Medical Coverage for Short-Term Disability Benefits

In case of illness or injury sustained outside the workplace, one may be entitled to short-term disability benefits. Some states provide employees with these benefits, and employers in other states can offer short-term voluntary benefits.

Short-Term Disability Insurance (STDI)
Some states provide short-term disability benefits through a state fund paid for by employees, employer contributions, or both. Employers might also offer STDI benefits either fully paid by the employer or subject to employee contributions.

Illnesses Covered by STDI
A short-term disability plan provides payment for lost wages if an employee is unable to work temporarily due to pregnancy or an illness or injury suffered off the job. Qualifying surgeries must be medically necessary. Common examples of medical operations that might qualify for short-term disability benefits are: open heart surgery, caesarean section birth, removal of gallbladder or other internal organs, broken bones, and knee or hip replacement surgery.

The attorneys at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C. can help workers in need of disability benefits. Contact our firm at (515) 225-2600 to see how we can get you the coverage you need.



OSHA allies with professional society to reduce chemical hazard risks

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication are once again renewing their alliance to increase awareness about chemical risks at work, according to a report by Business Insurance on April 13.

OSHA and the Virginia-based professional group would work hand-in-hand to develop hazard communication training tools to reduce the risks associated with chemical hazards at work. The partnership will also raise awareness about labeling hazardous materials in compliance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), a framework to classify and label hazardous chemicals at work.

The GHS is set to be implemented by June 1, 2015.

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels said thousands of workers become sick or die due to exposure to hazardous chemicals at work. The legal team at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., might be able to help you seek the compensation you need when hurt while on duty in Des Moines. Call our office at 877-327-2600 for an initial assessment of your situation today.



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.



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.



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.



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

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

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.



Miners at small companies at higher risk of pneumoconiosis

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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