Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group

  • February 21, 2007:

Minutes:

Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group

Minutes

Bureau of Labor Standards First Floor Training Room February 21, 2007 10:00 - 11:30 A.M.

Present: John Rioux, Vice Chair (Maine Department of Labor), Gary Baxter (Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company), Brad Brown (Maine Bureau of Insurance), Peter Doran (Maine Occupational Research Agenda), Jeff Levesque (Workers’ Compensation Board), Kim Lim (Maine Department of Labor), Al May (Bureau of Health), Louise Morang (Maine Association of Occupational Nurses), Dave Wacker (Maine Department of Labor). and Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health)

Absent: William Peabody, Chair (Maine Department of Labor), Brian Doe (Hannaford), Stephanie Jazlowiecki (McTeague-Higbee), Steve Minkowsky (Workers’ Compensation Board), Kathy Schulz (Workers’ Compensation Board), and Vanessa Santarelli (Maine Department of Labor).

Staff: Terry Hathaway, Ted Bradstreet, and Leslie Manning.

Call to Order. John Rioux called the meeting of the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group to order at 9:59 a.m.

January 17, 2007 Minutes. After the minutes were amended, Jeff Levesque made a motion to accept the minutes of January 17, 2007 to accept the minutes as amended. Peter Doran seconded the motion. Vote, unanimous.

Review Annual Report – Complete Recommendations. Dave Wacker brought up that, at a recent BTC (Bend the Curve) event, the Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS) are not getting usable data for injury prevention; Workers’ Compensation has what they need and we aren’t getting what we need. Dave suggested that it be made a legislative mandate that Workers’ Compensation and the Bureau of Labor Standards meet, resolve, and make the data usable. Leslie Manning stated that recommendations are needed for the 2007 Final Report. The discussion continued with John Rioux stating that the work group has delved into data issues and they are not clear. Leslie (Manning) suggested identifying problems in a format and make it comprehensive. Dave stated that there is a lot of data missing.

Leslie Walleigh asked if the problem is with the First Report of Injury. Dave answered by stating that if all the fields were fully filled out, it would help, but with EDI, all fields are not filled in. Kim explained that the EDI process, using the IAIABC coding is inadequate as it’s not specific enough, so requires another level of investigation. The BLS coder needs to take extra time by calling the employer to get more information as 70 percent of the data has issues.

Leslie (Manning) asked if there is a mechanism in place to provide BLS with the data they need to prevent injuries in the first place? What is a better method? The purpose of the work group is not a comprehensive review of the Workers’ Compensation system. There are a lot of injuries not being addressed by Workers’ Compensation as some groups, which have a large number of injuries and fatalities, are exempt. Looking at the Workers’ Compensation data, what other systems can be put into place to meet our needs; Workers’ Compensation is an important piece of that data, but is not the only piece. Do we invest time and energy to work with the employers, etc. or augment with other resources? John said that it is not known what Workers’ Compensation looks like with EDI. Paul Fortier, Workers’ Compensation, says that checks on EDI are not yet implemented. The data we are dealing with now is not what we have once the entire system is implemented. We can report on it to date, but need a timeline for the implementation. Leslie (Walleigh) suggested that a recommendation be made for further funding so that Occupational Disease Reporting as that program has the potential for collecting a huge amount of data.

Jeff stated that Workers’ Compensation would need to have additional staff in the Monitoring Division. He suggested that the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group staff need to show up at the Labor Committee, Workers’ Compensation Board meetings, etc. Workers’ Compensation does not have quality control.

Kim suggested that an option for BLS to “kick back” a report to Workers’ Compensation. Leslie (Walleigh) made a suggestion to make sure that one of the Workers’ Compensation mandates is to provide adequate data for injury prevention. Jeff said that the First Report instructions could be revamped to fit BLS’s purpose. Members of this work group should e-mail Jeff with suggested instructions. Once complete, the instructions will go to all carriers and will be posted on the Workers’ Compensation website. Jeff explained that rejections go to claims adjusters for investigation. Leslie Manning asked if we have access to the adjuster. Jeff said that the problem is not seeing it for 90 days. Jeff stated the work group needs to make the case to the Labor Committee and Workers’ Compensation Board. Also, Workers’ Compensation would need someone with OSH (occupational safety and health) training. Leslie Manning said that the data would be used by the Bureau to manage and prevent injuries. The Labor Committee and Workers’ Compensation agenda issues, make it user-friendly for the injured workers. Discussion followed on the number of text characters in the field regarding EDI. Leslie Manning asked, “what are the mechanisms needed relating to what lead up to the injury?” Jeff responded that there is only one coder without a direct relationship; Workers’ Compensation needs someone who does occupational safety and health.

Jeff agreed that the current system is not giving us what we want. Leslie Manning added that the purpose of EDI is to get prompt processing, but getting good data is secondary. Leslie Walleigh inquired about M.O.’s (Medical Only’s). It is easier for carriers to send everything, including M.O.’s

Recommendations for Annual Report:

WC Data to be utilized for BOH & BLS

Design EDI to include OSH Performance Measures Assign staff to insure quality data

Include BOH in Troika (WC, BLS, BOI) Discussions

FROI’s reject if fields incomplete

Coding issues, body parts (i.e., legs)

FROI instructions in Comment Field improved

Review, implement non-WC data

Develop follow-up mechanism for recommendations of this report

WC + staff for quality control OSH data

BLS Coder - reject FROI

BLS work training with Claims Adjusters

Performance measure for FROI data

Follow-up = MO?

Occupational Disease Registry

Maine Health Data Organization

Data Quality Analyze Use it

CSTE Indicators – prevention goals

M-1 Data?

Leslie Manning suggested a one- or two-page Executive Summary as well as a specific set of recommendations and a timeline. She suggested that the work group have something to submit to the next legislative session as well as request a meeting with the Labor Committee regarding injury prevention.

Some members feel that the work group is moving in the right direction despite discussion that the work group should end as it was intended to be a temporary function. Also, leadership should come from the Bureau of Labor Standards as this group is composed of volunteers.

As Gary has left the group, members felt that something should be done to get him back. Peter expressed that Bill Peabody should have been have been here to hear what was said. Discussion involved leadership of the work group and that the Bureau should provide that leadership.

Leslie Manning expressed that the Bureau of Labor Standards has a widespread belief that the work group has not delivered a blueprint. Members expressed that there had been a timeline and that Bill was putting together the annual report. Jeff expressed that the group needs more than e-mails announcing the meetings; there should be more directed to follow-ups.

Leslie Manning asked what the group needs to go forward and when do we need it. Peter suggested a facilitator to “direct the action”. There should be a clear agenda at the meetings and between the meetings.

Peter suggested a draft of the annual report should be ready for the next meeting; then, have a good, open dialogue. Al stated “get report done”. What does the group want to accomplish at the next meeting.

Adjournment. Vice Chair John Rioux adjourned the meeting at 12:31 p.m.

Next meeting – Wednesday, March 21, 2007. The next meeting of the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group will be held on Wednesday, March 21, 2007, at 10:00 a.m., first floor training room, Bureau of Labor Standards.

Scheduled for the agenda for the next meeting is a one-page sheet of recommendations

Adjournment. John Rioux adjourned the meeting at 12:31 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry M. Hathaway Recording Secretary