OSHA to impose fines on hospitals that fail to protect workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced its plan to fine healthcare employers who don’t protect their employees from work hazards, according to a report by WWXI News on June 30.

Part of OSHA’s plan is to assess if hospitals are equipped with machines and devices to help lift and move patients. Because most injuries in the nursing industry involve the neck, the back or the arms, equipment would help nurses lift and transport patients while keeping ergonomic hazards at bay.

Clinical Assistant Professor of Nurse Practitioning at Brockport, Jennifer Chesebro, said OSHA’s effort is a positive push for the hospitals to do more in protecting their workers.

Nurses are among those at highest risk of neck, back, and arm injuries. Unfortunately, these hazards also make them more prone to illnesses and disabilities that may impact their lives. To learn more about obtaining the protection you need after being injured while on duty in Des Moines, consult with our team of workers’ compensation lawyers 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.



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.



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.



Ten most frequently cited safety violations of 2014

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

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

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.



Investigation over a Storm Lake plant fire might last a few days

The Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office has stated that an investigation over a fire at a turkey processing plant in Storm Lake may last for quite a few days, according to an online report published Monday, March 24.

In a statement, the Storm Lake Department of Public Safety said firefighters from Storm Lake rushed to Hillshire Brands turkey processing plant after a fire alarm sounded at about 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, March 22. The firefighters got the fire under control after three hours, though they didn’t leave the scene until all the flames were completely extinguished at around 1:15 p.m.

No civilians were injured in the fire, though one firefighter did reportedly sustain a shoulder injury.

When you sustain a workplace-related injury in Des Moines, our legal team at LaMarca Law Group, P.C., knows how difficult recovery can be. Fortunately, you might be owed workers’ compensation insurance benefits, so call us at 877-327-2600 to discuss your situation and find out how we may be able to help.



Worker injured in Spirit Lake demolition accident

An excavator operator sustained injuries after his machine fell through the floor and landed on the basement of Spirit Lake City Hall on Tuesday morning, September 11.

The excavating machine that was being used to demolish the old building fell through and landed on its side at around 9:30 a.m., Sioux City television station KTIV reports.

The unnamed operator received treatment for multiple cuts caused by broken glass on a local hospital. Work was resumed after the excavator was removed a day after the accident.

Being injured at work can cause serious injuries and the accrual of burdensome medical bills. Fortunately, with the help of a lawyer from LaMarca Law Group, P.C., injured workers in Des Moines can pursue the workers’ compensation benefits that they need. Call us at 877-327-2600 to discuss filing a claim and how we can help.



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