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OSHA holds off combustible dust regulations

Posted on December 16th, 2014 No Comments

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

Posted on December 4th, 2014 No Comments

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.

OSHA urges employers to take Black Friday safety measures

Posted on November 24th, 2014 No Comments

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reminds large retailers in the country to take precautions to prevent potential hazards during the busiest shopping day of the year, according to a report by The Hill on Monday, November 17.

The agency wrote to major retailers across U.S. and encouraged them to set up a crowd management plan in preparation for Black Friday. OSHA also provided safety guidelines for ensuring workers safety, such as having an emergency plan for unexpected incidents, setting up barriers for waiting customers, and establishing a limit on the number of customers who can enter the store at one time.

Workplace hazards in retail stores are real. In fact, a retail employee was tragically trampled to death by shoppers surging through the door of a store in 2008. If you have been hurt while working in a dangerous shop in Des Moines, you might be eligible to seek compensation from your employer. Speak with an attorney at LaMarca Law Group, P.C., by calling 877-327-2600 to learn more about your options today.

U.S. workplace deaths improving for the past 20 years

Posted on November 5th, 2014 No Comments

Figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) have shown the country’s workplace death rate has been steadily improving every year for the past two decades, according to an online report published on November 3.

Data from the BLS revealed the rate of workplace deaths across the country is 25% lower than that of 2006. Last year, the country recorded 3.2 fatal workplace injuries per 100,000 workers – a significant improvement from the 4.2 per 100,000 recorded in 2006. BLS stated that the decrease in the number of high-risk outdoor occupations has contributed to the improvement.

Although there is a relative improvement in the number of work-related deaths in the country, a great number of American workers are still part of high-risk industries, many of whom are unfortunately defenseless to workplace hazards. If you believe your injury has been a result of your employer’s negligence, consult with a workers’ compensation attorney at LaMarca Law Group, P.C., to explore your legal options. Call our Des Moines office at 877-327-2600 today.

OSHA seeks public comment on managing chemical hazard in the workplace

Posted on October 17th, 2014 No Comments

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Dr. David Michaels has announced the publication of a request for information (RFI), which aims to engage all stakeholders in a national dialogue to manage workers’ exposure to hazardous chemicals, an online report published on October 9.

Included in the dialogue is a discussion about improving the process of updating permissible exposure limits, or PELs, which are the limits set by the OSHA on the amount of hazardous substances in the air. According to Dr. David, the resource and time-intensive process of revising PELs is what keeps thousands of exposure limits outdated and insufficient in protecting workers.

Employers, unions, chemical manufacturers, public health experts, and other stakeholders have been given 180 days to provide their views.

Our workers’ compensation lawyers at LaMarca Law Group, P.C., are willing to help Des Moines workers who have been exposed to toxic substance while on duty seek the compensation they believe they deserve. Consult with us for free by calling 877-327-2600 today.

Ten most frequently cited safety violations of 2014

Posted on October 9th, 2014 No Comments

In September, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Safety Council’s (NSC) Safety+Health magazine have announced the ten most frequently violated OSHA standards for the financial year 2014.

Deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs Patrick Kapust and senior associate editor for the NSC’s Safety+Health magazine Kyle Morrison revealed the list during the NSC’s 2014 Congress and Expo held at the San Diego Convention Center. Several entries moved a few notches up or down from last year.

The list is as follows:

  1. Fall protection (6,143 violations)
  2. Hazard communication (5,161)
  3. Scaffolding (4,029)
  4. Respiratory protection (3,223)
  5. Lockout/tagout (2,704)
  6. Powered industrial trucks (2,662)
  7. Electrical, wiring methods (2,490)
  8. Ladders (2,448)
  9. Machine guarding (2,200)
  10. Electrical, general requirements (2,056)

At LaMarca Law Group, P.C., we assist injured workers in DesMoines in applying and qualifying for workers compensation. To learn more about how our compassionate and dedicated lawyers might be able to help you, call us at 877-327-2600 today.

New OSHA rules for workplace incident reporting take effect next year

Posted on September 30th, 2014 No Comments

Due to the many work-related deaths recorded last year, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will implement new requirements for employers reporting occupational injuries and deaths that will help the agency monitor at-risk companies.

On January 1, employers are expected to report any work-related death within eight hours. Any hospitalizations, amputations, or loss of an eye is also required to be reported within 24 hours. According to OSHA, the new method will help them focus their resources on unsafe workplaces that need intervention.

OSHA also announces it is developing a web portal to accommodate electronic incident reports.

If you have suffered from an occupational injury, find out if your situation qualifies for workers’ compensation by consulting with one of our attorneys at LaMarca Law Group, P.C. For over many years, we have been helping DesMoines workers seek the compensation they believe they deserve, and we might also be able to help you with your pursuit. Call us today at 877-327-2600.

Industrial accident sends one Heinz contractor to hospital

Posted on September 16th, 2014 No Comments

A worker was injured following an industrial accident that occurred at the Heinz factory in Muscatine on Thursday, August 21.

At 3:27 p.m., emergency services were called to rescue a man pinned under a piece of industrial equipment while working at the Heinz facility on 1357 N. Isett Ave. The worker, whose name was withheld, had already been freed when the emergency crew arrived. He was airlifted to Genesis East hospital in Davenport for treatment.

In a statement released by H.J. Heinz Co., senior vice president of corporate and government affairs Michael Mullen stated that the company was prompt in responding to the incident, and that they are dedicated in ensuring safety among their employees. The statement further said the company is fully investigating the accident.

The conclusion of this investigation, and of other investigations, could be that the incident could have been prevented if the proper measures were taken. If you were hurt while on duty in Des Moines, a workers’ compensation lawyer at LaMarca Law Group, P.C. might be able to help secure the benefits you believe you deserve. Call us now at 877-327-2600 see if you’re eligibility for such action.

Exec. order scrutinizes contractors bidding for federal contracts

Posted on September 4th, 2014 No Comments

As part of the White House’s efforts to improve working conditions of millions of American employees, federal contractors will now be required to divulge any labor law violations they committed from the previous three years to bid on a federal contract.

In an executive order President Barack Obama signed on Thursday, July 31, companies competing for federal procurement contracts valued at more than $500,000 would have to declare violations committed against workers’ basic rights, including safety and wage law violations. The order came in light after a report that showed 18 of the 100 heavily-fined agencies from 2007 to 2012 were federal contractors.

Companies receiving federal contracts employ 22% of the nation’s workforce. Out of these millions of workers, a handful of them have unfortunately been violated by the company, in terms of safety, health, or compensation. To learn more about filing for workers’ compensation in Des Moines, consult with our team of workers’ comp attorneys at LaMarca Law Group, P.C., by calling 877-327-2600 today.

Miners at small companies at higher risk of pneumoconiosis

Posted on August 29th, 2014 No Comments

Coal mine workers in smaller mines are at higher risk of lung disorders, including pneumoconiosis, a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) revealed.

The NIOSH studied data of more than 3,700 coal workers between 2005 and 2012, and found that coal workers in mines with less than 50 employees are more than twice at risk of developing pneumoconiosis. Pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease, is a potentially fatal lung condition caused by prolonged exposure to dust. Workers in the quarrying, mining, manufacturing, and construction sectors are considered vulnerable to this illness.

Sadly, many employers fail to meet safety standards in preventing occupational diseases, such as pneumoconiosis. If you believe your sickness has been caused by your employer’s failure to provide a healthy and safe workplace, the legal team at LaMarca Law Group, P.C., might help you hold the responsible parties accountable. Call us at 877-327-2600 today to learn more.



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