Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group

  • August 15, 2007:


Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group


Bureau of Labor Standards Central Maine Commerce Center Frances Perkins Conference Room A August 15, 2007

Present: John Rioux, Acting Chair (Maine Department of Labor); Jeff Levesque (Workers' Compensation Board); Kim Lim (Maine Department of Labor); Al May (Maine Center for Disease Control); Louise Morang (Maine Association of Occupational Nurses); Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health); and Dave Wacker (Maine Department of Labor).

Absent: William Peabody, Chair (Maine Department of Labor); Brad Brown (Maine Bureau of Insurance); Brian Doe (Hannaford); Peter Doran (Maine Occupational Research Agenda); Stephanie Jazlowiecki (McTeague-Higbee); Steve Minkowsky (Workers' Compensation Board); Kathy Schulz (Workers' Compensation Board); and Vanessa Santarelli (Maine Department of Labor).

Staff Present: Terry Hathaway and Ted Bradstreet.

Call to Order: John Rioux called the meeting to order at 10:08 a.m.

July 18, 2007 Minutes: Motion made by Jeff Levesque to accept the minutes as written. Seconded by Leslie Walleigh. Vote, unanimous.

Maine Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Proposal – Al May: Al will be doing an in-depth presentation at next month’s meeting. Today, he explained that the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System is a national Center for Disease Control (CDC) survey to determine chronic disease and risk factors. There are 150 questions asked via telephone interviews. It is a random sample of 4,000 to 5,000 people per year per state. The answers are entered on a computer during the telephone interview. There is a set of “core” questions depending on the answers (such as if the person is out of work or refuses to participate in the survey), the interviewee is either finished or goes on to another set of questions. Al sent a copy of the proposal to Bill, Dave, and Jeff. Bill wrote a letter of support. Jeff added that he is currently working with the Muskie School on a health care study that could provide data concerning work-related injuries and illnesses that may be slipping through the cracks.

Small Business Survey Analysis – John Rioux: A draft of the Maine Small Business Safety and Health Needs Assessment was handed out to the work group. John suggested that members look at the conclusions and recommendations on page 27. He also suggested that there could be a separate meeting or folks could write up and send in recommendations that they want. Terry will send the draft out to the absent members. There should be a final draft by next month’s meeting.

Dave suggested that the tables be on one page and not split on two. Jeff suggested a joint outreach between Safety and Workers’ Compensation. Jeff thinks he could work with MEMIC to deliver to their clients. He will talk to John Marr.

Dave suggested a concise pamphlet, perhaps a post card with a list of numbers to call under certain circumstances or a state ombudsman. Jeff added that perhaps the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) could be a part of this conversation. John said that perhaps another questionnaire could be mailed to the same sample asking the small employers who they are likely to call for help if “this” happens.

How Workers’ Compensation Moves Through the Bureau of Labor Standards – John Rioux: John said that several data processing items have been implemented and he will have results for the next meeting. The largest issue was with computer programming and that has been resolved. Ann Beaulieu has been working with Paul Fortier on the state as an employer workers’ compensation software, which companies use. The field, box 52 on the First Report of Injury contained 250 characters was not being passed on to Workers’ compensation. The problem has been resolved as well as getting back cases.

Occupational Disease Reporting – Leslie Walleigh: Leslie said that Bill Peabody had met with Andy Smith, but that she was not present. John added that Bill had notified him that Andy was working on a draft Memorandum of Understanding.

Maine Health Data Organization – Leslie Walleigh: Leslie handed out a summary of her research entitled, “Exploring the Use of Hospital Discharge Data for Surveillance of Occupational Health Conditions in Maine”. Leslie, along with Judith Graber, performed a chart review in 2006, “Assessing the Accuracy of Hospital Billing Data for Identifying Cases of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning for Public Health Surveillance: A Pilot Study”. The data was the same as what hospitals would send to the Maine Health Data Organization (MHDO) data, which gave insight into the advantages and limitations of using MHDO data for surveillance. One of the limitations is the time-delay, which is 12 to 18 months after the relevant quarter or year. This study was based on a single hospital for 2005, using the following three relevant hospital discharge data sets available from MHDO: inpatient admissions, outpatient visits, and emergency department visits.

Leslie also handed out a research article, “Results from a State-Based Surveillance System for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning” by Judith M. Graber and Andy Smith from the March-April 2007 Public Health Reports. It is a study describing the results from a pilot surveillance system for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Other: John handed out the Fall 2007 SafetyWorks! Training Schedule.

The next meeting of the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group will take place on Wednesday, September 19, 2007, 10:00 to 11:00 AM, Frances Perkins Conference Room A, Central Maine Commerce Center.

Adjournment – John Rioux adjourned the meeting at 11:32 a.m.