Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group

  • April 15, 2009:


Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group


Bureau of Labor Standards Central Maine Commerce Center Frances Perkins Conference Room B April 15, 2009

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

Staff Present: Terry Hathaway.

Call to Order: Bill Peabody called the meeting to order at 10:08 a.m.

March 18, 2009 Minutes. Jeff Levesque made a motion to accept the March 18th minutes as amended. John Rioux seconded the motion. Vote, unanimous.

2008 Topic Updates. • Follow-up of Web Survey – John Rioux. A working draft electronic copy of the follow-up web survey, Follow-up Study of Small Employers Indicating They Would Not Use the WEB for Training Employees And Results of and Conclusions from this and other BLS Service Usage Studies” to the members for their input. Bill asked that the group review the recommendations on page 13. John provided a brief review of the background of the web survey leading to the follow-up. The initial survey was mailed out to small employers, less than 50 employees, to see if they would use the web. Some did not have access and some may not be able to afford computers. Bill suggested that parents should hook up with the laptop programs and learn how to use the computer. John stated that we should cater to small businesses. Jeff added that it is best to keep it simple by making it easy for the businesses to get what they want.

Leslie W. asked how the original list was identified. John responded that it came from the Unemployment Insurance data base of employers with less than 50 employees.

The group reviewed the eleven (11) recommendations on page 13. Discussion continued regarding outreach. For example, the Bureau of Labor Standards’ (BLS) Customer Service Unit (CSU) can provide outreach and direct callers to the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) web site.

• Self-Insured Study (M.O.’s) – Current M.O. Reports – Jeff Levesque. Jeff handed out 2 charts, Medical Only First Reports By Insurer Type, Maine, 2000 Through 2009 (to date) and Proportions of Medical Only Reports by Insurer Type, Maine, 2008. Jeff explained the first chart, which has categories of self-insured, other privately insured, and MEMIC Insured. The first chart shows the number of Medical Only First Reports by Insurer Type. The second chart shows the proportions of medical only reports to mandatory first reports, showing that the ratio is two to one. Jeff asked if there are enough medical only reports? Bill and Brian will meet together later to check the quantity and quality of what we are getting now. Jeff said that he can find when the medical only reports changed to lost time. Bill asked if it is possible to do this off the Workers’ Compensation data base or go to different self-insurers and, if it works off the data base, then can be done for all instead of picking individual groups. Bill added that Brian and he can establish the methodology and then compare.

Detailed Review of Prevention Activities – Bill. Discussion regarding prevention of hearing loss for game wardens; includes ATV’s, snow blowers, fire arms, and blowing up beaver dams. Bill added that it is dependent on exposures. There are prevention measures at firing ranges.

Update on Legislature – Bill. There are several safety-related Bills, including expansion of forestry provisions for transportation to farm workers and was voted Ought to Pass, as amended, in Committee. Also, expansion of substance abuse testing to include hair, saliva, and sweat, which was voted Ought to Pass, as amended, in Committee. The OSHA 10-hour may possibly be Ought to Pass by Minority Report. There is also a Bill, An Act to Enhance Safety at Construction Sites by Regulating Open Trenches”, which would require a barrier to be placed around the trench to prevent an accident. “An Act to Create Duty to Report a Serious Injury” would require that anyone who sees someone who has a serious injury, needs to report it to someone who can do something about it.

Other. Bill added that there is a task force on employee misclassification. Their purpose is to find a unified definition for independent contractor. Currently, there are 16 different definitions. He explained that there is “rebuttable presumption” if the employer proves that there is no relationship between the employer and employee.

Next Meeting. The next meeting of the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m., Maine Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Conference Room A, Central Maine Commerce Center, 45 Commerce Drive, Augusta.

Adjournment – Bill Peabody adjourned the meeting at 12:08 p.m..

Respectfully submitted,

Terry M. Hathaway, Recording Secretary