed up a project. If you have been involved in an injurious laser accident while on duty in Des Moines, speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., to file a claim. Call us at 877-327-2600 today.



OSHA holds off combustible dust regulations

A regulatory agenda released last month shows that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) included the proposed regulation for combustible dust to their list of “long-term action,” and has not set any deadline or timeline about its progress, a report by The Charleston Gazette stated on Tuesday, December 9.

OSHA spokesperson Jesse Lawder said that although the move was done to prioritize other rules, it does not mean that the agency has lost its interest in making a rule on combustible dust, as it remains one of the U.S.’s most fatal workplace hazards. Data from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board shows that from 2008 to 2013, 50 workplace incidents involving combustible dust occurred, killing 29 people and injuring 161 others.

Improper storage and poor handling of explosive materials, such as combustible dust, are among the many possible causes of workplace explosions. But regardless of the cause, many times workplace explosions could have been prevented if the employer had not failed to implement measures that would have ensured the safety of their workers. To find out how to hold negligent employers legally accountable for the damages you have incurred, consult with a Des Moines workers compensation lawyer at LaMarca Law Group, P.C. by calling 877-327-2600 today.



Employees working changing shifts at increased risk of injury

A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health found that workers who switch between different work schedules are at an elevated risk of injury, the Canadian Occupational Health and Safety News reported on November 17.

According to the study, employees who worked permanently during non-standard hours, or evenings and nights, were 1.5 times at risk of workplace injury. However, the risk became higher among workers who switched schedules. Workers who shifted from non-standard working hours to daytime were found to be 2.4 times more likely to be injured while on duty, while workers who changed schedule from daytime to non-standard were 2.6 times more at risk.

Although the data from the study has not explained why, study author Dr. Imelda Wong believes the elevated risk of injury could be linked to decreased cognitive alertness and health conditions brought about by changing work schedules.

As such, it is important for all employers, especially those who manage night shift work, to put in place proper measures to ensure that workers are safe while on duty. If you have been hurt due to a negligent employer in Des Moines, our team of workers’ compensation lawyers at LaMarca Law Group, P.C., might be able to help you claim financial restitution for the damages you have incurred. Call us at 877-327-2600 for a free assessment of your case.



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