Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group

  • January 19, 2005: 9:30 AM
  • Bureau of Labor Standards, First Floor Training Room

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


Present: Bill Peabody, Chair (Maine Department of Labor), Gary Baxter (Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company), Brian Doe (Hannaford), 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), Louise Morang (Maine Association of Occupational Nurses), John Rioux (Maine Department of Labor), and Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health).

Absent: Brad Brown (Maine Bureau of Insurance), Denise Dumont (US HealthWorks), Vanessa Santarelli (Maine Department of Labor), Saskia Janes (Maine Public Health Association), Stefanie LaRose (Canon Cochran Management Services, Inc.), Steve Minkowsky (Workers’ Compensation Board), Pat Philbrook (Maine State Nurses Association), Ralph Tucker (McTeague-Higbee), and Dave Wacker (Maine Department of Labor).

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

Guest: Ruth Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates & MORA)

Chair Bill Peabody opened the twelfth meeting of the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group at 9:40 A.M. Introductions were done.

Approval of November 17, 2004 Minutes. Peter Doran made a motion to accept the minutes. Gary Baxter seconded the motion. Vote, unanimous.

Ad-Hoc Presentation. Ruth Lawson-Stopps told the group she has been with MORA since its beginning and that she had been the chair of MORA’s Data Committee, consisting of Kim Lim, Leslie Walleigh, and Dan Cote. Their goal was to review the various data sources and it was clear that Workers’ Compensation has the data for lost time only cases. The Data Committee’s concern was that until medical only claims were included, there was no accurate data. MORA’s goal is to look at workplace injuries in the state, know what is going on, and conduct research in a positive manner in order to have the full picture of occupational injuries in the State. MORA went to various groups as well as the Workers’ Compensation Board and the Legislature’s Labor Committee. As a result, a bill was drafted by Senator Beth Edmonds (then Chair of the Labor Committee) and Deb Friedman for the Legislature. This legislation, which passed, created the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group. This work group is to report back to the Labor Committee by January 1, 2005 and January 1, 2006. A copy of the legislation, “An Act to Improve Collection of Information about Work-related Injuries and To Enhance Injury Prevention Efforts”, was handed out. Ruth encouraged folks to keep pushing for Medical Only’s (M.O.’s) and more data.

The suggestion was made that Bill Peabody should talk with someone who is stated to meet targets from the Workers’ Compensation Board (Paul Dionne). Bill summarized by stating “do we need M.O.’s for a more complete picture”, some of the coding of specific items could be done here (Bureau of Labor Standards), but we don’t have the resources to deal with that number (if M.O.’s are included), and Workers’ Compensation has control of the data source so we need their cooperation. Ruth suggested that Bill talk with Mr. Dionne and, perhaps, they could come to a MORA meeting.

Bill will do more research on the issues brought up today; where is EDI and what was the legislation?

Bill will put together an interim report for the next meeting as well as invite Paul Dionne or someone else from the Workers’ Compensation Board who deals with legislation and policies. Also, the next meeting will focus on what is happening nationally. If any members of the work group have ideas for resources or people we need to hear from, let Bill know. Leslie Walleigh suggested that a small group could get together to write the report. Bill said that the report could say what the work group is looking at, but is not ready to make any useful recommendations.

Update of Dirigo Health Questions. Jeff Levesque was not present to discuss the questions. Kim thinks there would be no feasible database as enrollment in Dirigo is so low. Why and how is the data going to be used?

Other. Bill announced that Bill Freeman, who works for OSHA, will be physically working at the Bureau of Labor Standards temporarily. He will be looking at data collection in this area and how it can be better used through OSHA, primarily. The information will be used for pilot programs to be used here as well as Local Emphasis Programs. Bill will invite Bill Freeman to attend this meeting, and decide what to do about Dirigo.

Next Meeting. The next meeting of the Occupational Safety and Health Data Collection and Injury Prevention Work Group will be held on Wednesday, February 16, 2005, 9:30 to 11:30 A.M., in the Third Floor Conference Room, Bureau of Labor Standards, Hallowell. Scheduled for the agenda are a one-page draft summary of where the work group is and what they are really looking at by Bill, someone to speak to the group from Workers’ Compensation,

Adjournment. Mr. Peabody adjourned the meeting at 11:14 A.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry M. Hathaway

Recording Secretary