OSHA requiring employers to improve safety by collecting injury data

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is now requiring employers, especially those in high-hazard industries, to disclose all incidents of work-related injuries in an attempt to improve workplace safety.

In the new rule issued by OSHA, the workplace injuries or illnesses already required to be recorded by employers will be posted on OSHA’s official website. The new policy is intended to urge employers to maintain their facilities to prevent injuries and illnesses. Job seekers are expected to benefit from the publicly posted injury data of employers because they can choose workplaces with low injury rates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that over 3 million workers sustain workplace injuries yearly. The new OSHA policy is expected to take effect on August 10.

The lawyers at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C. understand that many workers experience a financial loss as a result of sustaining injuries in the workplace. If you are in such a situation, our firm may be able to help you earn the workers’ compensation you need for recovery. Call us at 877-327-2600 to learn more about your legal options.



Types of workers’ compensation benefits in Iowa

Iowa employers are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees. The three types of workers’ compensation benefits are as follows:

  1. Medical Benefits – Any medical care that an employee requires as a result of a workplace injury will be paid for by the employer and insurance provider. The employer has the autonomy to choose the doctor. The employer and insurance provider must reimburse the employee for any travel expenses (fuel) associated with medical appointments.
  2. Permanency Benefits – An employee may receive permanent partial disability benefits after sustaining a permanent injury, and it is provided based on the degree of the disability and the earning capacity of the employee thereafter.
  3. Wage Replacement Benefits – Any wages that are lost as a result of your workplace injury will be paid for by your employer and insurance provider. This also makes up for wages that would be made otherwise if the employee must work fewer hours for a certain period of time after the injury.

If you are in the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim in Iowa, consult with our legal team at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C.. Don’t hesitate to call our Des Moines office at 877-327-2600.



The Basics of Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Iowa

After a workplace-related accident, you should notify your employer within 90 days to make sure that you will get the benefits you need. The employer will then complete a report for the insurance provider. Employers in Iowa are required to provide insurance to cover all possible workers’ compensation claims. If they don’t provide coverage, they will be liable under Iowa law.

A smooth transaction is much more likely when employees properly follow procedures, comply with all requirements, and establish that the accident happened during employment. The benefits you will be eligible to receive may be medical benefits to cover the cost of care and recovery or disability benefits to replace the wage you are no longer able to earn due to your injury.

Any dispute in the transaction should be dealt with in the presence of a workers’ compensation commissioner. It is the employee’s duty to notify the commissioner if the benefits were unsatisfactory or if it was not provided at all. Failure to report any dispute may lead to the loss of benefits. Any other claims and issues should be brought to the commissioner within three years of the accident. If you feel that a ruling made by the commissioner is unjustified or unfair, you may appeal the decision to the Iowa court of appeals.

Above all else, a skilled workers’ compensation attorney can help you get the results you need when pursuing compensation from your employer’s insurer. If you are in the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim in Iowa, contact the attorneys of the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., by calling our office at 877-327-2600 today.



When does one become eligible to file a workers’ comp claim?

According to legal editor Bethany Laurence, one may file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as the person injures themselves on the job or when the person begins to develop an illness that is work-related.

It becomes a disadvantage if a worker prolongs or delays the filing of the claim in the sense that the worker’s compensation insurance carrier may already deny the benefits. The delay may be taken as a warning signal by the insurance carrier, and may pose further complications such as the legitimacy of the injury being questioned.

The processing of the workers’ compensation claim includes the disclosure of your injury to your employer and the formal filing of the claim.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim is a tedious job especially if you are working and processing the claim simultaneously. It is always safe to seek legal help in order to fully exhaust all possibilities of compensation and legal rights. Speak with our lawyers at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C. and call our Des Moines office at 877-327-2600.



What you need to know about working in confined spaces

To reduce the number of fatalities and injuries associated with working in confined spaces, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently revised its policy requirement for confined space work, which now covers crawl spaces and attics.

The new ruling requires employers to implement a permit program to protect workers from the hazards of working in a dangerous confined space. Contractors are also required to conduct an inspection before entry to ensure that the air is free from toxic and flammable substances, proper ventilation is present, points of entry and exit have been identified, and all potential hazards are controlled.

Employees working in attics, crawl spaces, and other confined areas are at great risk of suffocation and engulfment. To know more about seeking the compensation you deserve after being injured in a work-related incident in Des Moines, our legal team at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C. are willing to help you. Call us at 877-327-2600 today for a free evaluation of your case.



OSHA seeks to reiterate employers’ duty to maintain injury records

In light of a 2012 court decision, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed a new rule clarifying employers’ duty to keep records of work-related injuries and deaths within a five-year time period, according to a report by Business Insurance on July 29.

Under the proposed rulemaking, OSHA reiterated that employers are required to keep records of illnesses and injuries in the workplace that have resulted in deaths, job transfer or restriction of work activities, diagnosis of an illness, days off work, loss of consciousness, and treatment beyond first aid within a span of five years. However, the ruling doesn’t propose any additional illnesses or injuries that an employer needs to record other than what is already required.

Work-related accidents affect not just your physical well-being, but your financial stability as well. The legal team at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., may help you file a workers’ compensation claim, so you may receive funds while you are unable to work. Call our Des Moines office at 877-327-2600 for help.



OSHA promotes heat safety awareness at work

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) stated that it will continue its efforts to reduce the risk of heat-related risks at work with the help of the National Weather Service, Farm Futures reported on June 11.

As part of the OSHA’s effort, the agency spruced up its Heat Safety Tool phone app, which aims to help site managers and workers calculate the heat index of their worksite and determine its risk level. The app will also feature steps to identify and mitigate symptoms of heat-related illness.

OSHA said outdoor workers, such as farmers, ranchers, and firefighters, are at the highest risk of heat-related incidents at work. Employees working indoors under high temperatures, such as bakery workers, may also suffer from heat illness.

If working under extreme heat has caused you to suffer from an illness or injury, our legal team at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., might be able to help you obtain the benefits you truly need. Call our Des Moines office at 877-327-2600 to learn more about filing a workers’ compensation claim.



Watchdog group wants OBM to finish reviewing rule on beryllium

Advocacy group Public Citizen is calling for the completion of the Occupational Safety and Health Agency’s (OSHA) rule on occupational exposure to beryllium, according to a report by Safety + Health on May 6.

The group urges the Office of Budget Management (OBM) to complete the review so that OSHA can open it up to public comment. Since 2002, the OSHA has been seeking additional information about beryllium exposure. The proposed rule has been under review by the OBM since September 4.

Beryllium exposure may cause a myriad of adverse health effects, including chronic lung diseases. Workers at highest risk of beryllium exposure are those in the automotive, mining, metal reclamation, and manufacturing industries.

Being injured or becoming ill while on the job can be a life-changing event, and facing it alone could be tremendously taxing. If you have been hurt in your workplace in Des Moines, you might be eligible to seek compensation from your employer. To learn more about filing for workers’ compensation, consult with our legal team at the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., by calling 877-327-2600 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.



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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