Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group

  • September 26, 2007:


Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group


Bureau of Labor Standards Central Maine Commerce Center Marion Martin Conference Room September 26, 2007

Present: William Peabody, Chair (Maine Department of Labor); John Rioux, (Maine Department of Labor); Brian Doe (Hannaford); Jeff Levesque (Workers' Compensation Board); Kim Lim (Maine Department of Labor); Al May (Maine Center for Disease Control); and Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health).

Absent: Brad Brown (Maine Bureau of Insurance); Peter Doran (Maine Occupational Research Agenda); Stephanie Jazlowiecki (McTeague-Higbee); Steve Minkowsky (Workers' Compensation Board); Louise Morang (Maine Association of Occupational Nurses); Kathy Schulz (Workers' Compensation Board); Vanessa Santarelli (Maine Department of Labor); and Dave Wacker (Maine Department of Labor).

Staff Present: Terry Hathaway and Ted Bradstreet.

Call to Order: Bill Peabody called the meeting to order at 10:18 a.m. This meeting was postponed from the original meeting date of September 19, 2007.

August 15, 2007 Minutes: Motion made by Jeff Levesque to accept the minutes as amended. Seconded by John Rioux. Vote, unanimous.

Maine Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Proposal Presentation – Al May: Al handed out a copy of his power-point presentation entitled, “Workers’ Compensation Coverage: Proposal for State-Added Questions to BRFSS” as well as a copy of the “Proposal for State-Added Questions”. Al explained that the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System’s data is used to:

identify emerging health issues;
establish and track health indicators; develop, implement, and evaluate disease prevention activities support health-related legislative actions; and provide national and state health statistics to support state health initiatives and to support organizational initiatives.

Also, Al explained that another use for the BRFSS is to determine the evidence of underreporting of occupational injuries and illnesses to Workers’ Compensation systems. Maine will be included in the 2008 module, but results will not be available until June 2009. A brief question and answer period followed along with discussion.

Outline Recommendations for 2007 Report. Bill suggested that as the group discusses the four (4) updates, then the recommendations will be made into a draft for the October meeting.

Small Business Needs Assessment Survey Analysis. Ted handed out a revised draft of the “Maine Small Business Safety and Health Needs Assessment” with cosmetic changes (tables are in their entirety, not split on two pages). John had asked at the last meeting that folks look at the recommendations on pages 30-32 and make further recommendations. An updated electronic copy of this report will be sent out to members for their recommendations within the next couple of weeks. Leslie Walleigh suggested she would like to see the survey broken down by size (for example, under 10, 10-25, and 26-50) even though the survey was aimed at employers with less than 50 employees. Bill said that this report would not be included in the “big” report, but would be referenced and placed on the web.

How Workers’ Compensation Moves Through the Bureau of Labor Standards – John Rioux. John spoke about the data quality issue of Workers’ Compensation data referenced in the BRFSS study. John suggested that Al write up a couple of paragraphs regarding the proposed initiative for the report. John stated that the VSM (value stream mapping) of Workers’ Compensation group came up with several recommendations. He handed out a one-page “BLS coding for Prevention Data Analysis of about 600 cases from June and July 2007”. There were more cases with problems than there were cases with no problems. A software error was discovered and has been resolved. There will be another sample in the near future. John provided the work group with a second handout, “Chart by Count of Problems”, which also included the number of hours necessary to correct those problems. A third handout, “Bend-The-Curve (BTC) Success Stories”, gave a brief description of the problem, the current state, description of what changed, specific improvements experience, which “lean” tools were used, and where to go from here. A brief discussion followed. There is still the problem of getting the Medical Only (MO) first reports; Leslie Walleigh suggested finding out what the “stakeholders” want before continuing with the MO’s.

Occupational Disease Reporting – Leslie Walleigh: Leslie stated that Andy Smith was to contact Bill Peabody next week.

Maine Health Data Organization – Leslie Walleigh. Bill asked Leslie to summarize in a couple of paragraphs for the final report.

To summarize, John and Ted will clean up and expand the draft of the small business report, including prevention and how to reach and whether insurers are fulfilling their obligation to small employers. Also, Al and Leslie will each write a couple of paragraphs. Bill will put together for the October 17th meeting in the Frances Perkins Conference Room A.

Other: Al said that legislative action for MO’s, in reference to John Rioux’s e-mail, is on hold.

Bill said that the group will be looking at the membership and get more people to make the group more active.

Al told the group that the Maine Center for Disease Control Prevention (ME-CDC) is in the process of updating its information system to get all health data out to the public. They are currently looking at Oracle products as well as SAS. By the end of July 2008, the ME-DC is to have a system on the web for the public to inquire about health data by county.

Al added that a national group is looking at health disparities and are looking for stories. He asked that members get the word out to other groups and be thinking about it in regard to occupational health. Members can e-mail Al or bring the stories to the next meeting. A brief discussion followed.

Next Meeting. The next meeting of the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group will take place on Wednesday, October 17, 2007 10:00 to 11:30 a.m., Frances Perkins Conference Room A, Central Maine Commerce Center.

Adjournment – Bill Peabody adjourned the meeting at 12:29 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry M. Hathaway, Recording Secretary