Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group

  • March 21, 2007:

Minutes:

Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group

Minutes

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

Present: William Peabody, Chair (Maine Department of Labor), John Rioux, (Maine Department of Labor), Jeff Levesque (Workers’ Compensation Board), Kim Lim (Maine Department of Labor), Louise Morang (Maine Association of Occupational Nurses), and Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health)

Absent: Brian Doe (Hannaford), Brad Brown (Maine Bureau of Insurance), Peter Doran (Maine Occupational Research Agenda), Stephanie Jazlowiecki (McTeague-Higbee), Al May (Bureau of Health), Steve Minkowsky (Workers’ Compensation Board), Kathy Schulz (Workers’ Compensation Board), Vanessa Santarelli (Maine Department of Labor), and Dave Wacker (Maine Department of Labor).

Staff: Terry Hathaway and Ted Bradstreet

Call to Order. Bill Peabody called the meeting of the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group to order at 10:11 a.m.

February 21, 2007 Minutes. Leslie Walleigh asked if the work group had to have a quorum to approve the minutes. Bill responded by saying that the work group is not a formal board, so a quorum is not necessary. After the minutes were amended, Jeff Levesque made a motion to accept the minutes of February 21, 2007 as amended. Leslie Walleigh seconded the motion. Vote, unanimous.

Annual Report and Future of the Group – Timeline for 2007. Bill combined these two agenda items. The legislative requirements are fulfilled. In general, the Maine Department of Labor is in favor of keeping this group moving forward; but, to a certain extent, it depends on the membership. He also realizes that some of the members desire to have more impact on the Legislature. This body, as compared to MORA, is a function of the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) and the department can’t simply porpose bills unilaterally. If this group wants to have impact on the Legislature, then we need to revise the schedule and report-out in October or November. Discussion revolved around the fact that writing a report has little impact unless there is a “champion” on the appropriate committee or unless the group or MDOL presses the issue. Bill summed it up by saying that if the intent of this group is to have legislation, then start in October and work it through the process. Understanding that there is no guarantee that it would get in. Bill asked, “as for the future of the group, what do you really want to do?” This means changing the schedule and the approach. John asked if there could be two schedules – one for legislation and one for non-legislation. Bill responded by saying that there should be one report. Leslie expressed confusion regarding the group’s mandate. She thinks that the group was to look at ways of collecting data and the group addressed those issues by addressing workers’ compensation issues and identifying issues with the Maine Health Data Organization (MHDO). One reason for the small business survey is that the Prevention Subgroup was waiting for data from the Data Subgroup. There is plenty of data.

Jeff said that over the next six months, he can work with John Rioux to get the workers’ compensation foundation back.

Bill suggested using some of the tools used in Value Stream Mapping to determine what really happens with data from Workers’ Compensation to the Bureau of Labor Standards and to actually see where the problems are.

John is working on a facilitator to talk about what this group is, how it functions, and what it needs to do. Do MORA and PDAG have similar issues? Is it duplicative? PDAG has legislative mandated membership whereas MORA’s membership is voluntary.

Discussion continued regarding the annual report. Louise asked if the group was behind. Bill responded yes. Leslie asked if it was too late to submit a legislative report or should the group step back. Bill suggested that if the group wants to change the time frame, we do have a bunch of talking points. Over the next few months, the group can focus on three or four key things and then have a report: finish the small business survey analysis, process examination of how Workers’ Compensation moves through the Bureau of Labor Standards, occupational disease reporting system, and Maine Health Data Organization; and have a report for mid-December if we want to have a Labor Committee meeting, then it is best to do it earlier in the legislative session than later.

Leslie suggested subgroups, rather than the group as whole, to focus on each of the key issues. The time frame would be over the next six months. For the Workers’ Compensation, All May, John Rioux, Kim Lim, and Jeff Levesque; Maine Health Data Organization – Leslie Walleigh; and Occupational Disease Reporting – Leslie Walleigh. By the next scheduled meeting, members should be aware of which priority subgroup they would like to work on.

Legislative Update – Bill Peabody. Bill spoke about the bill submitted to the Legislature by MEMIC that would require the Bureau of Insurance to set standards for insurance company safety programs and to certify such programs. If that occurs, the Safety Education and Training Fund (SETF) assessments, which the Maine Department of Labor does, would be in danger as these monies are used for the SafetyWorks! program. Also, there is a Bill requiring all construction companies working on State projects be required to take an OSHA 10-hour course.

Bill suggested a simple report stating here is what we are going to do and changing the schedule.

Next meeting – Wednesday, April 18, 2007. The next meeting of the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group will be held on Wednesday, April 18, 2007, at 10:00 a.m., location to be determined. Terry will try to find space at the Central Maine Commerce Center and notify the membership.

Adjournment. Bill Peabody adjourned the meeting at 11:36 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry M. Hathaway Recording Secretary