Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group

  • April 20, 2005: 9:30 AM
  • Bureau of Labor Standards, First Floor Training Room

April, 2005 Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group Meeting Minutes


Present: Bill Peabody, Chair (Maine Department of Labor John Rioux, (Maine Department of Labor), Gary Baxter (Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company), Peter Doran (Maine Occupational Research Agenda), Carol Grenier (sitting in for Stefanie LaRose, Cannon Cochran Management Services, Inc.), Jeff Levesque (Workers’ Compensation Board), Kim Lim (Maine Department of Labor), Al May (Bureau of Health), Steve Minkowsky (Workers’ Compensation Board), Ralph Tucker (McTeague-Higbee), and Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health).

Absent: Brad Brown (Maine Bureau of Insurance), Brian Doe (Hannaford), Denise Dumont (US HealthWorks), Louise Morang (Maine Association of Occupational Nurses), Vanessa Santarelli (Maine Department of Labor), Saskia Janes (Maine Public Health Association), Stefanie LaRose (Canon Cochran Management Services, Inc.), Pat Philbrook (Maine State Nurses Association), and Dave Wacker (Maine Department of Labor)

Staff: Ted Bradstreet (Maine Department of Labor) & Terry Hathaway (Maine Department of Labor)

Bill Peabody opened the meeting of the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group at 9:41 A.M. Brief introductions were made.

Approval of March 16, 2005 Minutes. The March 16th minutes were approved with one correction, the addition of Al May (Bureau of Health) to the list of those present at that meeting.

Definition of Medical Only’s (M.O.’s) – Steve Minkowsky. Steve handed out the definition of Medical Only First Reports. The definition of a Medical Only First Report is “A First Report of Injury that is completed for any injury that has required the services of a health care provider but has not caused a day or more of lost time”. Steve told the members that the employer, employee, and insurance company all get a copy of the First Report. If a proposed rule for M.O.’s was to be of value, it would be a major burden and would be done by EDI, filed within seven (7) days of occurrence. Down the road, Steve would also recommend penalties to insure compliance.

Steve received an e-mail from John Marr, MEMIC, offering assistance in looking at M.O.’s for identification of indicators of a M.O. becoming a Lost Time (L.T.). MEMIC has been filing M.O.’s since 1997. Currently, M.O.’s from MEMIC are stored in the database. Jeff pointed out that, unfortunately, a diagnosis is not provided at that time; it might be six months down the road.

According to Chapter 471, section 398, if Workers’ Compensation adopts a rule, it would have to go back to the Legislature as a Major Substantive Rule.

Bill explained that for enforcement the Bureau of Labor Standards handles the public sector and OSHA handles the private sector.

Steve explained that Workers’ Compensation goes after insurance carriers for questionable claims activity including underpayment of claims, overpayment of claims, incorrect wage records, improper filing, and mismanagement of claims. Audits are done by Workers’ Compensation and then a corrective action plan for voluntary compliance.

Steve stated that the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group needs to make a compelling case for the usefulness of collecting of M.O.’s for the process to go forward. Trends could be identified and have a SafetyWorks program to prevent a M.O. from becoming a L.T. According to Chapter 471, this committee “shall evaluate data on work-related injuries and identify ways to reduce the incidence of such injuries”. This would add value to making a case.

Discussion followed regarding staffing changes and costs. Steve stated that a fiscal note could be added.

Steve added that there is nothing in the Workers’ Compensation Act that says Workers’ Compensation should collect M.O.’s as they are not safety prevention.

Steve suggested a pilot project with MEMIC to make a case. The Occupational Safety and Health Data Prevention and Injury Prevention Work Group could form a subcommittee to work on this. Bill agreed that they could see what there is for added value. One is predictive – does that case indicate a serious incident that might need to be followed-up? Second, does it give us some kind of precursor to health-related instances? The subcommittee could bring the results back to this group.

What About Dirigo? – Jeff Levesque. Jeff Levesque suggested that the group get Dirigo back to either the May or June meeting, so questions that the group came up with can be discussed for their health assessments. Bill will have Leslie Manning, Deputy Director, Bureau of Labor Standards, make the contact.

Report to the Legislature – Bill Peabody. Bill handed out a copy of the report to the Legislature, “Report of the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group to the 122nd Legislature, Joint Standing Committee on Labor”. Bill did not include any recommendations as he wants to include more details of Steve’s presentation today.

For the next meeting on May 18th, Bill would like recommendations and feedback from the rest of the group on this report so it can be finalized and sent to the Legislature.

Next Meeting. The next meeting of the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group will be held on Wednesday, May 18, 2005, 9:30 to 11:30 A.M., First Floor Training Room, Bureau of Labor Standards, Hallowell. The agenda will include the Legislative Report.

Adjournment. Mr. Peabody adjourned the meeting at 11:28 A.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry M. Hathaway Recording Secretary